The Trevor Project has named Janelle Monáe its Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year.
The Trevor Project, a leading organization for LGBTQ+ suicide prevention and mental health awareness, introduced the award in 2021 as a way of acknowledging public figures who are committed to mental health awareness. Last year, Lil Nas X was named the first Suicide Prevention Advocate.
The multi-talented Monáe is its second recipient.
“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,” said Monae is a statement released by the Trevor Project. “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.”
Monáe continued, “No matter what you’re going through, your life matters so much – don’t let anyone try to dim your light.”
The Trevor Project highlighted Monáe’s commitment to speaking out on behalf of LGBTQ+ mental health, specifically with regards to anti-LGBTQ+ bullying and the need for affordable and accessible mental healthcare.
Monáe (they/them or she/hers) has been open about their own queer identity. In 2018, the actor, singer/songwriter, and author came out as pansexual in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Then, in 2021, Monáe came out as non-binary on an episode of Red Table Talk.
“I just don’t see myself as a woman or solely – I feel all of my energy,” Monáe said at the time. “I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘He’ or the ‘She.’ And if I am from God, I am everything.”