Words: Alastair James; pictures: YouTube
Lil Nas X has been awarded the inaugural LGBTQ suicide prevention advocate of the year award by the suicide prevention charity, The Trevor Project.
Making the announcement on Wednesday (1 September), the charity said the rapper’s vulnerability had helped create a safe space for people to have conversations and made many feel like they’re not alone.
‘Industry Baby’ hitmaker Lil Nas X, 22, has opened up about his own mental health and suicidal ideation before on social media.
“An outspoken and unapologetic advocate"
The Trevor Project’s CEO and Executive Director, Amit Paley, said they were thrilled to award Lil Nas X the award for being “an outspoken and unapologetic advocate for the LGBTQ youth community.”
The @TrevorProject is thrilled to honor @LilNasX with the inaugural Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award! Thank you @LilNasX for being an outspoken and unapologetic advocate for the #LGBTQ youth community. 🌈🌟🧡https://t.co/kvmWwmaJof pic.twitter.com/QoH7DSl2By— Amit Paley (@amitpaley) September 1, 2021
“His vulnerability in his journey to self-acceptance and expression has created space for candid conversations around mental health and sexual identity, signalling to LGBTQ youth that they are not alone,” Paley said.
The Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that 42 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. However, the charity also says LGBTQ celebrities positively impact over 80 percent of LGBTQ youth about how they feel being a part of the community.
In a statement, Lil Nas X thanked the charity for the award and their work. “Discrimination around sexuality and gender identity is still very real, and our community deserves to feel supported and totally free to be themselves.
“I often get messages from fans telling me about their struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, and it made me realize that this was something bigger than myself. If using my voice and expressing myself in my music can help even one kid out there who feels alone, then it was all worth it.”
In a series of videos the star behind ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ has opened up about his mental health over the last few years as he’s shot to fame. In one video Lil Nas X reveals that he contemplated taking his own life while his hit ‘Old Town Road’ was in the charts.
Reply to @reasonablyparanoid PART 4 🖤♬ STREAM CALL ME BY YOUR NAME BY LIL NAS X - lil nas x
His more recent hits such as ‘Montero’ and ‘Industry Baby’ have been praised by many for their depiction of homosexuality, especially in black men. Through his music and the accompanying videos, Lil Nas X has been defiantly queer, often encountering resistance from people on social media and some parts of the media.
In being so open he has demonstrated, as The Trevor Project has recognised, that people can be a part of the LGBTQ community, out, successful, and perhaps most importantly, happy.
If you need help contact the Samaritans on Call 116 123 for free or email [email protected]
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