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Do you believe bullying is a bad thing? So does our diocese. Since 2011, the Diocese of San Joaquin has observed Spirit Day, which falls on the third Thursday of October. We have done this by designating the Sunday closest to Spirit Day as "Spirit Sunday," and encouraging everyone to "go purple," both in liturgical color and attire. This year, Spirit Sunday is October 18th, and everyone is, once again, encouraged to "go purple" and to tell others why. This simple gesture serves two purposes. It reminds us of the suffering felt by LGBT (and other) youths who are bullied, and the numbers are staggering, and lets them know that we have their backs.

What is Spirit Day, you ask? The following excerpt from the website explains in quite nicely. 

What is Spirit Day?

Spirit Day began in 2010 as a way to show support for LGBT youth and take a stand against bullying. Following a string of high-profile suicide deaths of gay teens in 2010, GLAAD worked to involve millions of teachers, workplaces, celebrities, media outlets and students in going purple on social media or wearing purple, a color that symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag.

Spirit Day now occurs every year on the third Thursday in October, during National Bullying Prevention Month, and has become the most visible day of support for LGBT youth.

This year GLAAD will celebrate Spirit Day on October 15 where we will all stand together; communities, corporations, celebrities, landmarks, faith groups, sports leagues, schools and so much more, to send a message of solidarity and acceptance to LGBT youth.

Where did the idea come from?

An amazing teenager, Brittany McMillan, wanted to remember those young people who lost their lives to suicide and to take a stand against bullying.

Who participates?

Students, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals, celebrities, parents and many more. Everyone from Oprah to Cher to Facebook and MTV have gone purple for Spirit Day. Even the White House joined the cause.


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