Courtney Act has selected indigenous suicide prevention charity Black Rainbow as the recipient of her $50,000 in prize money if she wins the new series of Dancing with the Stars on Channel Ten.
Black Rainbow was established in December 2013 to provide a nationwide and online support network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who identify as LGBTIQ, sistergirl or brotherboy.
Courtney said of choosing the charity for her DWTS appearance, “In 2019, it’s really important to be thinking outside your box.
“Minority identities intersect and I think the way we can get ahead is by reaching across the threshold and using our own privileges to support each other.”
Black Rainbow founder Dameyon Bonson praised Courtney Act for her “true allyship” and said the group were ecstatic to have the drag star dancing to raise awareness of their work.
“We’re also extremely thankful for Curtin University for agreeing to partner with us to undertake some much-needed and long overdue research into the suicide ideation, self-harm and resilience amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQI people, in the event of Ms Act’s success,” Bonson said.
Bonson said there has been no specific research into suicide among people who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and LGBQTI-identifying, despite the two separate population groups being widely researched in suicide prevention and wellbeing.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are two to three times more likely to die by suicide than other Australians,” he said.
“LGBTQI+ Australians also have one of the highest rates of suicide in Australia, with 20% of transgender and 16% of lesbian, gay and bisexual Australians having suicidal ideations.
“What is unknown is the rates of suicide, self-harm for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQI people.
“As a population group with this dual identity and experiences, we can only assume the significant risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI people are at risk of suicide.
“Information across just about every health indicator remains non-existent for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI people.
“Black Rainbow are working toward changing that.”
Aussie drag star Courtney Act topped the leaderboard on Monday night’s debut episode of the show after she and dance partner Joshua Keefe slayed their routine, scoring 23 out of 30 points.
To find out more about Black Rainbow, visit their Facebook page here. Dancing With The Stars screens on Monday nights on Channel Ten.