LGBTQ suicide prevention organization The Trevor Project has just named Lil Nas X the Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year. The honor, announced today (Sept 1), marks the group’s first time giving such an award. The timely announcement arrives on the first day of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Back in February, Lil Nas X spoke up about his depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Since then, he has continued to unapologetically release outspoken singles, music videos, and LGBTQ rights, which has been met with with copious amounts of heavy criticism. He still bravely pushes on, constantly repping his fellow queer Black individuals proudly.
“Discrimination around sexuality and gender identity is still very real, and our community deserves to feel supported and totally free to be themselves,” Lil Nas X said in a statement. “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.”
The CEO and executive director at The Trevor Project, Amit Paley, also spoke about the reasoning behind the decision. “(Lil Nas X’s) vulnerability in his journey to self acceptance and expression has created space for candid conversations around mental health and sexual identity, signaling to LGBTQ youth that they are not alone,” Paley said in a statement.
The Trevor Project found that 42% of LGBTQ youth this past year seriously considered attempting suicide. more than 80% say LGBTQ celebrities positively influence their feelings around their LGBTQ identity.
Along with the release of his “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” single a few months ago, Lil Nas shared a letter he wrote to his younger self. “I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist,” the letter reads. It’s safe to say young Lil Nas would be proud of his present-day self.