Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

This Thursday marks the fourth annual Spirit Day, an opportunity for individuals, organizations and public figures to stand up and show support for LGBT youth and bullying prevention.

Spirit Day first began on October 20, 2010 as the vision of Canadian teenager Brittany McMillian. The high school student encouraged her friends to wear purple to honor the young LGBT people who lost their lives to suicide. Since then GLAAD and its organizational partners, including HRC, have taken up McMillian’s mantle.

“Ultimately, I want Spirit Day to make just one person feel a little bit better about his or herself, to feel safe enough in their own skin to be proud of who they are,” said McMillian.

Today, McMillian's dream has grown into a global movement highlighting the stark reality for LGBT youth. To participate, wear purple on October 17, spread the word through social media using the hashtag #SpiritDay, and take the Spirit Day pledge.

To learn more about getting involved on October 17, visit

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