Fire Island, Logo’s latest reality concoction told through the perspective of a group of men living together in a beachfront house, might be known for capturing the “magic and excitement” (per an official synopsis) of one of New York ‘s most popular gay vacation spots, but this week’s episode takes a deep — and serious — dive into sobering struggles often faced by the LGBT community, as evidenced by EW’s exclusive sneak peek.
After an evening spent dipping into the ocean at 3 a.m., Justin Russo confesses a heartbreaking secret to his friend, Khasan Brailsford, shining a light on issues of mental health in the process.
“I’m just glad to be out here this summer. I was thinking about it today… two years ago, even, maybe three, I wouldn’t have been here. I went through a very, very, very dark period,” Russo says through tears, explaining a compounding of events — a bad breakup, losing his job, and a colon cancer scare — that resulted in a bout of depression. “Of course, I freaked out. It was the most terrifying time of my life.”
He continues: “I felt alone. I felt like nothing. So, I tried killing myself at one point.”
Russo goes on to encourage others struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts to seek help — a vital move as, according to a recent CDC study, LGBT youth are twice as likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
“I was once in a really low place, and now I’m at this acme of my life and I never ever want to go back there, and I refuse to,” he says. “I overcame something that a lot of other people can, also.”
Fire Island, produced by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Logo. Watch an exclusive preview of the upcoming installment above.