The award, announced Wednesday, marks the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and aims to highlight the work that still lies ahead with regards to ending suicide among LGBTQ youth. In a statement to Complex, a Trevor Project rep noted that a recent survey found that 42 percent of LGBTQ youth have “seriously considered attempting suicide” in the past year.
X’s openness with fans, as well as his advocacy for mental health issues, makes him an ideal candidate for this honor from The Trevor Project. In a statement, the Montero artist thanked the organization for its continued hard work within the LGBTQ community and pointed to the discrimination still facing so many around the world.
“Thank you so much to The Trevor Project for this award and for all they do for the LGBTQ community,” X said in a statement shared with Complex. “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.”
The Trevor Project, founded in 1998 by the creators behind the Oscar-winning short “TREVOR,” stands as the top U.S. organization aiming to provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people.
“The Trevor Project is thrilled to honor Lil Nas X with the Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award,” Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director at The Trevor Project, said Wednesday. “His 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. The Trevor Project’s research shows that over 80% of LGBTQ youth say that LGBTQ celebrities positively influence how they feel about being LGBTQ, further affirming the cultural impact of Lil Nas X being proud of who he is and an ideal recipient of this inaugural award.”
For more info on The Trevor Project, including how to volunteer and a breakdown of education resources for teachers, click here.
If you or someone you know needs support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat, and/or by texting START to 678678.