Drag icon Courtney Act has chosen Indigenous LGBTI suicide prevention organisation Black Rainbow as her charity on Network 10’s revival of Dancing with the Stars.

Act burst out of the gates on the show’s first episode, landing the week’s best score for her performance and making her an early frontrunner.

On the show, each celebrity competes for a trophy and on behalf of a chosen charity with $50,000 for their cause up for grabs. It was announced this week that Act would be competing on behalf of Black Rainbow, OUTinPerth reported.

Act hopes that she can at least raise awareness of the issue and the work Black Rainbow is doing, and ideally win the money for one of the only organisations responding to the specific needs of Indigenous LGBTI people.

“In 2019, it’s really important to be thinking outside your box,” the Drag Race runner-up and Celebrity Big Brother UK winner said.

“Minority identities intersect and I think the way we can get ahead is by reaching across the threshold and using our own privileges to support each other.”

Black Rainbow’s founder Dameyon Bonson gave a speech last year detailing his difficulties in getting politicians to respond to the neglected issue of suicide among Indigenous LGBTI people.

“What may shock and surprise you are that there is also homophobia in Indigenous health.

“It is within Indigenous health where Indigenous queers have been ignored, excluded and erased. Similarly, racism also exists in queer health literature,” he said.

“The absence of Indigenous LGBQTI people from Indigenous health is supported by the ongoing structural exclusion we face at an Indigenous health policy level.

“All the Indigenous health leaders sitting around the table making these decisions, decisions that exclude Indigenous LGBTI people, are not LGBTI Indigenous people.”

Bonson described sending 22 emails to Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, who is not contesting the next federal election, as well as visiting his electorate office without hearing back.

In August last year, the federal government announced a $700,000 grant for research into the mental health needs of young LGBTI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with the research conducted in partnership with Black Rainbow – the first research of its kind.

Black Rainbow is currently offering microgrants for Indigenous LGBTI people who are unable to attend Mardi Gras to hold their own gatherings around the country.

Dancing with the Stars is won by public vote, which means viewers can help get Act over the line to support Black Rainbow.

Black Rainbow is funded largely through donations, so you can also make a direct contribution to their work by visiting blackrainbow.org.au.

Watch Courtney Act’s high-scoring routine below:

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