When I get annoyed by the silly, shenanigans of rather vapid, young stars (like those that try to act “older” by pole dancing on an ice cream cart during an awards show watched by mostly thirteen year olds…uh, great role model, parents), I am always delighted to find out that sensible, intelligent, artistic young people do, in fact, exist in this tabloid-obsessed world. Among these enlightened few, I must give special attention to Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.
Beyond my intense crushing on this good-looking, talented actor, I admire his eloquence and charitable demeanor. Daniel has been involved with numerous charities in the U.K. (such as the Demelza House Children’s Hospice Center) and the United States, using his fame (and size-able paycheck) to bring attention to issues sometimes overlooked by the rest of the world. Unlike many other celebrities, Daniel takes a personal interest in his charities, donating frequently and (in the case of the Demelza House) visiting with the people he’s helping.
Just recently, Daniel filmed a Public Service Announcement for the Trevor Project, a 24-hour crisis and suicide prevention hotline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth (to learn more about it, visit their website here). After his stint starring in Equus on Broadway back in 2008, Daniel took an interest in the Trevor Project. He says:
“I grew up knowing a lot of gay men and it was never something that I even thought twice about — that some men were gay and some weren’t…And then I went to school and (for) the first time … I came across homophobia. … I had never encountered it before. It shocked me. Now I am in the very fortunate position where I can actually help or do something about it. I think it’s important for somebody from a big, commercial movie series like ‘Harry Potter’ and particularly because I am not gay or bisexual or transgendered. … The fact that I am straight makes not a difference, but it shows that straight people are incredibly interested and care a lot about this as well.”
As an ardent, straight supporter of the LGBTQ community and their desire for civil/marital equality, I applaud Dan’s efforts to bring light to the struggles of these youths. Having dealt with many of my friends coming out to their parents, I know how hard it can be for young people to make these sometimes brutal declarations to their families and peers. One of my very best friends became the subject of a near witch-hunt at my high school because he was open about his sexuality (and was one of the few who was at the time). Luckily, he came from a very supportive family and had the love and support of a tight-knit group of friends (including myself), so he never felt too ruffled by the comments of the outspoken few. Now in college, he’s flourishing in a more accepting, open-minded environment where he’s able to live his life without fear of retribution or persecution. Isn’t that how everyone in this country should be treated: with love and respect?
After hearing about Dan’s support of the Trevor Project back in 2008, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. It’s a great charity, and I think a vitally important, much needed source of support for these youths. I think if they knew that someone out there loved and supported them for who they are without question or judgement, these kids wouldn’t feel so helpless and hopeless. The Trevor Project provides these kids a place where they can talk and receive that kind of support. If you’re interested in helping out this great cause, please check out my SocialVibe sidebar. By just answering a few questions, you can provide 8 seconds of crisis and suicide prevention for these teens.
Thanks to Daniel Radcliffe and the Trevor Project, we may be able to keep a whole generation of youths alive and loved.