Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter Star, Speaks Out For Gay Suicide Prevention

Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images North America

Daniel Radcliffe, star of Harry Potter and Equus, says LGBTQ teens should “be proud of who you are.”  Radcliffe has made a PSA for the Trevor Project because of his passionate support of their work in suicide prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender teens, according to the Associated Press.  The Trevor Project is the premier organization offering 24/7 phone contact and counseling for queer youth who are struggling with whether they will take their lives. While performing Equus on Broadway in New York City, Radcliffe who is not gay, became aware of the alienation, depression, and homophobia facing so many LGBTQ youth.  The friendships he developed with the New York gay community were integral to his decision to support the Trevor Project financially, and then to commit himself to the filming of the PSA.  “I hate that problems like this exist in the world, but the Trevor Project will help,” Radcliffe said.  The fact that he is a major stage and screen star puts Radcliffe in a position to use his influence and fame to further efforts to stem the alarming rate of gay teen suicide, and he is not shy about using his celebrity to help.  Declaring that he believes homophobia and any form of discrimination to be “abhorrent,” Radcliffe urged others to join him in letting LGBTQ youth know that they are not alone.  “I have always hated anybody who is not tolerant of gay men or lesbians or bisexuals,” he added. “Now I am in the very fortunate position where I can actually help or do something about it.”  In a moment of charming self-deprecation, the Harry Potter star called himself “gently eccentric,” saying that his childhood in a theatrical family taught him to appreciate the gay men who were in the entertainment industry.  The PSA which was filmed Friday features Radcliffe giving the Trevor Project’s phone number and website information with an encouraging word to gay teens that they need not lose hope, ever.  It is due to air in the Spring, according to a story in The Advocate.  The Trevor Project was founded in 1998 by three filmmakers.  Their Academy Award-winning short film, “Trevor,” follows the story of a 13-year-old gay boy who comes to terms with his sexuality, nearly ending his life.  The response to the 18-minute short convinced the creators of the film to establish an organization offering phone counseling or just a safe place to talk to any youth contemplating suicide because of his or her sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity.  Now they have Harry Potter on their side.

February 28, 2010 Posted by | gay teens, LGBT teen suicide prevention, Media Issues, Popular Culture, suicide | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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