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Lil Nas X receives The Trevor Project award for Suicide Prevention Advocate

Lil Nas X Trevor Project

Lil Nas X was awarded the inaugural Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award Wednesday from the advocacy group The Trevor Project. Photo: The Trevor Project.

Lil Nas X was awarded the inaugural Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award Wednesday from the advocacy group The Trevor Project.

The Trevor Project is the nonprofit dedicated to suicide prevention and crisis intervention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people.

The announcement was made on the start of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

The group cited Lil Nas X’s “openness about struggling with his sexuality and suicidal ideation, his continued advocacy around mental health issues, and his unapologetic celebration of his queer identity” in a press statement.

Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ video is super gay

In accepting the award, Lil Nas X said in part in the statement, “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,” he said.

In February, Lil Nas X shared a series of intimate TikTok videos documenting his life story, including his battle with depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation during his rise to fame.

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The following month, he penned a heartfelt letter to his 14-year-old self about coming out publicly to mark the release of “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” In the letter he states, “I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.”

In May, he released the music video for “Sun Goes Down” that depicts Lil Nas X uplifting a younger version of himself in high school when he was contemplating suicide and struggling to come to terms with his sexuality.

According to The Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.

Due to higher rates of discrimination, rejection, and social isolation, LGBTQ young people are at increased risk for negative mental health outcomes such as anxiety, depression, and seriously considering suicide.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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