Harry Potter and the Quest to Prevent LGBTQ Teen Suicides
Young actor Daniel Radcliffe, who shot to fame playing everyone’s favorite teen wizard Harry Potter, has been a long time supporter of The Trevor Project, a leading national organization that focuses on crisis and suicide prevention efforts for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Now, Radcliffe has stepped up his advocacy, creating a public service announcement to publicize the charity.
Here is an Associated Press interview with Daniel, where he talks about his reasons for supporting The Trevor Project:
In August 2009 Radcliffe reportedly donated a large sum of money to The Trevor Project, the total of which was never disclosed. At the time, Radcliffe made this statement:
“I am very pleased to begin my support of The Trevor Project, which saves lives every day through its critical work.
It’s extremely distressing to consider that in 2009 suicide is a top three killer of young people, and it’s truly devastating to learn that LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
“I deeply hope my support can raise the organisation’s visibility so even more despondent youth become aware of the Trevor helpline’s highly trained counsellors and Trevor’s many other resources.
“It’s vitally important that young people understand they are not alone and, perhaps even more important, that their young lives have real value.”
The Trevor Project itself was set up in 1998 by three filmmakers, James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski, and Randy Stone, who together also won an Oscar in 1995 for their 1994 film Trevor which tells the story of a suicidal gay teenager. The Trevor Project continues today as a vital resource for America’s LGBT and questioning youth.
Established in 1998 to coincide with the HBO airing of the award winning short film, Trevor, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, The Trevor Helpline is the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
The Trevor Helpline is a free and confidential service that offers hope and someone to talk to, 24/7. The Trevor Helpline’s trained counselors will listen and understand without judgment. If you or someone you know would like to talk to one of our highly trained counselors, dial 866-4-U-TREVOR.
It’s great to see Daniel Radcliffe showing such passion for this cause, and all the better that he is a straight ally whose role in the Harry Potter franchise will allow him to speak directly to a teen LGBT and questioning audience to let them know about the vital and life saving work that The Trevor Project is involved in. The fact that Radcliffe’s advocacy is being highlighted just before the Oscars, which are on Sunday, March 7, really delivers a powerful message that people in the public eye can use their celebrity and fame in beneficial ways.
Related to this, Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black, who won Best Original Screenplay for his film Milk in 2009, is also involved in The Trevor Project, having become a member of its board of directors. Milk tells the story of politician Harvey Milk and the battle he fought to become California’s first openly gay elected official.
At this year’s Oscars, Colin Firth is up for the Best Performance by an Actor award for his turn in A Single Man, the story of an English professor who takes a day to prepare for his suicide finding that his life is unbearable after his male partner, with whom he had a relationship with for sixteen years, is tragically killed in a car crash.
In the lead up to the 87th Academy Awards, Care2 will be bringing you more coverage of the event and how it relates to other important Causes stories, so look out for those this week!
And, just to repeat that number again, The Trevor Helpline number is 866-4-U-TREVOR.
Trevor Project Links:
- Follow the Trevor Project on Facebook
- Follow the Trevor Project on Twitter
- Volunteer for the Trevor Project
Care2 and the Oscars: