Stop the Bullying

Why Did GLAAD Pick Purple As The Color To Wear For Spirit Day?

We’re totally down with the idea of a day dedicated to supporting gay youth and taking a stand against bullying. So down, in fact, that we’re colored Queerty purple to support the effort. (Okay, it’s not even that much worse a color than our regular orange!) And we get that having everyone wear the same color on Spirit Day, being held this Thursday, October 20. But did it have to be purple?

Not many of us can pull that color off.

In a recent press release, GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro explains:

Millions of Americans wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying.

Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually on October 20, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Getting involved is easy: Participants are asked to simply “go purple” on October 20 as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.

MTV is turning their on-air logo purple and stars like Ricky Martin, Julianne Moore, Joy Behar, Conan O’Brien, Wendy Williams and Chaz Bono have agreed to go eggplant in solidarity with bullied kids.

Hey, don’t get us wrong—we love purple. Queerty turns purple today. We cried during The Color Purple (the book and the movie, not the Broadway show). We have Jenny Joseph’s poem “When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple” on our fridge. Heck, we think Leo should’ve won an Oscar for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape!

Image via Yahoo

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  • brian

    Hey, I cried at The Color Purple on Broadway, too. It was more powerful on stage than I though it even could be. Purple it is.

  • Hyhybt

    It’s very simple: not only is purple (and especially certain variations on it) often thought of as a gay color anyway, it’s far less common than most. So it stands out more that someone is wearing it for a purpose than, say, green would.

    Besides, pink is already taken by breast cancer, especially in October.

  • fredo777

    You don’t exactly have to wear a purple catsuit. Just sport some kind of purple accessory, bracelet, or what-not.

    Funny enough, I just bought a purple hoodie recently, which I suppose I’ll wear Thursday. I posted the event for my social circle on Facebook, too. Should be fun.

  • Matt

    I’m not completely opposed to wearing purple…I just don’t own…anything purple. Then again, I’m having a hard time imagining myself as an eggplant.

  • Steve

    I just looked in my closet. I have one shirt that could be called “purple”, if you are generous. I will wear it on Thursday.

  • tallest

    Gosh, we just can’t forgo fashion one day of the year to show our support for lgbt youth. Just can’t do it. No! I’m sorry bullied gay kids of the world, but you ask too much!

    for seriously Queerty? You actually published this? This shit got past an editor?

    I will gladly wear purple head-to-toe on Thursday.

  • RuBrawl

    The railing against purple seems a leeeeetle femme-phobic. And THAT isn’t cute.

  • Hyhybt

    Originally he was supposed to be an evilish monster that craved milkshakes. And had too many hands.

    One other advantage of purple: you get inadvertent “support” from the Red Hat ladies.

  • Riker

    Now that Queerty has temporarily changed the blog’s style sheet, I actually like the purple in the website. You guys should really consider sticking with it (though maybe just a hair darker). The orange is boring and dated; something as simple as a line of CSS makes the entire website look more sleek and modern.

  • DenverBarbie

    “We think Leo should’ve won an Oscar for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”
    Ha! You’re super on today, Dan Avery! (And I totally agree…)

    I also want to back Riker up- I really like the purple lay out. Maybe Queerty can make this “going purple” thing a bit more permanent?

  • ewe

    And I should get an Oscar for being the biggest asshole on Queerty. Boo hoo hoo.

  • Atlas

    I’ve always liked purple, although I prefer the darker shades. And it’s not a hard color to pull off at all. Most people look good in purple. I’ve never understood why it’s used so little. Yellow and especially orange are more difficult colors.

  • Riker

    Hey Queerty, while you’re considering making the style change permanent (which I hope you are, just a little bit darker) that blurry Queerty logo at the top is making my eyes bleed whenever I look at it, Kthx.

  • Cinesnatch

    I agree with Riker. Contrary to Dan’s assessment, the purple is a step up from the orange. A big step up.

  • Myself

    Because purple is Gwyneth Paltrow’s favorite color and GLAAD wants to make her happy so she will appear at a rubber chicken dinner.

  • Michael Bedwell

    IS NO ONE HERE OVER 20? There is a long association between purple and gay activism. I don’t remember who first said it, but someone once observed that if every gay person turned purple overnight our rights would be seen as a far more important issue to nongays while the fact that most are invisible to them undercuts us.

    AND, there was a purple GAY HISTORY MOMENT when the connection became painfully real. In the fall of 1969, a “San Francisco Examiner” columnist wrote that gays were, “semi males, drag darlings,” and “women who aren’t exactly women.” On October 31, some 60 gays picketed the “Examiner” building during which time someone from above threw a bag of purple printer’s ink on the protestors who then use it to put their purple handprints on the building, and write, “Fuck the Examiner” and “Gay Power” before police moved in, billy clubs flailing. A lesbian was arrested for “obstructing traffic” after being knocked to the ground, and a gay man’s teeth were knocked out. Some were also arrested the next day at a sit-in at the mayor’s office.

    It became known as “Friday of the Purple Hand” and “Day of the Purple Hand,” and there was some effort to make the image a new symbol for gay liberation.

  • JayKay

    I don’t own anything purple. Will a reddish-brown suffice? I mean under the right lighting it looks purple-ish.

  • A problem for Justin Bieber

    Purple is Justin Bieber’s favorite color, he wears it most of the time. How can he still show support for bullied LGBT youth? Thank you, his agent.

  • Chuck

    Purple or lavender in addition to being beautiful has traditionally been associated with all things gay, even before pink. Additionally being associated with decadence, and even royalty, purple does not have many of the negative connotations that pink can sometimes have because of unfortunate past events. As a bonus, for whatever reason it has been reported that Republicans in general hate the color purple. Gay people would point out that if you combine red white and blue, you get purple.

  • fredo777

    @A problem for Justin Bieber: As much as this makes me not want to wear purple today after all, I’ll keep in mind that it’s for a worthy cause.

  • Shannon1981

    Wearing purple today in the form of a shirt, and colored my Facebook and Twitter avatars purple, and so they shall stay for the rest of the month.

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