Prince William has become the first member of the royal family to appear on the cover of a gay magazine.
The Duke of Cambridge will feature in the July issue of leading British gay magazine Attitude, discussing the mental health implications of homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullyings, the Guardian reports.
The cover of the magazine shows William with the caption: “Making History, Prince William meets Attitude.”
His appearance in the magazine came about after the heir to the throne invited Attitude to bring members of the LGBT+ community to Kensington Palace to share their experiences of bullying and its impact on their mental health.
William, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry are all leading the Heads Together campaign, which aims to end stigma around mental health. The prince has been campaigning for some time against bullying of young people and has made it one of his main causes.
He told Attitude:
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.
William has urged anyone who is being bullied for their sexuality to contact someone – a friend, adult, teacher, or someone from a service, adding: “You should be proud of the person you are and you have nothing to be ashamed of.”
Attitude editor Matthew Todd said he met parents who had lost their children to suicide after being bullied for their sexuality.
Research shows that 33.9 per cent of young LGBT+ people have made at least one suicide attempt compared with 17.9 per cent of young straight people. A total of 48.1 per cent of young trans people have attempted suicide, according to the Guardian.
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 just perceived to be LGBT. I am very happy that the future king of the United Kingdom agrees this must stop.
Social media, along with Todd, have also expressed their joy at William’s campaign against LGBT+ bullying:
— Alyssa Ashton (@AlyssaJAshton) June 14, 2016
— Sally (@321Pearl) June 15, 2016
— Nav Sandhu (@s400nav) June 15, 2016
William’s issue of Attitude magazine went to press on June 8 – just a few days before gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 LGBT+ people at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando. On Tuesday, William and Kate signed a book of condolences at the U.S. embassy for victims of the massacre.
The magazine said:
Such violence does not exist in a vacuum but snowballs from intolerance and bullying that begins in classrooms, too often comes from politicians or religious leaders and is often not treated with respect by the media.
The print edition featuring the future king will be in shops next Wednesday, but you can download the online version now.