In late 2014, GLAAD commissioned Harris Poll to measure attitudes towards LGBT Americans. What we found is that even though 2015 had an historic year for the rights of LGBT Americans, beneath legal and policy progress lies a layer of uneasiness and discomfort.
While the public is increasingly embracing LGBT civil rights and equal protection under the law, many are still uncomfortable with having LGBT people in their families and the communities where they live. Within these numbers we find that Southerners feel significantly more discomfort about their LGBT family, friends, and neighbors than is found in other regions of the country.
Across the South, however, are individuals and organizations bringing awareness to the experiences and needs of the LGBT community, and shifting culture towards equality every day on the ground. Check out just some of the many ways these groups are standing up against bullying and in support of LGBTQ youth today.
People from across Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, and beyond have made known the importance of visibly supporting the youngest members of the LGBT community:
— Equality Texas (@EqualityTexas) October 20, 2016
— Equality NC (@equalitync) October 20, 2016
Featured cast member of The L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin, and founding minister of Joshua Generation MCC
About Spirit Day
Each year, millions of people "go purple" for Spirit Day in a united stand against bullying and to show support for LGBTQ youth. According to a 2015 GLSEN survey, more than half of LGBTQ students report being victimized based on sexual orientation, with a further three quarters of students who report hearing anti-LGBTQ remarks in school. Started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan, Spirit Day now draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals around the world, who join together in a united stand against bullying.
Check out glaad.org/spiritday for more about how to stand against bullying and show support for LGBTQ youth. Also follow @GLAAD on Twitter to keep up to date with #spiritday news.
Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its presenting partners Target and Wells Fargo, official partners, NBA and WNBA, NFL, Viacom, and WWE, and supporting partners, American Eagle Outfitters, Barilla, Comcast NBCUniversal, Kellogg’s, Kirkland & Ellis, Toyota Financial Services, and Zipcar. The translation of GLAAD’s Spirit Day Resource Kit into multiple languages is made possible by a generous grant from Google supporting GLAAD’s Global Voices Initiative. Global Spirit Day resource kits are presented by Logo’s Global Ally campaign.
Past participants in Spirit Day include the White House, the Empire State Building, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Laverne Cox, Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Shaquille O'Neal, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, MTV, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and more.