Join GLAAD’s Spirit Day Movement Today In Support And Acceptance To LGBTQ Youth At A Time When They Need It Most
By Jose Useche, Communications Coordinator at GLAAD
iHeartRadio is continuing its years-long partnership with GLAAD to support Spirit Day, the world’s largest and most visible LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign. Join iHeartRadio – along with millions of people worldwide – as they “go purple” today October 21, 2021, and take a stand against the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth. Along with iHeartRadio, joining GLAAD on this powerful day of action are artists Chloe x Halle, Hailee Steinfeld, Sterling K. Brown, and Andy Cohen, as well as dozens of corporations, organizations and sports teams.
Spirit Day was founded in 2010 in response to the alarming number of young LGBTQ lives lost to suicide—notably, the loss of Tyler Clementi. At the time, Canadian high schooler Brittany McMillan wanted to create a day of awareness, acceptance, and love to prevent such tragedies. With GLAAD’s help, millions of teachers, workplaces, media personalities and students wore purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag, to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ youth. Each year, the campaign only continues to grow, reaching youth worldwide with necessary messages of love and acceptance.
As reported by multiple studies, bullying still drastically and disproportionately affects the lives of LGBTQ youth. According to GLSEN’s most recent National School Climate Survey, 68.7% of LGBTQ students have reported being verbally harassed at school. Additionally, 59.1% and 42.5% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and gender expression, respectively. The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health reveals that “the majority of LGBTQ youth (52%) who were enrolled in middle or high school report being bullied either in person or electronically in the past year.” 42% of LGBTQ respondents seriously considered attempting suicide in the last twelve months, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. Finally, 38% of Black LGBTQ youth reported discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity according to a different report from the Trevor Project, titled “All Black Lives Matter: Mental Health of Black LGBTQ Youth.”
Now more than ever, LGBTQ youth need our support. iHeartMedia and GLAAD have joined forces to let LGBTQ youth know: we see you, we celebrate you, and we will not let others bully you for who you are – not at school, not at home, not anywhere. Leading up to Spirit Day on October 21, iHeartRadio ran a PSA campaign voiced by on-air personalities Elvis Duran, and Enrique Santos, across its stations to highlight the impact bullying has on LGBTQ youth worldwide, and encourage listeners to ‘go purple’ and take the Spirit Day pledge to unite against the bullying of LGBTQ youth of all backgrounds. In addition, various iHeartRadio on-air personalities will talk on-air throughout the day about the importance of Spirit Day, especially in 2021.
To help take a stand against bullying and show support for LGBTQ youth, join the Spirit Day movement by visiting glaad.org/spiritday, where you can take the Spirit Day pledge and learn more about how you and your community can support LGBTQ youth. Plus, check out PRIDE Radio, The Pulse of LGBTQ America, that offers the best of music and programming for the LGBTQ community and its allies around the country, on iHeartRadio!