Oct. 20 marks the second annual Spirit Day.
The first observance took place in Oct. 2010 when Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan promoted the idea of wearing purple to show support for members of the LGBT community who are victims are bullying.
Adam Lambert tweeted his support of the cause saying: Glaad Spirit Day! I support LBGT youth against bullies! Put up your forcefields and don't let anyone take your energy!!
Facebook is also coming out in support of Spirit Day by encouraging employees to learn more about the cause and to turn the Facebook profile pictures purple to show their encouragement.
This is certainly significant since social networking forums are at the forefront of bullying in today's digital era.
Spirit Day was first commemorated after a wave of bullying-related suicides of homosexual students in 2010.
Unfortunately, this comes on the heels of two more suicides - Jamey Rodemeyer and Jamie Hubley.
Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old from NY, killed himself in mid Sept. after facing years of bullying from classmates because of his presumed sexual orientation.
He faced a barrage of hateful messages from classmates on social networking sites. Some included: JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT ANND [sic] UGLY. HE MUST DIE! and I wouldn't care if you died. No one would. So just do it :) It would make everyone WAY more happier!
Rodemeyer posted a video in May for the It Gets Better campaign against gay bullying. In it, he told other victims to stay strong.
Unfortunately, that was not enough for Rodemeyer. He posted two final tweets before taking his own life, one to his idol Lady Gaga.
The famous singer was distraught after Rodemeyer's death. She tweeted messages like, bullying must become illegal. It is a hate crime, the past days I've spent reflecting, crying, and yelling. I have so much anger. It is hard to feel love when cruelty takes someone's life, and I am meeting with our President. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it.
But awful consequences continue to come from hateful words.
On Oct. 14 Jamie Hubley, a 15-year-old gay Canadian, committed suicide.
He had a blog titled You Can't Break... When You're Already Broken where he documented his struggles and depression. On it he wrote messages such as: The only thing worse than being hated is being ignored. At least when they hate you they treat you like you exist, and Suicides is always an option.
All Hubley wanted was acceptance, and instead faced bullying and ridicule from classmates.
These tragic stories have inspired others to find strength. Actor Zachary Quinto was inspired by Rodemeyer to come out as a gay man.
[I]n light of Jamey's death - it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality, he wrote on his blog.
Many believe that Spirit Day should be a day to take action. Tommi Avicolli Mecca, who says he was bullied as a child, writes on his blog at Open.Salon.com that People already know about bullying. There's no need to have a day that is only about raising awareness, though reminding people about the problem is never a bad thing.
He suggests Oct. 20 as a day for both acknowledgement and response. Schools should hold children accountable for the cruel behavior they display towards others.
The nation responded in horror after news spread that Rutgers student Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge Sept. 22, 2010, after a video of him kissing another man streamed on the internet. Clementi's roommate had filmed him without his knowledge.
More suicides followed.
It is important to shed light on such a harrowing issue.
GLAAD promotes Spirit Day, emphasizing how simple it is to show you care. Participants are asked to simply go purple on October 20 as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.