I began noticing earlier this week that several of my friends on Facebook were posting about wearing purple. It was all over Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the news. Oct. 20, 2010 has been named Spirit Day as dedication to the recent suicides caused by bullying kids about their sexuality.
A Canadian teen, Brittany McMillan, used Tumblr to create an unofficial remembrance day for the recent suicides caused by sexual bullying. She stated that everyone should wear purple to make the it is OK to be GLBTQ and that the world will support them no matter what.
The Eastern Echo stated, “Tumblr is like the Twitter of the blogging world where users are able to post text, photos, quotes, audio, and video with speed and ease. Using her account, McMillan was able to spread her request with chain-letter like speed.” The beauty of social media.
As of October 19th at 10 p.m. 76,793 Facebook users were “attending” this event and 13,954 were “maybe” going to attend. People have posted it as their status on Twitter, Facebook and reposted the original blog.This is the power of social media. How amazing is it that people from across the world can unite under one cause and create an unofficial holiday?
Not only is this an excellent remembrance for those who took their own lives because of the hateful environment they lived in, but it lets others in the same situation know that there is hope. As the recently common phrase goes, “it gets better.”
Many celebrities have joined this campaign to end bullying through the Trevor Project which specifically fights GLBTQ bullying. “Trevor” was a film in 1994 that portrayed a 13-year-old boy who attempted to take his life because he was being bullied for his sexual orientation. Upon the film’s television debut, it was discovered that there was no helpline to accompany the film incase others were feeling suicidal like the film but there was none. The Trevor Project was the first helpline established in 1998.
A few of many celebrities that have joined The Trevor Project’s mission include Daniel Radcliffe, the cast of Glee, the cast of Modern Family, The Kardashians, Tim Gunn, Kathy Griffin. These videos are posted on YouTube, another example of how social media is helping this cause.
Ironically, the world of social media and specifically social networking was the cause for some of the situational suicides because of videos leaked online, yet the online world has also become a safe haven for conversation and support.
Social media allows every person to have a voice and for every voice to find a niche that supports their voice. Hopefully, with all of this publicity related to Spirit Day and the world uniting against GLBT bullying, the taboo has been lifted on this topic and victims can find help. No one is alone. It gets better, and that goes for everyone regardless of sexual orientation.
Will you wear purple tomorrow? I will. No one should die because of a bully. (#spiritday)