October 20th, 2010
10:10 AM ET

iReport challenge: #BeAHero for gay teens

Editor's Note: Learn about the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010 and vote for the CNN Hero of the Year at CNNHeroes.com.


The recent rash of teen suicides has put a harsh spotlight on anti-gay bullying. It’s a problem throughout the world, as evidenced by today’s story about the Ugandan newspaper that published 100 pictures of gays and lesbians in the country and called for their hanging.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has dubbed today Spirit Day. The advocacy group is asking people to wear purple to show support for gay youth and “stand UP to the bullies.”

Here’s your “Be A Hero” challenge for today:

If you support the mission to end anti-LGBT bullying around the world, do one or more of the following:

– Put on purple, take a photo or video of yourself and upload it to iReport

– Change your Twitter profile or Facebook page to purple

– Tweet: I’m wearing purple to end anti-LGBT bullying. #spiritday #BeAHero

– Record a video for the “It Gets Better” YouTube project (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the latest to join the campaign)

Then tell us what you did in the comments.

Check back this afternoon for the results of today’s challenge.

soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. :D

    Supported!

    October 20, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • cool

      Just by believing in Adam and Eve, we can see how stupid you are, therefore, racist.

      October 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • gindenver

      I'm gay and I CAN reproduce, moron.

      October 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • gindenver

      ... and your grammar sucks.

      October 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Sutton

      Disobeying your parents is an abomination as well.

      October 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marco

      mmmm........ I'm gonna' have to pass on this one. But is the bullying really as bad as it's being portrayed, or is this becoming some new cultural phenomenon. i read a report years ago about how gays bully gays. It talked about how some gays were being dragged out of the closet by other gays when they weren't ready and this also had caused several suicides.

      October 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • smtwnguy

      TO KBFK and everyother letter in the alphabet-suggest to you that straight people stop having gay children.If born that way,screw upside down not right side up,if you are causing them to become gay,bone up on your parenting,and role model skills.Its all straight peoples fault !!! By the way has anyone told you in the last 10 minutes you are an idiot?

      October 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • rquin0612

      @ted, last i heard, Obama said he was Christian, not Muslim. Not every immigrant is Muslim, and not every person born from an immigrant is Muslim. Besides, this article has nothing to do with being Muslim or not, this was not a political action, it was a support day for the kids who have killed themselves due to bullying.

      October 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • andres

      i am wearing purple, my facebook pic is a purple ribon, in my status i am askign all of my friends to wear pruple today, a couple days before i posted on my friends walls reminding them to wear purple today and i will post a picture of me wearing purple later on.... STOP BULLYING... STOP HATE CRIMES...

      October 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Purple is a healing color. Leave it alone.
      Gays have high-jacked the "Civil Rights" term, bullying (a small % of the bullying) and now the color purple???
      Please

      October 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mehdi General Dr Bad

      Per Chance do you know where i cna Find Army Nurse Deborah Christiane D'Angelo From New Jersey?

      October 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustanAmerican

      I don't see why we should be rubber stamping something that we don't agree with? I feel that this day is nothing but a thinly veiled manipulation for individuals to support a gay lifestyle with the false guise of trying to stop bullying.

      Sure, bullying should be stopped for everyone – let's not just focus a group of people that have made a lifestyle choice

      October 20, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ~gypsyquest~

      "First they came for the immigrants, and I did not speak up, because I was not an immigrant. Then they came for the teenaged mothers, and I did not speak up, because I was not one of them. Then they came for the Gays & Lesbians, and I did not speak up, because I was not Lesbian or Gay. Then they came for the people of color, but as they left me alone, I did not speak up. Then they came for the Jews, the elderly, the radicals, the farmers, the 'disabled', the Trade Unionists, the poor, the artists... but I believed they were doing it for me, and I did not speak up. Then they came for me, and by then, there was no one left to speak up....."

      October 20, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. just-me

    and lots of kids and teens get bullied, but there isn't any attention on them. We need help fighting bullying period. Other kids are killing themselves b/c of it... Not just gays

    October 20, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Exactly. Why is the media just focusing on gay teens?

      October 20, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • ground2

      There is emphasis on all bullying and all teen suicides. CNN did a huge article on a young straight teen who killed herself due to bullying. October is ironically bullying awareness month. There is emphasis on specifically gay teen suicides because it's always been an acceptable form of bullying in our society; and now the gay community is taking a stand to say "enough is enough". ALL teens have a hard enough time figuring out who they are; ALL teens need a hero. The gay community is just standing up and doing something about it. Bravo!

