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ACTION ALERT: Tell presidential candidates to join Spirit Day, support LGBT youth

(Editor's note: This post was originally published by SDGLN content partner GLAAD.)

Once, when I was in 7th grade, a few guys came up behind me while I was putting my books in my locker. They called me names and asked me why I even bothered to show my face at school because no one wanted to go to school with a lesbian. I tried to ignore them because I was afraid of what else they might say - and who else they might tell - if I stood up to them. When I went to leave, they pushed me against the wall. Then they slammed my locker shut on my hand, breaking my finger. I held back tears while I watched them run away laughing. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t know whom I could talk to about being gay.

This was long before the start of Spirit Day, and before it felt like our society really started taking bullying seriously. I, and kids just like me, have spent years of our lives afraid to say anything about bullying, because there was no effort to publicly show support for us. I've been there. I felt like no one cared. I felt alone.

I am asking President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, who is from my home state of Michigan, to wear purple on October 19th for Spirit Day.

Last year on Spirit Day I was so excited to see Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey wear purple on TV, see photos of Times Square lights in purple and feel supported by my friends on Facebook who changed their profile pictures to purple, and of course the students at my school who wore purple in support.

Last year millions of people told LGBT kids they are not alone – just by wearing purple. And who better to send that message than the two candidates trying to be the leader of our country?

If both of these influential men participate by simply wearing purple it will show LGBT teens like me that there are powerful people who care about us. I know what it’s like to feel alone, and seeing two of our country's political leaders show that they care about our lives could make a huge difference to. LGBT students, who are 3-5 times more likely to experience depression and attempt suicide than their counter parts. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney could take a big step towards ending that feeling of isolation.

This action could literally save lives.

Will you sign my petition asking the two Presidential candidates to wear some purple on October 19th?

And please join me and find out how to go purple for Spirit Day HERE.


-Katy Butler
Spirit Day Ambassador and Anti-Bullying Advocate

About Spirit Day

Millions of Americans wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Getting involved is easy -- participants are asked to simply "go purple" on October 19th as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are. Learn more & go purple HERE.