Perez Hilton has long been at the forefront of helping gay youths feel comfortable with themselves. Given the number of teen suicides due to sexuality-related bullying, including Tyler Clementi’s recent death, it comes as no surprise that Perez is speaking up for those who feel they can’t.
“I’m just beyond sad — I’m crushed,” the celebrity blogger told MTV News on Thursday (September 30). “And also compelled to acting by the recent rash of young people killing themselves because of gay bullying and being harassed in school because people might think that they’re gay.”
And, Perez wants everyone to know that there’s a place confused teens can visit to help them see there’s a better way than suicide to deal with the pressure.
“Everybody can do something to reach out to troubled youth that are going through difficult times because of gay bullying,” he explained.
“This author, Dan Savage, who has a great column, started this project called the It Gets Better project. A lot of celebrities have made videos; I made one.”
He explained that with stars like Michael Urie of “Ugly Betty,” Jay Manuel of “America’s Next Top Model” and singer Ciara onboard, there’s no reason why anyone should feel uncomfortable with themselves.
“I think it’s important for young people to hear stories from others who have been through similar situations,” he said. “And they can see that, yeah, it will get better. I may be going through a difficult time now, but I do have options, and killing yourself is not and should not be one of those.”
Perez cheered one major television cast he says is helping to spread that message.
“I have taken it upon myself to reach out to every celebrity possible to lend their time and voice to reaching out to gay youth and to those that may be contemplating suicide, and a lot of them have responded very favorably,” he explained. “In fact, I’m very excited ’cause I’ve heard that the cast of ’Glee,’ whom I reached out to, has gotten back to me and said that they’re going to work on a video.”
Perez said that if any show has helped gay youths feel accepted, “Glee” is that show.
” ’Glee’ is the perfect show to reach out to young kids, and, actually, I think that ’Glee’ is already doing a lot of good,” he said. “The character of Kurt is probably saving lives just by being visible and being on broadcast television. So it’s wonderful that celebrities want to be involved, and I encourage everyone, celebrity or not, to make their own video and to talk to classmates, talk to relatives, brothers, sisters, neighbors — anyone who may be going through a difficult time — and tell them that you’re there for them.”