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This Wednesday, October 20th, GLAAD invites you to join us in supporting LGBT youth and remembering those lost to anti-LGBT bullying by participating in ‘Spirit Day’.

How to help:

Forward this e-mail to your friends, family and co-workers!
Wear some purple on Wednesday, October 20, 2010!
Click here to turn your Twitter profile pic purple now through October 20
Click here to turn your Facebook profile pic purple now through October 20 – then click on the new photo and click “Make Profile Pic”
On Wednesday, post this tweet: I’m wearing purple to end anti-LGBT bullying – make your profile pic purple today #SpiritDay http://glaad.org/spiritday
On Wednesday, post this Facebook status: I’m wearing purple today to support LGBT youth – make your profile pic purple today for Spirit Day at http://glaad.org/spiritday
Spirit Day, created by teenager Brittany McMillan earlier this month, has inspired millions of Americans to pledge to wear the color purple on Wednesday, October 20, 2010.

By wearing purple and participating in Spirit Day, you’ll show support for LGBT people and remember those teens who have taken their own lives as a result of anti-LGBT bullying.

TAKE ACTION: SUPPORT LGBT YOUTH

Purple symbolizes ‘spirit’ on the rainbow flag, an icon for LGBT Pride created by Gilbert Baker in 1978.

After receiving thousands of emails from concerned supporters, last week GLAAD worked with Facebook to remove hateful and violent messages on the Spirit Day Facebook event page.

GLAAD and Facebook also announced that we will continue to work together to combat homophobic cyberbullying. Click the image to watch the CNN segment.

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Someone asked me what do all the letters stand for? To paraphrase James Stockdale (Ross Perot’s 1992 VP running mate) who started and ended his political career with this sentence; “Who am I and why am I here?”, Who are we and how did we get here? Is it GLBT or LGBT? What does QIA stand for? And why are some people changing our name to Pride or even Queer?

As usual, politics is heavily involved in these decisions. GLBT stands for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender. The Q usually stands for Questioning, but sometimes Queer and sometimes we have QQ to represent both. The I stands for Intersex where the biological sex of male or female cannot be clearly defined. Historically, this once was referred to as Hermaphrodite as someone that had both male and female genitalia. The A stands for Allies, as in straight people that support us.

So, who comes first, G or L? Maybe this article from DC’s center will explain the politics behind this change.

Once you start segmenting the community into letters, you end up with a dispute over which letter comes first. This has caused some GLBT-LGBTQIA community centers to rebrand themselves under an all-inclusive word such as Queer. This doesn’t really solve the problem either because many people in the community are put off because they feel that word is offensive. It is, but the logic is by embracing that word, we desensitize it.

Here in Ft Lauderdale, we’ve avoided that political battle by becoming The Pride Center. That works as long as people don’t confuse us with The Pride Institute, Pride Factory, Pride Mortgage, or call us to clean their carpets thinking we are Pride Carpet Cleaning.

We could pick a non-offensive word that’s all all-inclusive, such as “Gay”. But proposing that would make my career as an activist as short-lived as James Stockdale’s political career.

What do you think?

-Steve

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