The world turns purple for Spirit Day 2022

Spirit Day was an initiative launched in 2010 to honour LGBTQ+ youth who have died by suicide.

Split image with a picture of the Empire State Building in purple for Spirit Day 2022 on the left, and a photo of Drag Queen Jujubee on the right.
Image: Left: Via Instagram: lee_burns Right: John Lamparski/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust.

Purple Rain is taking on a whole new meaning today, with the world going purple to mark Spirit Day 2022. As news about book bans, sports bans and bathroom restrictions seems to have no end, support for the queer community is essential, and the occasion presents an opportunity to show solidarity with LGBTQ+ youth worldwide. To mark the day on October 20, millions will wear purple, with many using the hashtag #SpiritDay on social media. But why purple? On the rainbow flag, the colour purple represents spirit.

What is Spirit Day, you might ask? Here is everything you need to know:

It all began back in 2010 with a Canadian teenager named Brittany McMillan, who wanted to respond to a string of widely publicised bullying-related suicides of queer students with a day of love and hope. McMillan teamed up with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) to create the first Spirit Day.

Speaking about the holiday, McMillan said, “Ultimately, I want Spirit Day to make just one person feel a little bit better about his or herself, to feel safe enough in their own skin to be proud of who they are.”


Ahead of Spirit Day 2022, American organisation GLAAD has published concerning statistics about well-being among LGBTQ+ youth. Over 76% of queer students have reported being verbally harassed at school, with 86% reporting the negative impact on well-being caused by recent politics. 

This year, there is a star-studded list of celebrities, corporations and organisations that plan to go purple for the day. Among them are Aly & AJ, Jonathan Bennett, the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the Stonewall National Monument, and even the Empire State Building! RuPaul’s Drag Race legend Jujubee is set to host a ceremonial lighting at the New York historical landmark. 

So, go raid your closet to find all things purple, whether it’s a knitted sweater or your favourite pair of purple crocs, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #SpiritDay on social media to commemorate the occassion.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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