LONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 15 – Prince William will appear on the cover of Britain’s leading gay magazine to speak out against homophobic bullying, the publication revealed on Wednesday.
The prince, second in line to the throne, is the first member of the British royal family to be photographed for the cover of a gay publication.
The announcement came just days after 49 people were gunned down in a deadly assault on a gay nightclub in Florida that was claimed by the Islamic State group in the worst mass shooting in US history.
In an interview with Attitude magazine, William spoke out about homophobic bullying after meeting members of the gay community at his Kensington Palace home to hear about their experiences of abuse due to their sexuality, and the impact on their mental health.
“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,” William said.
“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.”
Attitude said gay people suffer disproportionately from mental health issues.
William, 33, was told how bullying had led to low self-esteem, suicide attempts, eating disorders, depression and drug addiction.
In a message to young people being bullied over their sexuality, the Duke of Cambridge said: “Don’t put up with it – speak to a trusted adult.
“You should be proud of the person you are and you have nothing to be ashamed of.”
The July issue of Attitude is available to download from Wednesday and appears in shops on June 22. On the cover is a smiling picture of William in an open-necked shirt.
On Tuesday, the air ambulance pilot and his wife Kate went to the US embassy in London to sign a book of condolence for victims of the Orlando massacre.