Prince William’s gay magazine cover is a huge step for the royals

When William told U.S. Embassy workers yesterday that he would be appearing in an upcoming issue of British gay lifestyle magazine Attitude, we weren’t expecting to see it so soon — but it was released today, and it’s huge.

No, not that — well, maybe it is, but we were not treated to a royal centerfold, so only Kate knows for sure. We mean the fact that William is making a major political statement by supporting LGBTQ people all over the world.

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William met with LGBTQ youth to discuss mental health issues surrounding bullying they had faced growing up, and they told him how it “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.”

“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. What I would say to any young person reading this who’s being bullied for their sexuality: don’t put up with it — speak to a trusted adult, a friend, a teacher, Childline, Diana Award or some other service and get the help you need. You should be proud of the person you are and you have nothing to be ashamed of.”

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The move marks a historic first for the royals. William is the first royal to appear on the cover of a gay magazine, and not only that, but by making such a bold statement in support of the gay community, he is seriously bending the royal rule of not expressing an opinion on any political issues. That’s a huge step forward for the royal family and a huge step forward for their gay subjects — and LGBTQ youth across the world.

Prince William’s issue of Attitude will be available on U.K. newsstands June 22.