Orange may in fact be the new black, but Laverne Cox, star of the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black" and the host/executive producer of MTV's upcoming "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word," will be lighting the Empire State Building purple on October 16.
The actress is teaming up with GLAAD, Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER) and castmembers from the upcoming documentary in lighting the building in honor of Spirit Day and National Bullying Prevention Month.
"Bullying was an unfortunate part of my daily reality growing up in Alabama,” said Cox, who advocates for transgender issues. “I am committed to doing what I can so that young people don't have to go through what I did. All of our children need to feel safe to be themselves at home, school and in our communities.”
According to GLAAD, eight in 10 LGBT students are harassed at school.
"National Bullying Prevention Month, which PACER initiated in 2006, was created to show those students being bullied that they are not alone and that communities care,” said Paula Goldberg, Executive Director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, in an annoucement for the event. “Lighting the Empire State Building in support of Spirit Day and this important month makes a powerful statement to young people across the U.S. that there are people all over the world who support them and want to prevent bullying."
On Spirit Day, October 16, advocates and allies are encouraged to wear purple to publicly display their united stand against bullying, and their support for LGBT youth. For the fourth consecutive year, MTV will turn all of its logos purple, and Viacom's Times Square screens will go purple, in addition to displaying anti-bullying messages.
"Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word," will air simultaneously on MTV and Logo TV on Friday, October 17, and follows several transgender youths, from a 12-year-old who switched schools when administrators refused to recognize her as a female to the first openly transgender Division I athlete.
Be sure to catch "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word" on MTV and Logo TV on Friday, October 17 at 7 p.m. ET. Then stick around for the aftershow immediately following on MTV.com.