Laverne Cox, Emmy-nominated star of Orange is the New Black and producer of the MTV/Logo special Laverne Cox: Presents the T Word, will help turn the lights of the Empire State Building purple on October 16 in honor of Spirit Day and National Bullying Prevention Month.
Spirit Day was launched in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan, as a way to show support for LGBT youth, after a rash of highly publicized suicides of young gay people, including Tyler Clementi.
Purple was chosen because, on the Pride flag, the color symbolizes “spirit.”
On October 16, celebrities, politicians, schools, houses of worship, sports leagues and millions of everyday individuals will wear purple to show support for LGBT youth.
MTV, Logo TV, MTV2 and mtvU will turn all their on-air and online logos will change color as well. In addition, Viacom’s Times Square screens will turn purple and run anti-bullying messages throughout the day.
Cox will be joined at the ESB lighting by GLAAD and several young people profiled on The T Word, which explores the lives of trans youth in America.
“Bullying was an unfortunate part of my daily reality growing up in Alabama,” says Cox. “I am committed to doing what I can so that young people don’t have to go through what I did. All of our children need to feel safe to be themselves at home, school and in our communities.”
Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word premieres on MTV and Logo on Friday, October 17, at 7pm.