In a new video urging gay teens not to take their own lives, Tim Gunn says he tried to commit suicide as a teenager.
"As a 17-year-old youth who was in quite a bit of despair, I attempted to kill myself. And I'm very happy today that attempt was unsuccessful, but at the time it was all I could contemplate," he says. "When I woke up the next morning after taking more than 100 pills, I was in a whole other level of despair. I thought, 'I shouldn't be here, this isn't what was meant to be.' I frankly just wanted to start life all over again."
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The Project Runway star is the latest celebrity to speak out in response to several suicides by teens who had reportedly suffered anti-gay harassment and abuse, including California's Seth Walsh and Texas' Asher Brown, both 13, Indiana's Billy Lucas, 15, and Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers University student. Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge connecting New York and New Jersey three days after he was secretly filmed in a sexual encounter with another man, which was then broadcast online.
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The PSA was recorded for The Trevor Project, an organization focused on suicide prevention among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. Lucas' death sparked columnist/author Dan Savage to create a YouTube channel, It Gets Better, in which gay adults discourage teens from suicide. Gunn's PSA was posted on the YouTube channel.
"I understand the desperation and the despair. I understand how isolated you can feel," Gunn says. "People really care about you — and I'm included in that group. So reach out, get help. You're not alone. It will get better. I promise."
Watch Gunn's PSA below: