Facebook To Go Purple On Friday To Support Gay Youth

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook’s trademark color has always been (and will likely always be) blue. However, on Friday, the social network will turn select national pages purple as it joins Tumblr and Yahoo in support of gay youth on Spirit Day.

Facebook has been a part of Spirit Day — when people are encouraged to wear purple in support of gay, lesbian, and transgendered youth — since 2010. Several national pages will go purple (or already have), including Stop Bullying: Speak Up, Facebook Diversity, and Facebook Safety. The company will also encourage its employees around the world to wear the royal color.

The social network is one of many online destinations that is lending support to this cause. Tumblr, Yahoo, StumbleUpon, and Hulu will go purple in their own ways. Gay actor and Facebook celebrity George Takei is also a major supporter of Spirit Day. He posted Thursday about the event, encouraging his fans that, “It’s okay to be Takei.”

Participants are asked to upload photos of themselves wearing purple to Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #spiritday.

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation President Herndon Graddick discussed the power of social media on Spirit Day in a press release:

When young people find a sea of purple profile photos and supportive voices on their favorite websites and apps, it sends a powerful message that it’s okay to be who you are. Tech giants like Facebook and Yahoo! are leading the way in taking steps to address bullying and bringing Spirit Day’s message to young people year-round.

Earlier this year, Facebook received special recognition from GLAAD for its work to help prevent bullying. The social network signaled again Thursday that it is still committed to the cause, by launching an anti-bullying page.

Readers: Will you participate in Spirit Day?