In honor of the teenagers who recently committed suicide after they were bullied for being gay, October 20 has been declared Spirit Day.
Purple is the unifying color for the day; millions are expected to both wear the color and create purple versions of their Twitter and Facebook pages in support. Among those millions are the E! News and E! News Now anchors, including Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic, who will be wearing purple for this evening’s broadcast, according to a press release.
According to Laura McGinnis, a spokesperson for The Trevor Project, an organization focused on preventing suicide among LGBT youth, gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual young people.
In addition, McGinnis told USA Today, “it’s unclear whether there has been an increase in suicides by gay and lesbian young people but the issue has gotten more attention. More suicides are being recognized by family, teachers and friends as being the result of bullying or harassment because of sexual orientation.”
The story says 1.4 million have pledged their participation on Facebook. Information about how to take part in the day’s commemoration is available on the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) website.