Lil Nas X has been honored with the Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award by intervention organization The Trevor Project.
In celebration of the first day of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the organization said Lil Nas X was chosen as the inaugural recipient because of his willingness to be candid about his personal struggles as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and his battle with suicide ideation, Teen Vogue reports.
“The Trevor Project is thrilled to honor Lil Nas X with the Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award,” Amit Paley, CEO and executive director at The Trevor Project, said in a statement. “His vulnerability in his journey to self acceptance and expression has created space for candid conversations around mental health and sexual identity, signaling to LGBTQ youth that they are not alone.”
As Blavity previously reported, the “Old Town Road” artist recently shared in an interview with Out Magazine that he grew up seeing “a lot of microaggressions towards homosexuality.” He said that his experience as a child forced him to push “that part of myself in more and more, almost convincing myself that it’s not even actually there.”
He admitted, however, that despite being the subject of brutal online attacks and abuse, he chooses to find strength in knowing that bad times will pass.
His story and other celebrities who share similar experiences with their fans help improve LGBTQ+ youth’s perspectives on their own sexuality.
According to The Trevor Project, more than 80% of LGBTQ+ youth have said they were positively impacted by celebrities sharing their truth.
Shortly after coming out in 2019, Lil Nas X penned a note to his younger self, acknowledging that his “secret” would “open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.”
“Dear 14-year-old Montero, I wrote a song with our name in it. It’s about a guy I met last summer. I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret,” he wrote.
“You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the f**k out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be. Sending you love from the future. -LNX,” he continued.
His self-acceptance is evident in his music videos, including most recently in the “Industry Baby” video. In the music video, the singer is seen dancing in his birthday suit among other men. In the song, he also mentions being queer and liking men.
Additionally, the singer received backlash after he shared an intimate kiss with a male dancer during his performance of “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” during the BET Awards. Despite harsh criticism, Lil Nas X appeared unphased, saying “imma just f**k the n***a on stage next time.”