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Janelle Monáe Receives Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award

Janelle Monae

The Trevor Project has announced that Grammy-nominated singer and actor Janelle Monáe is this year’s recipient of the Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award.

Last year’s recipient was Lil Nas X, who was the first person to receive the honor. The award recognizes influential public figures for their “unwavering commitment to LGBTQ+ mental health awareness.”

According to The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health, 45 percent of LGBTQ+ youth had seriously considered suicide in the past year, and nearly 1 in 5 trans and nonbinary youth attempted suicide.

“Queer representation in the media can have a life-saving impact on LGBTQ+ young people, and Janelle Monáe is the embodiment of unapologetic self-expression,” Josh Weaver Vice President of Marketing at The Trevor Project, said.

Monáe, who is nonbinary and uses she/them pronouns, told us how it feels to receive this award.

“I always want to say yes to opportunities that bring awareness to taking care of our mental health and that promote the value of being there for one another during hard times,” they say. “I am grateful for The Trevor Project and their work; what this recognition draws attention to is very important. I don’t take it lightly.”

“I hope by sharing who I am, I can help others find freedom and affirmation,” she continues. “ If I had somebody who was a representation to me growing up, I can’t imagine how much more validated I would have felt. In life, we all go through different obstacles and stages — happiness and darkness — and we need to learn how to be more compassionate and check in on each other.”

Monáe is keenly aware of how hard it can be to feel like you fit in, especially in political and cultural climates like the current one.

“Growing up queer and Black in a religious household, I faced a lot of challenges trying to understand my identity and where I fit in as someone who always felt beyond the binary,” they said in a statement. “We, as LGBTQ+ folks, as people of color, are a powerful and unstoppable community. I want every young queer person out there to know that I see you, you are beautiful in all of your forms, and you are never, ever alone in this world. As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety, prioritizing and protecting your mental health is everything. Amazing organizations like The Trevor Project have got your back, and I will personally continue to advocate for you and celebrate you always. No matter what you’re going through, your life matters so much — don’t let anyone try to dim your light.”

They also said that finding a community that supports you in being who you really are is paramount to mental health.

“Find your tribe,” they say. “For me, community is everything, so surrounding yourself with those that will support and affirm you is vital, and the Trevor Project is a resource to help you find your community.  It’s never too late to share your freedom or your truth and I got to this place by taking care of my mental health.”

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Help, or by texting START to 678678.

RELATED | Janelle Monáe Talks Coming Out: 'Nobody Tells Me What To Do'

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