Top Ten Moments from #Spirit Day 2011

#10. The hosts on business channel CNBC go purple! The network opened wall street this morning wearing their #pride day best. It wasn’t just the hosts either, it was everybody from guests to good old wacky Jim Cramer. Of course, as part of the corporate establishment they’ve largely ignored the fact that there are thousands of rioting Americans just down the block from their Wall Street studios but hey it’s a start.

#9 Learning that former talk show host and John Waters alumni, Ricki Lake, was doing her part to support #Spirit Day by sporting a purple bathing suit and kicking back in the sun. Not that we have a problem with it, it’s just that we saw her tweet while working in a stuffy office at around ten this morning. (Mental note for next year #Spirit Day should be a national holiday. There might be less bullying if the whole country took a day and just chilled out in the sun wearing our purple bathing suits.)

#8. Finding out that a.l.p.h.a. (Allies Linked for the Prevention of HIV and AIDS) founder and executive director, Duane Quintana, may just have the most extensive #Spirit Day wardrobe collection in Boise. Exhibit number one: He posted on his facebook page that his “shirt, bracelet, socks, briefs, and tooth brush are PURPLE today, guess I must be okay with gay.” Quintana has been very busy lately trying to raise awareness about hate crimes in Boise, so we doubt he had the time to just go buy the purple briefs the night before. Give him some love for his 2011 holiday facebook wish to help out a.l.p.h.a.

#7. Talk about a trail blazer, wearing purple is nothing new for CNN’s Anderson Cooper. He was sporting the #Spirit Day attire on national TV at the age of nine. He toned it down just a tad for #Spirit Day 2011 and chose to go with a bold and a sexy purple tie for his new talk show and for 360.

#6. Millions discover that mobile cams have a hard time telling the difference between purple and blue. Don’t worry you were the only one on facebook who looked like they were going to a #Smurf Day festival. Apparently purple hues are always a problem for photographers because purple is not a color of light but rather a color of pigment and the human mind. In other words, your iphone has a really hard time seeing #Spirit. It’s ok though, it still supported us with an official 2011 #Spirit Day app.

#5. For only the second time in its 30 year history MTV changed it’s iconic logo to share it’s support of #Spirit day. The not-so-much music Television also decided to think “really big” with its support by lighting MTV 44 and ½, the jumbotron in Times Square, purple for the day. Now if we could only get them to play a Cher video once in a while…

#4. Your favorite talk show host supported #Spirit Day. From Doctor Phil to Reggis and Kelly, even Nancy Grace was rocking the purple. The winner for the best national address for the second year in a row, though goes to Ellen DeGeneres. (See video below.) Late night, Conan O’Brien and Craig Ferguson also showed their support.


#3. Even the White House got into the act. The official White House Twitter and Facebook accounts were both purple. There’s a special #Spirit Day message on the official White House blog. Expect Sean Hannity to take to the airwaves tomorrow and cry about Obama defacing government property or some other crazy anti-gay rhetoric.

#2. Discovering that Idaho looks GREAT in purple. From supporting the Boise Loves project to dressing our dogs up, everyone who got involved and showed their support for #Spirit Day deserves a big pat on the back. Also a big shout out to our allies who were courageous enough to deck the purple in a state where even for most of us coming out isn’t easy. Thank you! Let’s send a loud message to Idaho Lawmakers that we are tired of harassment and intolerance by asking them to add “Sexual orientation and gender identity” to the Idaho human rights act. If you haven’t sent, texted, emailed, or facebooked a sticky note could you take a few seconds and do it now? Lets keep Idaho Purple forever!

#1. Watching a simple idea change the world. Brittany McMillan, the 16-year-old who started #Spirit Day with a post on her tumblr last year offered this advice for #spirit day 2011:

“If you hear someone say, “That’s so gay,” don’t let it go. Even if the person is a complete stranger, tell them that you don’t appreciate what they’re saying. If your friends use that phrase, don’t be afraid to tell them not to. I reprimand my classmates and friends all the time. Eventually, I got through to them and now most of them don’t use the word whether I’m around or not.

If you let people know how homophobic behavior makes you feel, they will always be conscious of it, and there is nothing like the feeling of guilt to stop a bad habit.

My last piece of advice is to stand by your friends and family members. Coming out is a big deal. It takes a lot of courage – especially for high school students – to reveal your sexual orientation knowing that you will most likely be picked on.

If someone you know chooses to tell you that they are LGBTQ, let them know that you accept them. Being one of the first to know should be a wonderful experience because it means that person trusted you enough to take that information, accept it and support it.

The worst thing you can do is leave your friend behind when they’re in a vulnerable place in their lives. They need your support. They need to know that you care about them and that their orientation changes nothing about them, because it honestly doesn’t. While what you know of their orientation may change, their personality doesn’t. Their favorite color is still the same. They still laugh at the same jokes. Nothing has changed except your knowledge. “

(Read the full interview with here)


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