Just days before the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida, Prince William made history as the first British royal to ever appear on the cover of a gay magazine. The prince posed for the cover of Attitude while sitting down with a group of LGBT youth to speak to them about bullying and mental health.
Prince William invited Attitude editor Matthew Todd to bring a group of LGBT people to Kensington Palace to start a discussion about the bullying these youths face throughout their lives as a part of his campaign to fight bullying and erase the stigma surrounding mental health.
According to CNN, during the dialogue, the prince listened as nine members of the LGBT community recounted their stories of the bullying they have faced due to their sexual orientation or gender identity at school, online, and in the world. Prince William heard how many of them suffered from depression, turned to drug abuse to numb the pain, and had even contemplated suicide to make the bullying stop.
— Attitude (@AttitudeMag) June 15, 2016
In a statement issued following his being photographed for the cover of Attitude, Prince William addressed the stories he was told and bullying as a whole.
“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.”
Todd, the editor of Attitude, said that he was “very happy” that Prince William agrees that the bullying of everyone, but especially LGBT youth, has to come to an end, saying that he’s already met enough parents who’ve lost their children to suicide due to the bullying they faced because of their sexuality. Todd also said he urges parents to speak up to “ensure that every school protects — really protects — all children.”
Prince William, along with Princess Kate and Prince Harry, has begun a campaign to end the stigma of mental health, and the prince has also established a task force to help prevent cyberbullying, a Kensington Palace spokesman said, reports E! News.
“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 wellbeing.”
Heads Together is a campaign aimed at “chang[ing] the national conversation on mental health and wellbeing,” according to the charity website.
"No one should be bullied for their sexuality. Don't put up with it. Be proud of the person you are." pic.twitter.com/XYuRZAmf5V
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 15, 2016
Although it may seem odd that a non-LGBT male would appear on the cover of a leading gay magazine like Attitude, Prince William is not the first. Attitude was founded in 1994 and has had several heterosexual celebrities on their cover, including Daniel Radcliffe, James Franco, and David Beckham. Lady Gaga has also been on the cover of Attitude.
The news of Prince William’s Attitude cover was announced the day after William and Kate were seen at the U.S. Embassy in London signing a condolence book for the victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting. The digital version of Prince William’s cover is available now, but the print version of Attitude featuring William won’t be available in the U.K. until June 22.
[Photo by KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx 2016]