Prince William’s Show Of Solidarity With The LGBTQ Community Just Made History

Photo: REX
This story was originally published on Refinery29's U.K. site.

The rallying of support for the global LGBTQ community following the Orlando shooting has been incredibly moving. With singing in the streets of London's Soho, vigils across the U.S., and a rainbow-colored Eiffel Tower, the outpouring of grief and solidarity has been visible, profound, and far-spread. The killing of 49 people and the wounding of dozens more has made one thing clear: The LGBTQ community still faces violence, persecution, and marginalization. In the aftermath of the attacks, people in positions of power and influence have come out and shown their support in ways that can only provide hope for future generations. And one of the most high-profile is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Attitude, the U.K.'s biggest gay magazine, confirmed that the second in line to the throne will appear on the cover of its July issue, which will hit newsstands on June 22. The image of William in a white shirt is accompanied by the line: "No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason."
The magazine's announcement came on Tuesday when Prince William and Kate Middleton visited the American Embassy to sign the condolence book for the Orlando victims, writing, “With our deepest condolences, and with our thoughts and prayers to all those affected.” William then confided in Craig Petty, president of LGBTQ association GLIFAA, about his upcoming appearance, according to The Telegraph.

"I told him what I do and he said he's going to be in Attitude magazine," Petty said. "I was really nervous about meeting the royal couple, but they are both great at putting you at ease. I think it's great that they have come here today to show their support." After the news broke, Attitude released the following statement: "On May 12, 2016, his royal highness, the Duke of Cambridge, invited Attitude magazine to bring members of the LGBT-plus community to Kensington Palace to hear their experiences of homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying, and [to] discuss the mental health implications it has." The cover photo was taken shortly after. Prince William has tirelessly campaigned for the protection of LGBTQ communities from bullying through his Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Ambassadors program, which is part of a continued dedication to the legacy of his late mother's charitable works. It will be the first time that a royal will appear on the cover of a gay publication, and shows a progressive and more hopeful approach to how members of the royal family might better support marginalized groups. A spokesman for the LGBTQ foundation told The Telegraph why this news is a beacon of hope: "There has not been that many times when the LGBT community has been mentioned or highlighted by the royal family," he said. "The fact that he has agreed to be in Attitude and is signing books of condolences for the Orlando massacre, shows the importance of reaching out to the LGBT community."

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