By Tim Springer
Today is National Spirit Day. It’s a day to take a stand against bullying. In support of that, I’ve gone purple. It’s an excuse to wear my suit separates including a killer pair of purple pants. My ask is simple: do the same. Go to your closet, grab something purple, and put it on. If you cannot see or purple is not visible to you – ask a friend or just update your status to “purple” for the day.
In donning your purple garb, you’ll be one of millions showing your support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth. Wearing purple today is a way to take a stance against bullying and harassment. That support is needed: according to a recent study, seven out of ten LGBTQ students have been harassed at school. What’s worse: more than half of them did not report the harassment because they didn’t think the adults in their lives would support them. If wearing a color one day out of the year can help show that support I’m all in.
At Level Access, we know that children with disabilities are much more likely to be bullied than their peers. So when you put on purple today you’re taking a stance against all bullying. You’re taking a stance against all harassment. Hopefully, we’re also taking a stance for a little better world.
Level Access wouldn’t be the organization it is today without the radically different team members we have. Without the diverse communities each person on our team brings with them. The LGBTQ+ community. The community of people with disabilities. The neurodivergent community – my people. The BIPOC community. The myriad, intersectional slices that make up each of us. That’s diversity. And that’s our great strength.
Do whatever you can today to communicate to the young people in your life that you are against bullying. Wear purple. Send a tweet. Post on Instagram. Make a dancing video on TikTok. Talk to your kids, your friends’ kids, your neighbors’ kids. Tell everyone that you are wearing purple because you’re an adult that will support kids if they’re being bullied.
Above all, tell the kids in your life that the world is a better place because they are in it. They are in it with all their beautiful, unique and individual characteristics.
Learn more about National Spirit Day at glaad.org/spiritday.
For more information and statistics about bullying and children with disabilities, check out https://www.stopbullying.gov/sites/default/files/2017-09/bullyingtipsheet.pdf.