NEW YORK - Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, Nickelodeon's Avan Jogia, “Pretty Little Liars” star Shay Mitchell, NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, TV icon George Takei, and daytime talk show host of “The Wendy Williams Show,” Wendy Williams, will join GLAAD, hundreds of corporations, national landmarks, schools, local communities and millions of Americans in wearing purple for Spirit Day on Oct. 19, in a stand against bullying and to show their support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, it was announced today.

Supporters are encouraged to take the Spirit Day Pledge at glaad.org/spiritday

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation's second largest school district with more than 640,000 students in over 900 schools, will participate by sharing information about Spirit Day with students on its website and through its social media channels. The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) will also participate through social media.

Corporations including AMC Entertainment, AT&T, CNBC, Caesars Foundation, Carat, Citi, Delta Air Lines, Draftfcb, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard Company, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Omnicom Group, Publicis Kaplan Thaler, Publicis Groupe, Toyota Financial Services, Warner Bros., and Yahoo! will also participate in Spirit Day. Participating companies will distribute information to employees about wearing purple and/or turn their logo purple on October 19.

Participating national landmarks include the LAX Pylon Lights and the JFK traffic tower, both of which will turn purple on Oct. 19.

Local and national groups and organizations including the BULLY Project; Campus Pride; FriendFactor; the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN); GSA Network; the National Bullying Prevention Center by PACER; Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); Reaching Out MBA; Straight But Not Narrow; The Trevor Project; and Youth Empowered to Act (YETA) will all participate by wearing purple on Oct. 19, turning their social media channels purple, and encouraging members to participate.

For a complete list of celebrity participants, media outlets, TV networks, organizations and corporations visit glaad.org/spiritday. Additional participants to be announced.

In 2010, teenager Brittany McMillan called on her friends to wear purple as a way to memorialize those who lost their lives to bullying. With GLAAD's help, Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities, and even national landmarks. Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN's Ally Week, as well as National Bullying Prevention Month.

"Showing support for your friends, family and teachers can make all the difference in the world to young LGBT people, whether they are going through a tough time or not," said 17-year-old McMillan. "This year, Spirit Day is going to be bigger and better than ever, and I'm so thrilled to be going purple alongside some of my favorite celebrities, as well as millions of others in a united stand against bullying."

"By going purple for Spirit Day, millions of Americans are helping to send a clear message that no one should be bullied simply because of who they are," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.
 

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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