KITTIE Drummer To Gay, Bi And Transgender Fans: 'Stay Strong'

Drummer Mercedes Lander of the Canadian all-girl metal band KITTIE has released a video message (see below) in response to reports of several suicides in recent weeks by young gay teenagers who had been harassed by classmates, both in person and online. A transcript of her message follow below.

"I just wanted to talk to you guys about something super-important to us in the band.

"Recently I've been reading on [gosip web site] Perez Hilton, because I'm such a big Perez Hilton fan, about the recent teen suicides. It's definitely been a big shock to everyone. So I figured I would reach out for the metal community , 'cause nobody has stepped up. 'Cause we do have some of the best and the most amazing gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual fans in the universe. So I wanted to reach out to you guys for the metal community and just let you guys know that it does get better — a lot better. Trust me, trust me, trust me...

"Everybody's been in high school, everybody got made fun of. But I know it's especially hard for you guys because some of you guys aren't out of the closet or you haven't told your parents or what-not, but just so you guys know, it does get better. And if someone is bullying you or bashing you, just keep in mind that they're probably going through the exact same thing and don't know how to deal with their own feelings.

"To be honest with you, it's really upsetting to know that people are taking their lives because of this. I can't even put into words how upsetting it is. I know our fans, personally... I know you guys are all strong, proud, gay, lesbian, bisexual people.

"Just remember to be strong if you're getting bashed in high school, or at work... anywhere. Don't worry about it. At the end of the day, you are who you are, there is nothing that you can do about it except embrace yourself and just remember that it does get better. And when things are looking down, there is always a way up.

"Anyway... I hope that this video starts maybe a chain reaction within the metal community because I really do feel us as a community need to embrace everyone, no matter what your gender or sexual preference are."

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