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25 Celebs Gone Purple to Support GLAAD

ashton-kutcherAnyone going purple for GLAAD’s Spirit Day today is in some famous — and colorful — company.

Celebrities from television, film, music, sports, and media have joined GLAAD as official Spirit Day ambassadors, committing to speaking out on the organization’s behalf for equality and no bullying for LGBTQ young people. Some are themselves members of the LGBTQ community, and some are straight allies. All are important in spreading the message that all people deserve to be treated with respect, regardless of sexual orientation or identity. Many, many more famous faces and voices have hit Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to show support in their own ways.

“Call me Betty Purple,” said Betty White, appearing with the cast of Hot In Cleveland in a video they made in support of Spirit Day:

[videopost src=’http://youtu.be/ZPuABLtQUxQ’]

Were you bullied as a child, a teenager, or a young adult? I was — not for my sexual orientation or identity real or assumed, but for my appearance, mostly. It was uncomfortable at best, and really scary on the worst days. There is nothing worse than going into an environment where you are treated poorly and abusively for nothing more than showing up. In a perfect world, parents, teachers, and other authority figures would always be able to protect young people from this kind of treatment, but we know from the news and from our own daily lives that this isn’t always possible. Much of this behavior happens on a peer-to-peer level, and choosing to participate in it or not is an individual decision.

You can check out GLAAD’s Spirit Day resources on Facebook, Twitter, and there is even a Spirit Day radio station. Things like Spirit Day can be more than just photo opportunities and an excuse to change our avatars on social networks — whether a celebrity tells us to or not. Events like this just didn’t exist when I was young. Sexual identity and orientation and bullying for any reason were not openly discussed in school, nor were they addressed in the media. Kids still struggle. I’ve seen this as a teacher and as a relative and a friend. Still, events like GLAAD Spirit Day, and the visibility of organizations like GLAAD, show signs of progress, if not perfection. I think it’s a great thing for young people who identify as LGBTQ to see and experience, and for all all of us, young and old, straight and gay.

Every day can be Spirit Day, and in my world, I try to make it so just by the way I treat people. I like the kids I encounter to know that they’re equal in my eyes every day, whether my avatar or my clothes are purple or green or any other shade in the rainbow. Today is just special — like an anti-bullying, super-equality Christmas. There’s nothing bad about that, as far as I’m concerned, as long as I consider tomorrow and every day after that Spirit Day, too.

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