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Lea Salonga appeals for love, acceptance towards LGBT youth amid news of teen suicide

/ 08:21 PM June 11, 2018

Image: LeaSalonga.com/Raymund Isaac

Lea Salonga, known for advocating gay rights, posted an important message after learning that an LGBT teen took his own life.

The Broadway actress shared a Twitter thread dated May 5, 2018 written by an American youth pastor who received a suicide note. Upon rushing to the troubled teen, he found him dead. The boy had said he felt that the world hated him because he was gay.

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In response to the tragedy, Salonga urged, “Choose love. Choose empathy. Choose acceptance. Choose understanding.”

“Kids should not be killing themselves. If you have an LGBT+ child, tell them you love them, and that it does get better, and that no one has the right to take away their sparkle,” she advised parents and guardians.

According to a December 2017 United States study, lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning (LGBQ) teens are three times more likely to try to kill themselves than heterosexual teens. A researcher posited that the stress due to bullying and social stigma could contribute to suicidal behavior. The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Family plays a large role in how the teens feel: a 2009 study found that youth who experience high levels of rejection in their families were about eight times more likely to attempt suicide than those in low-rejecting ones.

“The Voice Kids Philippines” coach has been vocal on her stances regarding marriage equality and LGBT discrimination.

She told Broadway World Philippines in August 2015, “Jesus gave two commandments: love your God with all of your heart and all of your soul and the second is love your neighbor as yourself.”

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“I am sure that gay people existed even back then. When we say ‘Love thy neighbor,’ that has to be all encompassing,” the report quoted her.

“For those of you who are against marriage equality, you have to ask yourself why. And, I will not accept, ‘Because my priest says so,’” she stated. JB

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TAGS: Lea Salonga, LGBT, Suicide, teen suicide, The Voice Kids
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