As a means to record their protest against bullying and show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, millions of Americans, including celebrities and iconic landmarks, will go purple on Oct 20 to mark Spirit Day.
Wearing purple to make a difference and to show the LGBT community that there are people who support their choices, the Spirit Day was initiated by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan. And it became an instant hit with a slew of Hollywood celebrities including Cher, Conan O’Brien, Ellen DeGeneres and Tyra Banks asking their fans to promote purple.
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This year, the Las Vegas Strip has decided to join others such as Facebook, Times Square, the NBA and the New York Stock Exchange in going purple. This display of support was announced by GLAAD and the R&R Partners Foundation, a press release stated.
"By going purple for Spirit Day, millions of Americans are helping to send a clear message that no one should be bullied simply because of who they are," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement.
Kicking off this special day, the Las Vegas sign will turn a shade of purple on Oct 19 at 10 a.m. Following which Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Treasure Island, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Tropicana Las Vegas will also turn their resort marquees purple from 11 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and then again from 10 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.
McMillan decided to initiate Spirit Day after she came across various articles about LGBT teens who had lost their lives to suicide. “I wanted to do something to spread awareness about the loss of these teenagers, and I wanted to show support for anyone going through similar problems. Being diagnosed with depression myself, I knew firsthand what it’s like to feel suicidal,” she wrote in Advocate.com.
This prompted her to take a stand against bullying of LGBT teens, for which she chose purple as her color. “Purple is the color that represents spirit on the rainbow flag. I want people to have the spirit to stand up to homophobia and support their friends and family; and for those who are being bullied, I want them to have the spirit to persevere through it and to keep going, even though times are tough, because their lives will get better,” she said in an MTV interview.
Meanwhile, McMillan adds that protest can also be fashionable. Here are her suggestions to rock purple. “Make-up and jewelry are awesome ways to go, especially if you have to wear a uniform. Paint your nails, put on some purple eye-shadow or wear a purple wristband. For the more dedicated: Dye your hair, even if it's just a streak or out of a spray can. Purple hair is a definite eye-catcher,” McMillan told MTV.