Update: Today is a brand-new day, which means one more member of the 13 Reasons Why cast has added the semicolon tattoo to their wrist. Yes, Brandon Flynn (or Justin Foley, as you might know him from the show) got his own ink. Just an hour ago, the actor posted a video to Instagram of the punctuation mark being illustrated. Considering the great cause this semicolon represents, we have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of the tattoo on stars in the future.
This story was originally published on April 9, 2017.
If you watched Netflix’s heart-wrenching new series 13 Reasons Why, it won’t come as a surprise that co-producer Selena Gomez has repeatedly referred to it as a “passion project.” The series touches on a variety of important issues, including sexual assault, bullying, mental illness, and suicide. In honor of its premiere, Selena Gomez got a meaningful tattoo with two of the series’ stars, Alisha Boe and Tommy Dorfman.
As a tribute to the important themes addressed in the show, Gomez, Boe, and Dorfman each got inked with a semicolon. The semicolon has become an important symbol for individuals who suffer from mental health issues and those who have survived suicide attempts.
Project Semicolon began as a social media movement in 2013 — the punctuation mark has a simple but deeply symbolic meaning: “Your story isn’t over.” The end of a clause doesn’t represent the end of a sentence, just like a mental illness doesn’t represent the end of a person’s story.
“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life,” the project’s organizers explained.
Another key goal of Project Semicolon is to provide individuals suffering from mental illness and suicidal ideation with resources to seek the treatment they need and deserve.
Gomez used Insta-story to document the process as she, Boe, and Dorfman got the matching tats on their wrists. Proving there are no coincidences, they spotted a 13 Reasons Why billboard down the street moments after leaving the tattoo parlor.
Tragically, Project Semicolon’s founder Amy Bleuel died by suicide on March 23 at the age of 31. As members of the mental health and suicide prevention communities mourn her loss, thousands of people have taken to social media to express their gratitude for Bleuel’s contributions to mental health advocacy.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.