Spirit Day

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For other LGBT holidays, see List of LGBT holidays. For the religious observance, see Spirit Monday.


The name Spirit Day comes from the purple stripe of the Rainbow flag, whose creator Gilbert Baker defined it as "representing 'spirit'".


In early October 2010, Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan promulgated the observance of a new event called Spirit Day, the first observance of which took place on October 20, 2010; it now however takes place on October 15.[1] On this day people wear the color purple to show support for LGBT youth who are victims of bullying.[2] Promoted by GLAAD, many Hollywood celebrities wore purple on this day to show their support of this cause,[3][4][5] and many websites added a prominent purple shade to their design.


The observance was inaugurated in response to a rash of widely publicized bullying-related suicides of gay school students in 2010, including that of Tyler Clementi.[6]


Students of Het Baarnsch Lyceum dressed in purple on Paarse Vrijdag 2013

COC Nederland started in December 2010 to name the second Friday of this month Paarse Vrijdag (i.e. Purple Friday) and is celebrated annually since then.[7]


More than 1.6 million Facebook users signed up for the event globally.[8][9][10]

Further national and international attention was drawn to Spirit Day when Clint McCance, the vice-president of an Arkansas school board,[11] posted incendiary anti-homosexual remarks on the Facebook social networking website.[12] McCance ultimately apologised and resigned on the CNN program Anderson Cooper 360°;[13] however, he received further criticism for what many perceived to be an insincere non-apology apology, including from Dr. Phil in a later Anderson Cooper interview.[11][14][15] McCance submitted his resignation letter to the Midlands School District effective November 1, 2010.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Go purple on October 15, 2015 for #spiritday". GLAAD. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Wackrow, Kyle (October 10, 2010). "Spirit Day to honor recent homosexual suicide victims". The Eastern Echo. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ Christ, Lindsay (2010-10-20). "October 20, 2010 Spirit Day—the Day to Wear Purple by Lindsay Christ—Long Island Free Press October 20, 2010:". Longislandpress.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  4. ^ Why Wearing Purple Will Protest Bullying: Archived October 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "October 20 is Spirit Day in Hollywood—Neon Tommy's Daily Hollywood:". Neontommy.com. 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  6. ^ Potter, Chuck (October 23, 2010). "Bullies can't stand up to the power of purple". The Day Publishing Company. Retrieved October 23, 2010. 
  7. ^ Purple Friday Gay Straight Alliance (in Dutch), retrieved December 10, 2015
  8. ^ Heussner, Ki Mae (October 20, 2010). "Spirit Day: Facebook Users Wear Purple – ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Gay teens honored on Spirit Day". ABS-CBN Interactive. October 20, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Tim (October 20, 2010). "Spirit Day rallies support for gay and lesbian youths". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Stewart, M. (October 29, 2010). "Dr. Phil slams Arkansas official for 'non-apology apology'". Anderson Cooper 360 at cnn.com. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  12. ^ Wing, N. (October 27, 2010). "Clint McCance, Arkansas School Board Member, Wants 'Fags' To Commit Suicide". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  13. ^ Mirkinson, J. (October 29, 2010). "Clint McCance, Arkansas School Board Member, Resigns On 'Anderson Cooper 360'". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Dr. Phil Slams McCance "Non-Apology"". advocate.com. October 30, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  15. ^ "On Anderson Cooper, Dr. Phil Isn't Buying Clint McCance's 'Non-Apology'". ontopmag.com. October 31, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Ark. school board member quits after anti-gay rant". The Washington Post. November 1, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2010. [dead link]