      October 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      I'm pretty sure statistics show that gays have a disproportionate higher teen suicide rate. So if that is the case, the gays have every right to help stop bullying. This is not about special treatment. Every life, gay or not, has value and we need to protect young people from suicide as a result of bullying. A true Christian would jump on this cause without hesitation. It is not about some gay agenda. I can't believe how many people hate gays for no other reason than they simply don't understand them and maybe therefore fear them and justify belittling them. This strange behavior against gay people is really hate in its ugliest form, and anyone who condones hate should be ashamed of himself.

      October 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Gay male youth are ten times more likely to attempt suicide and make up over half of the youth suicides. Only an idiot would ask why there is so much attention being placed on this problem.

      October 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • SurRy

      I have heard about schools conducting anti-bullying education for many years. Perhaps you weren't paying attention.

      October 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • RIck

      Suray...I think they need to then step it up...cause it's not working...young people are suffering by taking and attempting to take their own lives just in case you haven't heard. What's with this cold tone people have about such an important subject of saving lives. What's wrong with you people? What's wrong with your parents and the way they raised you?

      October 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Also, there has been plenty of media coverage about bullying in general. At least, more than when I was in high school. Don't you get it? We're in the middle of a civil rights movement here. There are TAX PAYING, LAW ABIDING, AMERICAN CITIZENS who are being denied their rights because of backwards, hillbilly, rednecks like yourself.

      October 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • aaron

      Didnt you watch AC360 last week and larry king they had a whole week devoted to bullying. I wore purple today to show i cared. I really dont believe that it matters what someones desires are in the bedroom. I also dont approve of discrimination in any form. If someone is moronic enough to hate someone that i suppose is their right in this nation and it disgusts me. I however refuse to stoop to their level and hate them back.

      October 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      David, get ignored for decades and then ask me that question.

      October 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Enough with the fighting and arguing. Is it any wonder these kids feel so hopeless? Let's go back to if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. We learned that in preschool, or should have. If you don't support these kids, fine. You're more than welcome to your own opinion. But if your opinion makes someone else feel harassed or put down or less important, please keep your opinion to yourself. This goes for ALL our children – not just our gay kids. They need to know we support them and that bullying is wrong, and they'll never learn that if adults continue to bully one another online.

      October 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Michelle,

      You are right that we need to stop arguing. But one problem is that when "anti-gays" have expressed the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, "pro-gays" have attacked them and called them names. I don't mean to say one group is more responsible than the other, but it goes both ways. Many people feel threatened because their values on marriage are being attacked. It's scary for them.

      But, you're right. Let's stop bullying in general. No issue justifies it. Suicide can be prevented.

      October 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oklahoma29

      Isn't October also national gay month?

      October 20, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Victoria Webber

      I too am so very tired of hearing about gays-they are everywhere. I personally think they should just be quite. No should be bullied. It is so troubling to see so many teens who consider themselves as gay. I have a 8 year old son and I teach him that bullying is very wrong but I also teach him how to kick somebody's ass if they mess with him. Gay people learn how to fight cause you gonna need to if you keep marching around in your rainbow flags and purple ribbons. I am wearing all black today to represent the dying of so many beautiful young people normalcy.

      October 21, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. jos

    And bullying of any kind is wrong.

    October 20, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. gymmike1

    How about an end to just downright MEANNESS and UNACCEPTANCE of ANY kind... So terrible to see the world evolve around us... just not the people who live here.

    October 20, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • A Zero 2 Hero

      Unfortunetly gymmy, that isn't a wise possibility. Now hear me out before you start waving your pitchforks:
      General unkindness is actually needed to keep the peace of our world despite it's irony. The Yin-Yang symbolizes that: The darkness balances the light and the light balances the darkness. I admit that bullies and their internet counterparts, aka trolls, can go a bit too far in their drive most likely for attention, but it's this drive that gives other people drive to actually DO something. And when that so-called 'evil' proves too strong for one person, guess what happens: People Unite and Join Together despite several difference, all for the common goal. So in essence, it's the villian that creates the hero(s).

      However in spite of that, I'm in no favor to just specifying one type of bullying if we can fight them all. If we're going to campaign for such causes, we might as well associate it all together. It would at least make for some good entertainment ^_^

      P.S. Love the wordplay of the UnBully-Vable campaign.

      October 20, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ryan

    Here's how my friends and I are supporting anti-bullying activities! JOIN THE UNBULLY-VABLE movement! http://unbully.wordpress.com/

    October 20, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Elaine

    I can't believe all the haters on this comment page...

