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Annual Spirit Day Aimed At Ending Anti-LGBT Bullying

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Thursday marks Spirit Day, when people are urged to wear purple in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids.

Spirit Day, organized by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, has drawn the support of celebrities, corporations and television shows in recent years. The initiative is aimed at ending bullying.

James Clementi, whose younger brother Tyler killed himself after being spied on during a sexual encounter in his Rutgers University dorm room, said Spirit Day is important.

"They can feel very alone in the school environment and I think that's the most important thing about Spirit Day is you're really sending a message to those kids that they are not alone," Clementi told WCBS 880's Jim Smith.

Annual Spirit Day Aimed At Ending Anti-LGBT Bullying

Clementi said over the past few years, progress has been made to get bullying out in the open. As a result, he said awareness efforts like Spirit Day keeps getting larger.

"The more people that join and the more of our voices we add to this conversation, the faster that change is made," said Clementi. "It's really an opportunity for teachers and classmates who really do believe in everybody being equal and everybody in a school environment being accepted and being free."

Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers freshman, jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge in 2010.

His roommate, Dharun Ravi, was convicted last year of 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation.

"Society is moving in the right direction and it's really unfortunate that it often takes horrible tragedies and horrible losses," said Clementi.

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