White House Recognizes Spirit Day In Support Of LGBTQI+ Youth, Domestic Abuse Survivors
More than half of transgender and nonbinary youth have considered suicide.
October 21, 2021 at 7:29 pm
In honor of Spirit Day, which is recognized on Oct. 21, the Biden Administration showed its support for the LGBTQI+ community and domestic abuse survivors. Principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre delivered the administration's message at the daily press briefing on Thursday, saying "We support you and we love you."
"The president said his proudest legislative accomplishment is championing the Violence Against Women Act, which transformed the nation's response to domestic violence and was passed, then reauthorized three times on a bipartisan basis," the deputy press secretary said.
Biden, according to Jean-Pierre, is calling on the Senate to move swiftly "in a bipartisan manner" to reauthorize the legislation and "strengthen its protection for all survivors."
October 21 is recognized as Spirit Day. Principle deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre expresses the Biden administration's support for the LGBTQ community and domestic abuse survivors: "We support you and we love you." pic.twitter.com/D2XbFfd8Zc
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 21, 2021
Jean-Pierre said she is joining dozens of people around the world who are wearing purple on Spirit Day to show support for domestic violence survivors and the LGBTQI+ community.
"I can only hope that young people who might be watching or see clips of this briefing will know that they are supported and represented in the highest levels of government today," she said. "Our administration stands with you."
According to Out, Spirit Day originated in 2010 after a high school student named Brittany McMillan, who was tired of seeing tragic stories about queer youth, wore purple to show support for the community. McMillan posted the idea on her Tumblr and encouraged others to join the movement.
“It’s been decided. On October 20th, we will wear purple in memory of the recent gay suicides," the student wrote. "Many of them suffered from homophobic abuse in their schools or in their homes. We want to take a stand to say that we will not tolerate this. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit."
The White House states that LGBTQI+ youth "disproportionately face bullying and harassment."
"A majority of LGBTQI+ youth in middle or high school were bullied last year," Jean-Pierre said. "Even more, 70% heard homophobic remarks from teachers or school staff. And 75% have experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in their lifetime."
Highlighting the serious consequences of harassment, the deputy press secretary said "more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth have seriously considered suicide in the past."
Biden's administration is calling on the Senate to pass the Equality Act, which is designed to provide "long overdue federal civil rights protections to LGBTQI+ Americans and their families."