New York – Harry Potter superstar Daniel Radcliffe has recently come out with a bombastic public announcement: he has made a “major donation” to the Trevor Project, a non-profit US organization that operates in order to support suicide prevention among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.
“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,” he said. “And then I went to school and for the first time … I came across homophobia … I had never encountered it before. It shocked me. I have always hated anybody who is not tolerant of gay men or lesbians or bisexuals,” the British actor added. “Now I am in the very fortunate position where I can actually help or do something about it.”
The Trevor Project was founded by writer James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski and producer Randy Stone, who cooperated to give birth in 1994 to the “Trevor” movie, winner of an Academy Award for best short film. The movie is focused on the interior struggle of a young gay boy who ends up attempting suicide. When the movie was chosen to be on air on HBO in 1998, the three guys had to face the sad reality that many of the viewers and the people who helped them in their cinematographic success could be dealing with the very same reality described in the film.
Therefore they started addressing their efforts to provide support to the suffering gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. Thus the Trevor Project was born: financially supported by The Colin Higgins Foundation, Lecesne, Rajski and Stone manage to set a helpline up, whose target was – and still is – to aid young youngsters’ crisis and provide a proper suicide prevention. Today, the Trevor Project also offers a web-based system to provide resources to educators and parents.
The 20-years-old Hogwarts superstar first got in touch with the organization in 2008 while he was starring in the often discussed revival of “Equus” in Broadway.
Two years later, he decided to shoot a public service announcement to support the Trevor Project and stir consciences about this boiling topic.
“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,” he said, almost challenging the superficiality that often takes precedence over sensitivity about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people’s rights.
It seems that in Hogwarts they can properly teach respect for human rights, besides magic.