Janelle Monáe named ‘Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year’

Janelle Monáe named ‘Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year’

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Grammy-nominated musician, actress and author Janelle Monáe has been named The Trevor Project’s “Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year” for her “relentless commitment” to promoting LGBTQ+ mental health awareness , the group announced on Tuesday.

Monáe, who uses gender-neutral and female pronouns, is the second person to be honored by The Trevor Project, a national LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention organization. Rapper Lil Nas X, who is openly gay, won the group’s inaugural award last year.

The honor is given annually to influential public figures who uplift the LGBTQ+ community, spread mental health awareness and remind young people “that they are not alone,” the Trevor Project said Tuesday in a news release at Monáe’s victory was announced.

“Queer representation in the media can have a life-saving impact on young LGBTQ people, and Janelle Monáe is the epitome of unapologetic self-expression,” Josh Weaver, vice president of marketing at The Trevor Project, said Tuesday.

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“Throughout her life, Janelle has been a superhero who constantly challenges the status quo – from her expressions of pure love in her music videos to her iconic gender non-conforming style, she continues to redefine the rules of how LGBTQ people and BIPOC to navigate. through life,” Weaver said.

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in May, Monáe said that her “natural instinct” has always been to stand up to bullies and protect people who want to live alone.

“I always want to protect marginalized people and the working class,” said Monáe.

Last year, the multi-hyphenate artist released a 17-minute version of their 2015 protest song “Say Her Name (Hell You Talmbout)” that featured the names of 61 Black women and girls killed by law enforcement.

Monáe publicly came out as pansexual in a 2018 Rolling Stone cover story, telling the outlet that they are “open to learning more about who I am.” In April, they confirmed during an appearance on Facebook Watch’s “Red Table Talk” that they identify as non-binary.

“I don’t see myself as one woman,” Monáe told hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris. “I feel all my energy.”

Monáe has also been open about her struggles with depression and anxiety and revealed in a 2020 interview with NPR that they suffered several panic attacks while recording their album “Dirty Computer” after former President Trump was elected, worried that white supremacists and extremists would feel “emboldened” to attack them for speaking out against things like rampant racism, sexism and xenophobia.

“As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety, the most important thing is to prioritize and protect your mental health,” Monáe said Tuesday in a statement released by The Trevor Project. “No matter what you’re going through, your life is so important – don’t let anyone try to dim your light.”

“Growing up queer and Black in a religious family, I faced many challenges trying to understand my identity and where I fit as a person who always felt beyond the binary,” said Monáe, who was raised in Kansas City, Kan. . “We, as LGBTQ people, as people of color, are a powerful and unstoppable community. I want every young person out there to know that I see you, that you are beautiful in every form, and that you are never alone in this world.”

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