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

Dustin Lance Black & Neil Patrick Harris Elected to Trevor Project Board

Dustin Lance Black, Neil Patrick Harris, The Advocate photo

The Trevor Project, founded a decade ago to prevent LGBT teen suicide, announced Tuesday that Dustin Lance Black, 2008 Academy Award Winner for the screenplay of Milk, and Golden Globe nominee Neil Patrick Harris have joined the Board of Directors of the non-profit corporation.  The Advocate reports that Charles Robbins, executive director and CEO of the Trevor Project hailed the news that these two prominent gay men have accepted spots on the board in a prepared statement to the press:  “Because Dustin Lance Black and Neil Patrick Harris have already demonstrated their tireless commitment to LGBTQ youth and The Trevor Project, we are thrilled to welcome them to our leadership team,” Robbins said.  “As prominent members of the entertainment community, they will certainly help raise awareness about The Trevor Project’s programs and their insight will be invaluable as we work to empower young people with the crisis intervention skills and suicide prevention resources they need.”  The bios posted on non-profit’s Board of Directors web page chronicled the qualifications each of them brings to the work of LGBT teen suicide prevention.  Black, the bio notes, was honored in 2008 with The Trevor Hero Award, which annually honors an individual who, through his or her example, support, volunteerism and/or occupation, is an inspiration to LGBTQ youth.  Black, who was the motive force behind the Oscar-winning movie on the life of slain gay rights leader, Harvey Milk,  said, “All of the work we’re doing today to win LGBT equality is for these young people’s futures. So it is vital that we insure they survive today’s challenges so they might know tomorrow’s freedoms. I’m honored to have the opportunity to continue and expand my involvement with this lifesaving organization as a member of the Board of Directors.”  Neil Patrick Harris, star of Dougie Howser, M.D., Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, and successful host of recent Emmy Awards and Tony Awards ceremonies, was given the 2009 Trevor Life Award, based on his efforts to support and inspire LGBT youth around the world.  Harris expressed his enthusiasm for being elected to the Board of Directors, saying, “I’ve been a longtime supporter of The Trevor Project, and I’m excited to become even more actively involved in raising awareness of its unique and vital mission. I hope that my involvement with The Trevor Project will help bring attention to the need for effective crisis and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth nationwide.”  The addition of these two important figures in the entertainment industry will continue to life the profile of the Trevor Project.  LGBT teens are three to seven times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. Bullying in schools is the largest single cause of gay teens taking their own lives in America.

January 13, 2010 Posted by | Bullying in schools, gay men, gay teens, LGBT teen suicide prevention, Popular Culture, Social Justice Advocacy | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dustin Lance Black & Neil Patrick Harris Elected to Trevor Project Board


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