Shane Bitney Crone, LGBT Rights Activist, On The Importance of Spirit Day (VIDEO)

10/17/2013 10:09 am ET

The millions of people who chose to wear purple today -- October 17, Spirit Day -- are taking a stand against bullying and showing support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

In the video clip above, Shane Bitney Crone, whose heartbreaking video tribute to his late partner, Tom Bridegroom, went viral on YouTube, explains why wearing purple today holds a huge amount of weight.

Growing up in Montana, Crone says there wasn't anything like Spirit Day when he was in school. "I wish there was a day like Spirit Day, where it's cool to show you're OK with people being different," he says in the video. "You're OK with everyone being true to who they are. I'm just so glad that a day like Spirit Day exists now, because I think it really would have helped me."

Wearing purple, he explains, is more than a small gesture. "I'm telling you, it does [help], and I've heard from people that it helps them," Crone says. "If anything, just feel good about showing people that it's OK to be gay, it's OK to be who you are."

Crone is featured in the documentary "Bridegroom," which tells the story his relationship with his partner, Tom Bridegroom. After Bridegroom died in a tragic accident in 2011, Crone was completely ostracized by his partner's family members and found himself without any of the rights or protections a spouse would have under marriage laws. "Bridegroom," airing Oct. 27 on OWN, is a love story that opens a window into the issue of marriage equality and human rights.

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