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. entertained

    i love how our society has decided to focus on the impossible task of trying to keep people from offending each other rather than helping people grow some tougher skin to deal with the inevitable disappointments life has to offer. The reality is that life is full of disappointment. learn to deal with it.

    rather, let's perpetuate the idea that society is at fault for each person's unhappiness. personal accountability is a dying concept in our society. must be nice to live in the fantasy world where everyone is happy and no one is ever offended.

    October 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kaylin

    First off, I'm just going to say that if you are anti-gay then don't bother reading stories like these and posting comments. It's a waste of everybody's time. Now... me and my friends heard about this support day, and today we all dressed up in all the purple we own in support. I’m wearing purple to end anti-LGBT bullying. #spiritday #BeAHero

    October 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hope

    I am currently an exchange student in Belgium. I heard about this day to wear purple in order to fight discrimination and encourage acceptance. With my class, we dressed in purple and you can few the photos here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=156610257703931&v=photos&ref=ts
    With enough support, people will learn to accept, coexist with and tolerate people no matter their differences!

    October 20, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hope

      And also I wrote the story of my Spirit Day here: http://hope4humanity.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/purple-violet-mauve/

      October 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Garry

    Who CARES what some say..their hate has no affect on me..I learned a long time ago to IGNORE and move on with MY life. Hate is hate regardless of whether it is against, gays, blacks, Hispanics..etc, etc...life is short enough without having to face the ignorance and hate of some.
    Personally..I have been with the same life partner for 35 years..you learn about acceptance and non-acceptance..you don't like what CNN is putting out there, then don't frigging "click" on it and read it..if it makes you sick to your stomach or you feel it is being "pushed" in your face..once again, don't click on it and comment.
    Geezzz is that to hard to understand??
    And yes..I am wearing purple today where I work at the University..

    October 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • crabman

      i don't have to c l i c k on cnn to have IT shoved in my face and if you can deal with things maybe you could help the ones that think they're owed something

      October 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. scandor

    @ mightyherc if you hate anyone who "smokes pole" do you hate your mom, cuz she totally smokes poles usually dirty ones

    October 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Vic

    Wearing Purple. Hoping for a safer future for all LGBTQI kids.

    October 20, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Garry

    CRABMAN: There are many people around the world who "think" they are owed something. The gay community is asking for understanding and acceptance..if you can't do that..then why are trying to preach to folks who make comments in support of the agenda on here?? OBVIOUSLY you have a problem with gays/lesbians..okay fine
    Find something else to read on CNN if this makes you so mad...I am sure you could if you wanted to...

    October 20, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. StraightAway

    Yeah...I'm going to have to pass. Have fun stormin' the castle or bumpin' tacos or sitting on the pole.

    October 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kathleen

    "Come on people now. Smile on your brother. Everybody get together. Try to love one another, right now."

    October 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Terri

    I am not gay nor are my chiildren but we are wearing purple to support my daughters best friend. We support him and love him for who he is not what he is. We are all different – why don't we start looking at how being different is a good thing!!! Wearing purple and proud of the people it represents.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. aaron

    I am truly astonished at the amount of negative comments on this topic. I think that there are tens of thousands of gay youth out there who need to know that someone cares about them. I also believe that there are also thens of thousands of straight youth who also need the same attention. If we just reach out and let children know that whatever their choices are if they are not hurting others that we support them and truly care for them. If their actions hurt others we should still care enough about them to let them know tha their behaviour is unacceptable and to explain to them why and to guide them into a world that is more positive not just for themselves but for everyone. I still am at a complete loss of why what someones desires are in the bedroom has any affect on how they should be treated.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Johnny

    this is a great idea – but should have been published more. How are people supposed to know to wear purple, if the first time this seems to have shown up in the news is the day of??

    A little more PR would go along way...

    October 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. James

    Will not support gay teenagers. Tired of having this crap pushed in my face, now I have to put up with teenagers that think they are gay or maybe actually are. So much of this crap in the media, I wouldn't be surprised if teenagers thought being gay is cool so they'll try it because their tiny, underdeveloped brains are confused. Keep this garbage away from me and my family.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. samsteve

    ...everyone is beautiful: in their own way...

    October 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. austin lesbian

    Tyler- I admire your courage. When I was growing up we need did have the level of support groups you have today. Which is why I am wearing purple. Gay bullying is way different than being made fun of for being poor, overweight, or wearing glasses. Gay teens are 10x more likely to commit suicide. None of you straight people have any idea of what it's like to deal with these feelings that you cannot change. You can disagree and not understand it, but show some compassion. You have no idea what it's like.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
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