Social media goes purple for Spirit Day to fight bullying of LGBTQ+ youth

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Thursday, October 17, 2019
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Spirit Day, the third Thursday in October, is meant to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ individuals affected by bullying.

One out of four children is bullied at school, but that number is much higher for youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. A 2017 study found that as much as 70 percent of LGBTQ+ students report being verbally harassed.

Spirit Day is an annual effort to turn social media purple to raise awareness of bullied LGBTQ+ youth. Supporters wear purple to work or school, posting photos with the hashtag #SpiritDay.

ABC7 and Walt Disney Television's month-long #ChooseKindness campaign also encourages individuals and communities around the country to help put an end to bullying by choosing kindness.

Millions of people have supported Spirit Day since it began in 2010 to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ teens who had taken their own lives after being bullied, according to GLAAD.

RELATED: How to talk to your kids about bullying

59.5 percent of LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation according to the 2017 study, conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. This bullying can lead to lower self-esteem, a lower GPA and less planning for college.

Here's a look at some of the celebrities, news personalities, brands and organizations going purple this year.

Want to show support? Go to GLAAD's website to take the pledge.