Prince William has officially become the first royal to ever pose for an LGBT magazine.
Prior to appearing on the cover of Attitude magazine, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, met with a group of nine gay people who said they had experienced bullying because of their sexuality. According to the New York Times, their stories inspired Prince William to speak out on behalf of the LGBT community.
Following the discussion, facilitated by Attitude editor Matthew Todd, Prince William issued a statement to the magazine and then participated in a photo shoot with photographer Leigh Keily. In his statement, William called the people he met with “brave” and praised them for speaking out about the homophobic bullying they had endured.
“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. 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.”
William chose to meet with Attitude and the group as part of a larger venture to combat bullying and mental health issues that he started with Kate and his brother, Harry. Prince William launched a task force in April to help combat cyber-bullying, and on Tuesday, it was announced that Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, had joined in the effort. Along with Berners-Lee, the founding members are senior representatives from Google, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, BT, EE, Sky, BBC, TalkTalk, Telefonica, Virgin Media, and Vodafone, according to a news release from Kensington Palace.
“The Duke is pleased that so many leaders and experts in the technology and communications have agreed to join his Cyberbullying Taskforce,” a spokesperson for Prince William said. “The Duke knows that social media and other technologies are creating significant positive opportunities for millions of young people.”
The spokesperson added, “But as a parent, he knows that many people worry about how to protect their children from the new avenues for bullying that technology is creating. He hopes the Taskforce can help share the best practice that is emerging and put in place new standards so that the Internet remains something young people and their parents can embrace with confidence.”
Prince William’s decision to meet with Attitude and the nine individuals came weeks before the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 dead and more than 50 injured. According to a previous report by the Inquisitr, William and his wife Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, visited the American Embassy to express their condolences for the victims and their families.
“With our deepest condolences and with our thoughts and prayers for all those affected,” William wrote in the Embassy condolence book along with his name. Kate then signed her name next to his.
[Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]