With Spirit Day coming this Friday, October 19 , I thought it would be great to share this story which is one of many stories that reminds us of how important it is to keep speaking out against bullying. Spirt Day is when millions of Americans wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Although not a member of the LGBT, Amanda Todd‘s story was a heartbreaking example of how bullying can ultimately destroy lives.

As part of a new film project, in the following video, a transgender girl named Ali who just graduated from high school in Arkansas shares her story of growing up, the struggles, and how she found inspiration from Ellen DeGeneres.”All I’m doing is just doing what I view as what a girl would do, and they don’t like that.” She goes on to explain how she doesn’t understand how people go out of their way to be cruel: “I don’t understand why they feel the need to make someone’s life a living hell just when they don’t like it, why they feel the need to get involved in everyone’s business when it doesn’t pertain to them. I’m just another person in school.

Ali says she’s inspired by Ellen because “she’s a strong and confident woman, and she’s out and proud about who she is and she doesn’t care if people like it or not.” Thank you for sharing your story, Ali! Watch the video below.