Brittany McMillan (now 18) is a self-acclaimed nerd, future elementary school teacher and depression survivor who started her anti-homophobic bullying campaign, Spirit Day, at age 15.
Brittany McMillan is an 18 year-old equal rights activist from Surrey, British Columbia. She has made several lists including The Advocate’s 2012 ‘Top 40 Under 40′ and The Daily Dot’s ‘Top 10 Online LGBT Activists in 2012.’ As well, she has been a runner up in the Me to We Canadian Living Awards (in the Social Action category) and Seventeen Magazine’s 2012 ‘Pretty Amazing Contest.’
In 2010, Brittany started her campaign Spirit Day in response to several LGBT teen suicides in September of that year. Through social media outlets, she asked people all around the world to wear purple to stand up to homophobic bullying and show support for the LGBT community. Brittany partnered with GLAAD, as well as several other major organizations such as The Trevor Project, the It Gets Better Project, the Human Rights Campaign and GLSEN to gather over 2 million participants. Every year since then, Brittany has run Spirit Day and this past year, Brittany celebrated Spirit Day in New York and over 4 million people worldwide wore purple.
Through Spirit Day, Brittany has had many amazing opportunities. She has been interviewed on television and radio and been written about in the newspaper. She has also been honored to walk to red carpet at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2012 alongside celebrities like Shay Mitchell, Diana Agron and Mario Lopez. In addition, she was asked to speak at the Media Awards and present an award to Facebook.
However, none of this would have been possible without the hardships suffered first. Throughout high school, Brittany suffered from depression and anxiety. She was bullied and verbally abused and eventually made several attempts on her life. But it was through these experiences that Brittany was able to stand up for what she believes in. Using her experiences and telling her story, she was able to gather support for Spirit Day and take a stand against bullying.
Upon graduating high school, Brittany was presented with the Stephen Godkin Humanitarian Award for her anti-bullying efforts and for the past year, she has worked full-time in a Children’s Centre. Brittany aspires to be an elementary school teacher as she claims that her very own teachers are responsible for the person she’s turned out to be. She starts post-secondary school at Douglas College in the Fall and hopes to study lots of medieval history and literature. In her free time, Brittany likes to read (books, fanfictions and comics), blog on Tumblr and eat.