October 20th, 2011
07:03 PM ET
In a colorful show of support for those who speak out against anti-gay bullying, the White House changed elements of its websites to a bright purple today in celebration of the second-annual Spirit Day.
Designed to be a mass expression of solidarity for the nation’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities, Spirit Day was created by a teenager named Brittany McMillan in 2010. It has again gone viral in 2011, a likely sign of Americans reacting to heartbreaking headlines about anti-gay bullying allegedly leading to suicides.
Today, White House staff tweeted about Spirit Day. They also changed the background of the iconic White House logo to purple on Facebook and posted an entry on the blog at WhiteHouse.gov to mark the occasion. In addition, social networking websites were peppered with purple-themed status updates, links, and profile pictures. Advocacy groups incorporated the color purple into fonts and page design, and also linked to the WhiteHouse.gov entry.
The White House blog entry also included postings of Administration YouTube videos produced last year as the emotional “It Gets Better” project gained steam all across the country. It was widely seen as a civil rights victory when President Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and other high-ranking officials posted talks encouraging gay youth to stay confident even in the face of bullying.
The White House says millions participated in Spirit Day last year. This year, celebrities like Ricky Martin also took part.