Student athletes at the University of Missouri explain why they're "going purple" for Spirit Day in this poignant new clip.
Created by Vito Cammisano, the video encourages viewers to show their support for bullied lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth on Oct. 15 by wearing purple. An estimated eight out of 10 LGBT youth say they've been bullied in the past year, so the gesture is perhaps more relevant than ever.
As to why she supports Spirit Day, which has been observed since 2010, one athlete explains, “Because my friend was gay and got teased for it.”
Cammisano, a veteran of the university's swimming team, told The Huffington Post that he felt compelled to create the video because "all LGBT youth deserve to feel accepted and comfortable being who they are." The 24-year-old, who is openly gay and now resides in Texas, said his Mizzou teammates helped immensely in his personal journey.
"When I was young, I was constantly fighting who I was. I did not think it was okay to be myself and an athlete," he said. "It was the amazing support I received from my teammates that give me the courage to be myself."
Head here to read more about Spirit Day 2015.
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