Prince William Covers Attitude Magazine And Meets With LGBTQ Community About Homophobic Bullying

It’s a difficult task to know your place as a straight ally to the LGBTQ community following the horrific mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando over the weekend. The best and most important thing to do is shut up and listen. It’s not about you — it’s about them and their stories, experiences, and suffering. As an ally, Prince William appeared on the cover of a gay magazine, making history as the first of the royal family to do so. This is impressive, but the most important thing he did was sit down and listen to LGBTQ people’s stories.

In a time when “queerbaiting” (celebrities using LGBTQ rights as a way to garner queer fans) is far too common, there’s a fine, sometimes indecipherable line between being a straight ally and using your stance as a platform for self-promotion. There is no true right or wrong way to show your support, but there are good and bad examples of ally behavior popping up everyday.

Prince William being on the cover of a Attitude magazine is less of story, as the reason he was chosen as the face of the July issue is really what should be recognized here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great looking cover.

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According to Attitude, His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge asked the magazine to bring members of the LGBTQ community to Kensington Palace so he could “hear their experiences of homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying, and discuss the mental health implications it has.” Attitude editor Matthew Todd facilitated the discussion, and Prince William posed for the cover after meeting with the nine delegates.

Listening, truly listening, is always the first step in helping with the healing process. Be it for an individual or an entire community. Attitude said in the issue:

“Prince William met with individuals who explained how bullying had led to low self-esteem, suicide attempts, eating disorders, depression and drug addiction including, in one case, the death of a young man after an unintentional overdose.”

The full July issue went to press June 8, and will be available in stores next Wednesday.

As one of the participants explains in the video:

“It feels like being a part of something that, you know, I would hope can create enough good energy that there will be a time when childhood experiences do not have to be like this for any LGBT people.”

Amen. Here’s hoping.