‘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.

Watch her full interview here.

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  • I completely support Safe Schools and it’s very much needed. Hope these programs are in every school, without any trouble, very soon.


  • So sad. Who would think someone who is so happy and makes so many others laugh would feel so sad she wanted to end her life


  • Good on you Magda for putting your point of view so succinctly.


  • Wow! You wouldn’t think someone so talented and funny could become so depressed. She’s a strong woman though


  • Such a amazing woman who has done so much for many


  • Th safe schools program is a good thing.


  • Magda is such an inspirational woman.


  • Bravo Magda. You’re an incredible person.


  • My daughter is in Year 10 and currently working on an assignment about teen depression and youth suicide. Some of the facts she is researching and sharing with me are shocking. LGBT students were certainly included in these statistics. It is devastating to think a teen feels that vulnerable and helpless that they would contemplate (or worse act on) suicide.


  • Everybody deserves respect and compassion. It is time to respect their feelings. They don’t necessarily choose their emotional feelings. They need to be treated fairly, not bullied or ignored.
    That is simply bad manners.


  • Good on Magda for shining a light on this issue. Safe schools is important for schools and for the community.

    • Important for anyone that is suffering to use the contact and the number provided in the article.


  • Such a very emotionally charged issue. Interesting hearing her views.


  • It must have been so hard on her to open up about wanting to end up her life when young.


  • There’s more serious things going on in this world to worry about, isn’t there?
    LGBT deserve respect just like the rest of us. They’re not doing anything wrong.


  • Very well said it is a very important issue. When I was in high school an openly gay boy wanted to run for school captain but was told that our school wouldn’t be represented by a gay school captain.

    • Wow how appalling. We have a long way to go and Safe Schools is a good step. And great to have strong people like Magda speaking out.


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