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

On Thursday, millions will unite to take a stand against anti-LGBT bullying. To get involved and show your support for LGBT youth, go purple on October 17 for the fourth annual Spirit Day.

Spirit Day began in 2010 during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month as a way to promote a world in which LGBT youth are celebrated and accepted.

According to HRC’s groundbreaking youth survey, LGBT youth are twice as likely to report they are harassed, assaulted, kicked or shoved at school. Ninety-two percent say they hear negative messages about being LGBT at school, on the Internet and from peers.

LGBT middle school students reported far more harassment than LGBT high school students or straight students. And among middle school LGBT students, 58 percent reported being excluded for being different.

It is up to us all to take a stand in support of LGBT youth and to promote a world in which all are equal and love conquers hates. There are many ways to get involved this year. Show us how you’re supporting Spirit Day on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #SpiritDay. Or check out GLAAD’s app to turn your profile picture purple on Facebook and Twitter.

HRC is also proudly partnering with artist Kelly Towles on a limited edition “Strong Heart” T-shirt available in both adult and kids sizes. As a straight man and young father, Towles envisions a world where his son Atticus  can grow up in an environment where bullying is not tolerated. Kelly's design features a whimsical purple heart, which includes the words spirit, stay strong, love and equal rights.

And don’t forget to enter HRC’s Equal-gram contest. Post a photo on Instagram of yourself in HRC gear, follow the HRC store account @WeareHRC and tag your photo #WEAREHRC. We’ll repost some of our favorites. The photo with the most “likes” each week will win a prize.

To learn more about Spirit Day, visit

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