Spirit Day: October 21, 2021

October 18, 2021 | Katherine McG

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Spirit Day, which takes place on October 21, 2021, is celebrated every year on the third Thursday in October. It is a day to stand in support with 2SLGBTQ+ youth and to speak out against bullying. 

Spirit Day

With GLAAD leading the way, Spirit Day has become a worldwide campaign supported by millions, including multinational corporations, organizations like the NBA, NFA and celebrities such as Dan Levy, Céline Dion and Lilly Singh. On Spirit Day, which was established in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan, everyone is encouraged to wear purple (the colour purple or violet on the original rainbow pride flag represented "spirit"). Being kind to others and being proud of who you are is what the day is all about. 

One of the best ways to commemorate Spirit Day is to recognize and appreciate that each of us is unique, and every person should be celebrated for that uniqueness. As caregivers, it is important to acknowledge that the 2SLGBTQ+ community is a part of your child's world. Together as a family, you can learn more about topics such as homophobia, transphobia, bullying and pride. Here are a few recommendations and resources to help with that education and celebration.

Spirit Day Book

Spirit Day by Joy Yang (ages 3-7)

Our 2sLGBTQ+ Community

You Be You!

You Be You!: The Kid's Guide to Gender, Sexuality, and Family by Jonathan Branfman (ages 8-12)


The Big Book of LGBTQ+ Activities

The Big Book of LGBTQ+ Activities: Teaching Children About Gender Identity, Sexuality, Relationships and Different Families by Amie Taylor (for parents & caregivers)


Raising LGBTQ Allies

Raising LGBTQ Allies: A Parent's Guide to Changing the Messages from the Playground by Chris Tompkins (for parents & caregivers)

And find reading lists, collection highlights and more on tpl.ca/pride, our Pride Celebrations webpage.


Our 2sLGBTQ+ Families

A Family is a Family is a Family

A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O'Leary (ages 2-6)

I Promise

I Promise by Catherine Hernandez (ages 3-6)

Love is Love

Love is Love by Michael Genhart (ages 4-8, for parents & caregivers)


About 2sLGBTQ+ Discrimination

LGBTQ+ Discrimination

LGBTQ+ Discrimination by Rachael Morlock (ages 10-12, teens)

Homophobia deal with it

Homophobia: Deal with It and Turn Prejudice into Pride by Steven Soloman (ages 8-12)


Transphobia deal with it

Transphobia: Deal with It and Be a Gender Transcender by J. Wallace Skelton (ages 8-12)

Find out more about the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biophobia on TPL's Arts & Culture Blog.


Standing with 2sLGBTQ+ Youth

How to Stop Homophobic and Biphobic Bullying

How to Stop Homophobic and Biphobic Bullying by Jonathan Charlesworth (for parents & caregivers)

That's So Gay!

That's So Gay!: Challenging Homophobic Bullying by Jonathan Charlesworth (for parents and caregivers)


Growing Up Trans

Growing Up Trans: In Our Own Words edited by Kate Fry and Lindsay Herriot (ages 10-12, teen)


More books for parents and caregivers who are raising a transgender, non-binary, questioning or gender-creative child can be found on our shared list of Gender-Affirming Parenting Resources.


More on Bullying

Stand Up to Bullying

Stand Up to Bullying!: (Upstanders to the Rescue!) by Phyliss Kaufman Goodstein (ages 8-12)


The Survival Guide to Bullying

The Survival Guide to Bullying: Written by a Teen by Aija Mayrock (ages 8-12, teens)


You Can Stop Bullying

You Can Stop Bullying: Stand By or Stand Up? : You Choose the Ending by Connie Colwell Miller (ages 6-9)

Find out more about bullying on this previous Growing a Reader Blog post called "What an Awful Bully. Sad!"


Stories to Celebrate Wonderful You...

Remarkably You

Remarkably You by Pat Zeitlow Miller (ages 3-7)


I Will Be Fierce

I Will Be Fierce! by Bea Birdsong (ages 3-6)


Except When They Don't

Except When They Don't by Laura Gehl (ages 3-6)


Watch the replay of our Reading with Pride book talk on Crowdcast.


...and Colourful Too!

My Shadow is Pink

My Shadow is Pink by Scott Stuart (ages 4-8)


Rainbow Boy

Rainbow Boy by Taylor Rouanzion (ages 4-6)


Pride Puppy

Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson (ages 3-6)


You can also find Rainbow Storytime videos on our YouTube Channel

My Voice is a Trumpet

My Voice is a Trumpet by Jimmie Allen (ages 3-8)

Stand up, stand out, and stand together! And don't forget to wear purple on Spirit Day, October 21!