Why is Spirit Day important?
SPIRIT DAY is when millions of people raise their voices against the bullying and harassment suffered by young people in the LGBTIQ + community.
Multiple surveys show that an average of 60% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or nonbinary, intersex and queer youth have reported suffering some type of verbal or physical violence due to their identity. What is even worse is that they also reported that nobody did anything about it.
Origins of Spirit Day
The purple color in the rainbow flag represents spirit, from which Spirit Day was named. The annual event is now celebrated by more than 1.6 million people around the world in support of #LGBTIQ youth, as part of a movement against bullying.
This initiative began in October 2010 when Brittany McMillan, a Canadian student, encouraged her friends to wear purple for a day, to remember young people who have lost their lives due to suicide. The same year other countries followed suit, with the oldest existing LGBT organization on the planet, COCNederland (since 1946 in Holland), beginning their own “Purple Friday” and in Australia “Wear it Purple Day” in August has gained popularity from purple police uniforms to state-funded safe school programs and diversity training for institutions.
The North American celebration takes place on the third Thursday each October and has spread to other groups around the world. Britanny McMillan summarized her objective to GLAAD media:
“Ultimately, I want Spirit Day to make just one person feel a little bit better about themselves, to feel safe enough in their own skin to be proud of who they are.”
Why Spirit Day is also important in Spain
Despite the approval of the Law against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in Spain, young LGBTIQ+ people continue to bear the weight of social exclusion both within the family and at school, according to the Spanish Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals.
The map clearly identifies the regions where trans people have more rights (green) in the educational system. Red provinces are where LGBTIQ+ youth are still not able to choose their gender identity without the need to provide reports (includes both grade schools and universities).
This is, in fact, a reflection of the level of open-mindedness of the peers young people face every day. Several studies show that between 50% -60% of young people suffer verbal attacks because of their orientation or identity, about 10% even receive physical attacks. With Spirit Day, we can help raise visibility of this problem and take a stand for inclusivity.
Spirit Day to support our LGTBIQ + family
Unfortunately, the situation at home remains delicate, since up to 21% of young people in Spain have experienced degrading situations by their relatives. Inclusivity in society in Spain remains a work in progress as in many other countries.
The most effective way to collaborate is through associations in your country. There are several groups specialized in helping trans people in Spain, such as Asociación TRANS, Chrysallis, or Fundación Eddy, among many others.
In addition, find the official outlets for reporting LGTBIQ + hate incidents in your area. Simply reaching out to community groups reporting on LGBTpho
bia to learn more about the diversity of gender identities and sexual orientions (and the difference between them) is a big help.
Talk with your friends, generate debates with your family members, collaborate by sharing information on diversity and support the visibility of the group.
Show your spirit on Spirit Day
Spirit Day is an opportunity to take action against the harassment of our youth with non-binary identities and / or diverse sexual orientations. Whoever you may be, wear purple for Spirit Day!
Facialteam has gone purple to show our support for LGBTIQ+ youth who have been victims of bullying.
Wear purple all day long or change your profile on RRSS to show your support for #LGBTI youth.
In the words of @LaverneCox, “All of our children need to feel safe to be themselves at home, school and in our communities.”
#wearitpurple #beproudofwhoyouare #spiritday #AgainstTransphobia #genderdiversity #TransIsBeautiful #younglgbt #arcigay #lgbtcommunity #lgbtsupport #Facialteam2020 #itsforme #communidadlgbti