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Lil Nas X was awarded the inaugural Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award from the LGBTQ advocacy group The Trevor Project on Wednesday.
The group, a nonprofit dedicated to suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth, pointed to the Old Town Road hitmaker's "openness about struggling with his sexuality and suicidal ideation, his continued advocacy around mental health issues, and his unapologetic celebration of his queer identity."
"His vulnerability in his journey to self-acceptance and expression has created space for candid conversations around mental health and sexual identity, signalling to LGBTQ youth that they are not alone," CEO Amit Paley said in a statement. Paley pointed to a survey by the nonprofit that shows 80 per cent of LGBTQ youth say openly LGBTQ celebrities "positively influence" how they feel about their identities.
Earlier this year, the 22-year-old posted a video series on TikTok telling his life story. In it, he highlighted his mental health struggles and past suicide ideation. Shortly after, he released a music video for his song Sun Goes Down, which shows him speaking to himself in high school, where he struggled with depression and accepting his sexuality.
Accepting the award, Lil Nas X said, "Thank you so much to The Trevor Project for this award and for all they do for the LGBTQ community. Discrimination around sexuality and gender identity is still very real, and our community deserves to feel supported and totally free to be themselves. I often get messages from fans telling me about their struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, and it made me realize that this was something bigger than myself. If using my voice and expressing myself in my music can help even one kid out there who feels alone, then it was all worth it."