• Aussie singer and YouTuber Troye Sivan. (Getty Images, Jemal Countess)Source: Getty Images, Jemal Countess
"To exclude anti-LGBTQI bullying programs from schools is beyond cruel," writes Lorelle Mellet.
By
Stephanie Marie Anderson

20 Jul 2016 - 12:46 PM  UPDATED 20 Jul 2016 - 12:48 PM

After coming out to his YouTube followers at 18, Troye Sivan became a role model for many of his young LGBTQIA+ fans. An advocate for LGBT+ youth, he came out for a bisexual girl at one of his concerts, inspired a trans teen to come out to his father, and tweeted PM Malcolm Turnbull to give LGBT+ people equal rights, saying: "We don't need sympathy. We need rights. Let us marry. Stop segregating LGBT people from the rest of our society" after the Orlando massacre.

Now, it's Troye's mother who's speaking up for LGBT+ youth, starting a petition to save the Safe Schools program. The LGBT+ anti-bullying program - which has come under fire from conservative Australian media and politicians this year - is currently not set to be renewed by the Turnbull government when its funding runs out next year.

Yesterday, Lorelle Mellet set up a Change.org petition urging the government to reconsider and extend the funding for the program, telling BuzzFeed News that the program is an "absolute necessity".

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Singer Troye Sivan, who is currently on tour in the States for his Blue Neighbourhood album, read a note from a fan asking him to come out on her behalf.

On the petition's site, Lorelle writes that she was "nervous" when her son came out to family and friends at age 14, recalling that she'd "heard horrific stories of homophobic bullying and kids being suicidal at school".

She notes that Troye was "lucky" to have his coming out video go viral and to be accepted by those around him, saying that she "couldn't be prouder" of him, but points out that this often isn't the case for LGBT+ youth.

"Thousands of gay teens battle aggressive intimidation, exclusion and even attempts of suicide," she writes, adding that "to exclude anti-LGBTQI bullying programs from schools is beyond cruel."

Troye, who's currently in the USA promoting "WILD", hasn't tweeted anything about the petition yet, but Lorelle tells BuzzFeed News that he's given it a big thumbs up, telling them that Troye thinks it's "great".

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Evan credited his coming out to the Aussie singer, who has been a vocal activist for LGBT+ rights for years.

“He said ‘I want to tell you how proud I am of you, and how awesome it is that you’re doing this and taking this on on behalf of everybody'," she says.

“How do parents not want to see their children happy?” Mellet finishes. “At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.”

Check out the petition here.