Gay teens honored on Spirit Day

Posted at 10/20/2010 1:38 PM | Updated as of 10/20/2010 1:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Purple is the color of the day today, October 20, worldwide, as a campaign on Facebook called for the celebration of Spirit Day.

It's a special day to honor 6 gay boys who recently voluntarily ended their lives as a result of bullying and homophobic abuse.

Various Facebook event pages for Spirit Day were put up. One such page dubbed "October 20th: Spirit Day", created by Tasha Gawkowski and Malcolm Zawacki, had 67,097 people "attending" as of 12:03 p.m. on October 20.

Another one titled "R.I.P.;; In memory of the recent suicides due to gay abuse, wear purple" had more than 1.5 million "attending" as of 12:22 p.m. on October 20.

"Purple represents Spirit on the LGBT 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. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools," wrote Gawkowski and Zawacki on the event page.

The photos of the 6 boys were shown on both of the Facebook pages.

 

Credit: October 20th: Spirit Day Facebook event page

 

They are: (top) Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh; (2nd row) Justin Aaberg and Raymond Chase; and (3rd row) Asher Brown and Billy Lucas.

Clementi was a talented violinist studying at Rutgers University who committed suicide last month after a video of him in a sexual encounter was posted on the Internet. (See story here).

According to Pink News, Walsh was just 13 years old when he took his own life last month due to alleged bullying. Chase, 19, hanged himself. Brown, 13, outed himself to his parents and then shot himself. Lucas, 15, also hanged himself. According to classmates, he was a victim of bullying.

A report posted on msnbc.msn.com said Aabert was 15 when he hanged himself last July due to alleged bullying.

Gawkowski and Zawacki called on people to stop the hate campaign against gays. "It is important that all this hate be stopped," they wrote on the event page.