Hollywood stars and advocacy groups alike helped turn social media into a sea of purple Thursday in support of LGBTQ youth.
The occasion, of course, was Spirit Day (Oct. 18). Now in its eighth year, Spirit Day was first observed in 2010 in response to a spate of queer youth suicides, including that of New Jersey teen Tyler Clementi. Since then, GLAAD has called on celebs, activists and media personalities to share photographs of themselves wearing purple clothing to both honor victims of suicide and show visible support for LGBTQ youth during National Bullying Prevention Month in October.
Ellen DeGeneres was among the A-list stars to express her support, sharing an animated, emoji-style image of herself on Twitter.
… and Mariah Carey, who looked stunning even as she opted against the suggested violet attire in a floor-length, sequined yellow gown.
Britney Spears, Barbra Streisand and the “Will & Grace” cast were among the stars who also paid tribute. Meanwhile, the Kellogg Company unveiled a special edition “All Together” cereal at its New York café for the occasion.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement that such visible signs of LGBTQ youth support were especially necessary given America’s current political climate.
In addition, the organization presented statistics from GLSEN’s 2015 National School Climate Survey that showed how deeply affected LGBTQ youth remain when it comes to bullying. For example, 85.2 percent of queer students reported having been verbally harassed, while 48.6 percent said they’d experienced cyberbullying of some sort. Similarly, 57.6 percent of LGBTQ students said they chose not to report an incident of bullying because they doubted anything would be done.
“Spirit Day is a day of national importance that highlights the serious issue of bullying and its disproportionate impact on LGBTQ youth,” Ellis said. “It also sends powerful messages of support, letting LGBTQ and other marginalized youth know that they are not alone — something sorely needed in our culture today.”
Check out how many stars supported Spirit Day on social media below.