Prince William has become the first Royal to appear in the popular LGBT+ Attitude magazine, making the statement that ‘no one should be bullied for their sexuality’.
The cover and interview stems from a meeting which took place mid-May, and features in the upcoming July edition of the publication, available next week, on 22nd June.
The Duke of Cambridge invited Attitude magazine and members of the LGBT+ community to Kensington Palace. He wanted to hear about experiences of homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying and to then discuss the mental health implications of such behaviour; mental health is a cause William, Kate and Harry help through the Royal Foundation, their charitable vehicle.
The LGBT+ community continues to suffer disproportionately from mental health issues, with bullying also a big issue, particularly in school. Statistics show higher levels of self-harm, attempted suicide: 33.9% of young LGB people had made at least one suicide attempt compared with 17.9% of young straight people; and 57.1 % of LGB people had self-harmed at least once compared with 38.3% of heterosexual young people. 85.2% of trans young people had self-harmed – making for shocking reading, it is no surprise William wants to be involved in changing this.
Prince William got the chance to speak with some people who have experience low self-esteem, attempted suicide, eating disorders, depression and drug addiction due to bullying because of their sexuality.
Leigh Keily took the photograph of the Duke for the cover, which marks the first time any member of the Royal Family has been photographed for the cover of a gay publication.
Prince William made the following statement: “No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason and no one should have to put up with the kind of hate that these young people have endured in their lives.
“The young gay, lesbian and transgender individuals I met through Attitude are truly brave to speak out and to give hope to people who are going through terrible bullying right now. Their sense of strength and optimism should give us all encouragement to stand up to bullying wherever we see it.
“What I would say to any young person reading this who’s being bullied for their sexuality: don’t put up with it – speak to a trusted adult, a friend, a teacher, Childline, Diana Award or some other service and get the help you need. You should be proud of the person you are and you have nothing to be ashamed of.”
Attitude editor Matthew Todd spoke of the interview: “During my time as editor of Attitude I have met parents whose child has taken or lost their life after being bullied for being LGBT+ or just perceived to be LGBT. I am very happy that the future King of the United Kingdom agrees this must stop and I would urge parents in particular to raise their voices in their communities to ensure that every school protects – really protects – all children.”