October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and millions of people across the country, including the LGBT community and its allies, bring conversations about bullying and empowering youth to the top of the feeds.
Here are some of the numbers that illustrate why it’s so important right now to have the backs of young LGBT Americans:
While young people from all backgrounds are potentially vulnerable, LGBT youth face bullying and harassment at a disproportionate and unacceptable rate, according to a recent survey. Almost half of the young Americans surveyed said they had been targets of bullying. Even more shocking, many of them don’t report it because they fear nothing would change.
High-profile names come out to support LGBT youth
In the spirit of “When they go low, we go high,” the LGBT community and many allies have used their voices to elevate the conversation about acceptance and support for LGBT youth.
A growing list of high-profile entertainers and artists are calling attention to the issue of anti-LGBT bullying and spreading a message of acceptance. Some of the truly powerful statements from allies are the most personal and heartfelt. Recently, Kesha got very candid in a video for Vevo’s voter mobilization campaign Why I Vote. As she explained her POV on the urgent need to vote to protect equal rights, she also opened up about other personal experiences with bullying and marriage equality.
While we know Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus were at the front of the issue—both have helped launch projects focused on LGBT youth issues—the list of celebrity advocates continues to grow, giving the issue the attention it needs. This month, Wentworth Miller of TV show Prison Break offered a supportive message to LGBT youth in an interview. “I would say what others have said: it gets better one day, you’ll find your tribe,” he said to Attitude magazine.
On Spirit Day we wear purple
GLAAD, an influencer in media and entertainment when it comes to LGBT issues, is spearheading Spirit Day again this year. On October 20, millions join together by sporting purple to show unity with young LGBTs and to spread awareness of the need to prevent bullying. Fortunately, every year, involvement grows greater, ranging from schools and communities, to corporations and celebrities—online and offline.
While some great strides for LGBT equality have been reached in the past decade, the next generation is still in important need of acceptance and kindness. The movement to curb anti-LGBT bullying and harassment gets a big stage this month, but groups like GLAAD and other LGBT and ally events work as leaders year round for the safety and empowerment of young LGBTs.