Turning Facebook Profile Pics Purple
10/19/2010 - 22:24
Rabbi Jason Miller
Status Updates & Profile Pics to Support Causes
Status Updates & Profile Pics to Support Causes

 As Facebook has become more popular (500 million people is popular, right?), there have been several status update gimmicks. Some are just to be fun (dopplegangers) and others are funny with a cause (women posting their bra color in support of breast cancer research).

Now, the gay-rights organization GLAAD has come up with the idea of making your Facebook profile pic purple in support of LGBT Youth.

Calling October 20 "Spirit Day," GLAAD wants Americans to wear purple in real life and to make their Facebook profile pics purple. GLAAD has joined millions of community members and allies to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth by participating in Spirit Day and remembering those teens who have taken their own lives as a result of bullying.

Spirit Day, created by teenager Brittany McMillan earlier this month, now counts millions of Americans committed on Facebook to wearing the color purple on Wednesday, October 20, 2010.

In addition to wearing the color purple, GLAAD is also asking Americans to turn their Facebook and Twitter photos purple until Wednesday and to share messages of support for LGBT youth. More information on the free application and suggested messages are available at the GLAAD Spirit Day website.

"I will be wearing purple on Spirit Day," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "The tragic suicides of our youth have started an important dialogue among Americans about the dangers of bullying, and now is the time to show our children that millions of Americans accept and value them regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

Purple symbolizes 'spirit' on the rainbow flag, a symbol for LGBT Pride that was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The goal of Spirit Day is to show LGBT youth who are victims of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment that there is a vast community of people who support them. As the event’s Facebook page says: "This event is not a seminar nor is it a rally. There is NO meeting place. All you have to do is wear purple."

Last week after receiving thousands of concerned e-mails from constituents, GLAAD worked with Facebook to develop a solution to address violent and hateful anti-LGBT comments posted to a Spirit Day Facebook event page. That page now has over one million people confirmed to participate.

With half a billion users, look for Facebook to continue to use its networking muscle in support of global causes.

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