PRINCE William has become the first member of the British royal family to appear on the front page of an LGBTI publication.
The Duke of Cambridge and second in line to the British throne appears on the front of the July edition of UK magazine Attitude in a photo taken by Leigh Keily.
“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,” he told Attitude.
“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.”
The people at the meeting explained how bullying had led to low self-esteem, suicide attempts, eating disorders, depression and drug addiction including, in one case, the death of a young man after an unintentional overdose.
Matthew Todd, editor Attitude Magazine reflected on his own experiences growing up LGBTI.
“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 even 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.”
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The Duke of Cambridge is working hard to support the fight against bullying and to help break the stigma around mental health. He has established a taskforce on the prevention of cyberbullying and along with The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry is leading the Heads Together campaign on mental health and well-being.
“He knows that LGBT young people suffer unacceptably high rates of bullying and he was grateful to Attitude for facilitating such a serious conversation on this topic. He was moved by the stories he heard and impressed by the positivity and courage of the people he met.”