Why is Shakesville Purple Today?

[Trigger warning for suicide.]

Today is Spirit Day:
In the wake of several suicides by gay teens, a teenage girl from Canada sent out a call for a worldwide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Spirit Day. Posted and re-posted from blogs to Facebook to other social networking sites, her call for remembrance spread across the Internet in a matter of days.

With the use of her Tumblr account, the announcement asks people to wear purple on Oct. 20 in memory of those bullied and harassed for their sexual orientation.
"On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the seven gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months, many of them due to homophobic abuse in their homes or at their schools," Brittany McMillan said. "Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that's exactly what we'd like all of you to have with you: spirit."

...In addition to remembering the lives lost, Spirit Day also seeks to raise awareness of problems that arise from bullying based on sexual orientation. ... This summer the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network published their 2009 National School Climate Survey on the bullying of gay teens. The survey of 7,261 middle and high school students found nearly 9-out-of-10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school.

In the past year, nearly two-thirds felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation. Nearly a third of LGBT students skipped at least one day of school in the past month because of concern for their own safety.
There's more about Spirit Day here.

We will "wear" purple for the rest of the day. We will remain committed to championing LGBTQI equality, and challenging straight privilege, always.

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