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Sep 10 2018
Today Is World Suicide Prevention Day Comments (0)

 

The Flag_Olly_Landscape_Clean(Image via The Flag We Shouldn't Be Proud Of)

I have not known anyone closely who has committed suicide, but its spectre is all around — not only in the media, via high-profile suicides, but also in the LGBTQ community.

A young person I think the world of opened up to me about his past suicide attempts and it really jolted me. I think a lot of older gay people are stuck in the mindset that Will & Grace fixed things and that being gay is not as big a deal as it used to be. That show and many other things in the culture helped immeasurably, but the fact remains that there is still a deep-seeded stigma attached to being gay or bi or trans or non-binary, anything that is not straight 'n' narrow.

In the U.K., musician and actor Olly Alexander is joining up with Gay Times to address the issue of LGBTQ youth taking their own lives with a campaign called The Flag We Shouldn't Be Proud Of. The campaign uses a desecrated LGBTQ Pride flag to show the impact of suicide on our community, and it's quite an arresting visual (see top of this post).

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the LGBTQ Pride flag, this is a potent reminder that not all of us are making our full journies. Watch Olly's spot here:

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has also chimed in, saying:

I’m proud that London is a symbol of diversity and progress, but we know too many young LGBTQ Londoners experience poor mental health and discrimination. We need to do much more and I’m delighted to back Gay Times in trying to raise awareness of LGBTQ youth suicide. The wellbeing of our young Londoners is vital if we are to build a healthy future for our capital, and I’m determined that all communities feel able to speak openly about their mental health and access the support they need.

Love each other.

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