You may have noticed that a lot of people are wearing purple today, and that's not a coincidence. October 19 is Spirit Day, a day run by LGBTQ organization GLAAD to raise awareness about anti-LGBTQ bullying.
The organization asks that people wear purple on this day and take the time to educate themselves and others on the facts about how many queer and gender non-conforming kids are bullied at school and home. GLAAD cites statistics like, 85.2% of LGBTQ students report being verbally harassed and 63.5% have heard homophobic remarks from teachers or other school staff. Many students (57.6%) feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 48.6% are also bullied online.
The numbers are dismal, and they point to a very real problem affecting LGBTQ kids' health, mental health, and safety. Spirit Day aims to give these students a voice, advocate for better bullying policies at schools, and encourage allies to stand up for the youth who are being bullied.
Celebrities like Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany and The Fosters' Maia Mitchell have added their voices to Spirit Day, among countless others. Read on to see what they have to say.