Tim Gunn discusses suicide attempt as reality stars respond to gay teen bullying

Several reality stars have responded to the string of suicides by gay teens over the past month by discussing their own experiences or offering support to GLBT teenagers, and encouraging them to use resources available to them.

Kathy Griffin and Tim Gunn were among the celebrities to appear on Larry King Live this week to discuss bullying of gay kids, and former American Idol judge Ellen DeGeneres recorded an anti-bullying message. Celebrity Apprentice cast member Cyndi Lauper’s We Give a Damn project has responded, including with a message from Cyndi Lauper.

She, like others, encourages gay or questioning teenagers and others to call The Trevor Project‘s confidential, 24-hour, toll-free hotline to talk to someone: 866-4-U-TREVOR.

Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn also contributed a video to Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project, which has collected hundreds of videos on YouTube of gay people discussing how their lives have been since they were teenagers. The project’s web site notes that “Many LGBT youth can’t picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can’t imagine a future for themselves. So let’s show them what our lives are like, let’s show them what the future may hold in store for them.”

Savage wrote in his column two weeks ago that “Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay–or from ever coming out–by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models. Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don’t have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids,” and encouraged people to “Submit a video. Give them hope.”

Among the reality stars to contribute so far are Andy Cohen and gay advocate Kathy Griffin. In his contribution, Tim discusses attempting suicide at 17, but talks about how he’s now glad that attempt didn’t succeed, while Kathy talks about meeting homeless gay kids. Here are those three videos:

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.