‘I wanted to end my life’: Magda Szubanski breaks down discussing the Safe Schools program.
Magda Szubanski has opened up about why a controversial school program for LGBT students is so important as she prepares to host the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Speaking with The TODAY Show this morning, she became emotional about the recent push back the LGBT community has faced in relation to the Safe Schools program, which teaches acceptance and tolerance to students and assists teachers in navigating same-sex and transgender issues.
“It makes me heart sick,” she said, choking up.
“Sorry” she said, as she paused to regain her composure.
“If I’d had something like that when I was young… cause I wanted to end my life.”
“To think that people are accusing us of having a ‘homosexual agenda’ – our agenda is to save the lives of our young people and to help them survive,” she continued.
Szubanski condemned “voices that are accusing” young members of the LGBTQI community “of being unnatural and sick and wrong”.
“All we ask of people is that they open their minds and their hearts and that they think differently,” she said.
“Our young people are six times more likely to attempt suicide, so there’s a lot at stake for this.”
The comedian and actress will be co-hosting the Mardi Gras this year along with Tom Ballard, Patrick Abboud and Faustina “Fuzzy” Agolley.
She said Mardi Gras was a celebration of creating safe spaces for people to be themselves without fear of judgement or persecution.
“When you see people accusing the Safe Schools program of things like groom or indoctrinating, it is simply our attempt to protect the young people and create a space for everyone to be who they are, and Mardi Gras is just a brilliant celebration of that.”
Support and information about suicide prevention can be found on 13 11 14, or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.
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