Wear purple on Wednesday in memory of gay teen suicides

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After a spate of suicides among LGBT US teenagers, people across the world will wear purple tomorrow to honour their memory.

More than 1.3 million people have pledged on Facebook to mark ‘Spirit Day’, which was created by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan.

Ms McMillan wrote on the Facebook page: “It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in memory of the recent gay suicides.

“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. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality.

“Please wear purple on October 20th to remember all the lives of LGBTQ youth that have been lost due to homophobia. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbours and schools.”

Her initiative has also been championed by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which urged people to Tweet about the day and turn their Facebook profiles purple.

GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios said: “I will be wearing purple on Spirit Day. The tragic suicides of our youth have started an important dialogue among Americans about the dangers of bullying, and now is the time to show our children that millions of Americans accept and value them regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The day follows a YouTube campaign aimed at bullied gay teenagers, which encourages them to stay positive about the future.

It Gets Better was created by journalist Dan Savage and now has a host of celebrity supporters, as well as thousands of home videos uploaded by members of the public.

There have now been at least ten reported suicides of young men and women who were LGBT or were thought to be LGBT in the last month. Most were said to have suffered homophobic bullying.

They are:

Aiyisha Hassan, 19, of Marin County, California. She killed herself after struggling to come to terms with her sexual orientation.

Chloe Anne Lacey, 18, of Clovis, California. The trans teenager suffered depression and pressure to fit in with society.

Asher Brown, 13, of Texas, who shot himself on the day he came out to his parents

Seth Walsh, 13, of Minnesota, who died nine days after attempting to hang himself. He is said to have been bullied for being gay.

Billy Lucas, 15, of Indiana, who hanged himself. Classmates said he had suffered bullying.

Raymond Chase, 19, a student Johnson and Wales University, Rhode Island. He hanged himself in his dormitory. It is not yet known whether he had suffered bullying.

Tyler Clementi, 18, a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He jumped from a bridge after his roommate allegedly broadcast footage of him having sex.

Caleb Nolt, 14, of Indiana, who is said to have suffered anti-gay bullying.

Felix Sacco, 17, of Massachusetts, jumped from an overpass. Friends said he had been bullied.

Cody Barker, 17, of Wisconsin killed himself. He attended a support group for LGBT youngsters.