Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are expected to wear purple today in a campaign to mark the recent spate of suicides of LGBT teens due to homophobic bullying in the US.
By Wednesday morning 1.5 million people had joined the Facebook page promoting the campaign.
“It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools,” reads the page.
The page was created by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan in honour of Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas.
“Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit,” she wrote.
The campaign has been endorsed by many LGBT groups, including the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in the US.
The organisation urged people to wear purple on Wednesday and to change the colour of their Twitter or Facebook profile pictures to purple.
“Wearing purple on October 20 is a simple way to show the world that you stand by these courageous young people and a simple way to stand UP to the bullies. Remember those lives we’ve tragically lost, and show your solidarity with those who are still fighting. ‘Go Purple’ today!” said GLAAD.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton added her voice to the “It Gets Better” campaign against the bullying of LGBT teens in a video message.
“Take heart. And have hope. And please remember that your life is valuable, and that you are not alone. Many people are standing with you and sending you their thoughts, their prayers, and their strength. Count me among them,” she said.