    October 20, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • SurRy

      I can. Where do you think the mean children come from? : (

      October 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jamie

      Ditto

      October 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Hmmmm . . . this country doesn't accept me. I'm a second class citiczen because of the way I love. Therefore, I don't think I should pay taxes. You know . . . sort of like the Xtians.

      October 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cody

      I agree David, that'd be a great idea. They'd wise up real quick when they realize what 10% of the tax income from we apparently 'less-than-citizens' pay them.

      October 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. crabman

    it's called the UNITED STATES burn their flag. tired of having this crap pushed in my face. bullying is a something every generation has a problem with. this is news why . how many teens die from drug use. NOT SUPPORTED GET OVER YOUR SELVES.

    October 20, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      No one cares what you say. Your words are antiquated and ignorant.

      October 20, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Tired-of-it

      I think you have a good point there crabby.........I think its ashame they are even afforded time in the press.

      October 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Flag-burning may be a little "over-the-top", but I agree with the rest of it. Bullying is a part of every day life. Everyone has had something to do with it in their lifetime, and not everyone committed suicide. Put up with it like the rest of us.

      October 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Adam Henderson

    What rude comments (the ones about put gays on an island, etc). I agree that bullying of all sorts needs to be stopped, not just for gays, but I also think that there is clearly a need especially to stop bullying of LGBT kids.

    October 20, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kathy

    Thank you for this wonderful iReport. It looks like all of the bullies are here commenting today. Well, here's a comment from a compassionate human being. I'm wearing purple, I'm showing my support.

    October 20, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Thank you Kathy! It does look like the bullies are out in full force.

      October 20, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      THANKS KATHY 🙂 Where it with pride 🙂 I've got my purple on today ❤

      October 20, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jose, SLC, Utah

      Thanks Kathy!
      Likewise. I work at a School District and am joined by my co-workers in wearing purple.

      October 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nickolas

      Thank you Kathy, We need many more like you!

      October 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gretchen

      Thanks Kathy! As a gay Christian woman who married my lovely wife two years ago, we salute you!

      October 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Midterm Youth Debate

    If you want to find out what the top political parties are going to do to stop anti-gay bullying, submit your questions to http://youthdebate.org .

    You can submit questions for the DNC/RNC party chairs until 8pm ET tonight.

    The RNC/DNC chairs will be answering the top 7 questions via video on October 31.

    October 20, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jake

    ERASE THE HATE!!!! Here is a site that some friends of mine have created in my hometown – GREAT campaign – many local companies are involved and offering their full support:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erase-The-Hate/158742307475779

    ERASE THE HATE!!!

    October 20, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. R.J.

    Proudly wearing purple ALL DAY for all of the bullied youth out there! If you're having a tough time, stay positive...life gets better!! Search out support and help from others who care and can love unconditionally. Hate can hurt your heart, but don't let it infect your mind. Be proud of who you are, how you are, and what you are...and don't take crap from a bigot!

    October 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tattoowes

    proud supporter of gays around the world in the words of bob marley "one love" i wish i could have done something to help these young people in life but will always remember them in death

    October 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tired-of-it

    As Ozzy put it........I'm Not Going Away........
    unfortunately its probably true for gays.

    October 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Adam

    The bullies are out today! Good. Read this: You know why these bullies have to dehumanize and demonize gay people? Because it helps them sleep at night. If their victims are sick, evil and depraved, then maybe all this bullying isn't so bad. Bullies can't change the past–the terrible things they've done will haunt them forever–and rather than do what's courageous and right, which is to modify their behavior to adapt to the widely-known fact that gay people don't choose to be gay and should be respected as human beings, they've done the easy thing: they've modified their OPINIONS to bring them in line with their evil actions. It's pathetic. They've been brainwashed by themselves, and they've become slaves to their own hate.

    To all the allies out there, thank you for wearing purple to show your willingness to combat this disease. To the bullies: what sad people you are. But it's not too late to do the right thing. God help you.

    October 20, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • kjcube

      "To all the allies out there, thank you for wearing purple to show your willingness to combat this disease. To the bullies: it's not too late to do the right thing. God help you."

      I agree with this. Everything else that you said is a gross oversimplification of what evil is and why people do the things they do. The way you say it makes light of evil by simply brushing it off as a Napoleon complex sort of thing. Don't underestimate hatred. It doesn't need a reason to exist. It will show up whenever and however it can regardless of whether or not it can be rationally explained away as some sort of "illness."

      October 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
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