by Justin Kamimoto
“Be proud of who you are” – Daniel Radcliffe in a public service announcement for The Trevor Project
There is a one of a kind national organization that combines many volunteers and endless hours of training to provide youth with resources of ending suicide of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and question (LGBTQ) youth community. This great organization, The Trevor Project, was founded by three individuals 13 years ago who did not intentionally set out to become the first and only nationwide, 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ youth.
It all began with an Academy Award winning short film, Trevor (2004); a story about a gay thirteen year old boy who faced struggles due to his sexuality making an attempt to end his life. Not until 1998 did the three filmmakers, James Lecense (writer), Peggy Rajski (director and producer), and Randy Stone (producer), realize that Trevor was relatable to youth today facing the same struggles. At the time no resource was available to promote the LGBTQ acceptance that Lecense, Rajski, and Stone were looking for. Thus came forth The Trevor Project.
The Trevor Project has created life-saving and life-affirming resources in many various forms. Whether on the internet or by phone, The Trevor Project has a way for you to get in contact with one of their trained and experienced counselors to provide you with the answers to questions, and the chance to openly talk to someone. Whether from the nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/education programs, each creates a safe, supportive and positive environment for all.
Striving to a high standard, The Trevor Project has multiple dedicated resources available to youth across the nation. Listed below are a few of the resources available. Additional resources, such as lifeguard workshops, can be found online at www.thetrevorproject.org.
The Trevor Project Lifeline is available at 866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386). 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a live representative will be there to take your call if you are having a hard time. All calls are toll free and confidential.
If you have better access to the computer, or are unable to talk via telephone, help is still available. TrevorChat is an online messaging service that provides live help on Fridays between the hours of 1 p.m. Pacific (4 p.m. Eastern) and 5 p.m. Pacific (7 p.m. Eastern).
Dear Trevor is one of the many online resources available. Dedicated as a question and answer resource regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, Dear Trevor is a non-time sensitive resource available at www.thetrevorproject.org/dear-trevor/youth. Also available on Dear Trevor are questions that have been answered by The Trevor Project that youth have asked. Check and see if the questions you have, have already been addressed.
* TrevorChat and Dear Trevor are not immediate action resources. If you feel suicidal or your question is urgent and you need immediate response, please call The Trevor Project Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR
Social networking is becoming the latest way of keeping in touch with friends. The Trevor Project has caught onto that and offers TrevorSpace, an LGBTQ youth dedicated site for ages 13 to 24 providing a safe way of meeting friends and allies online. TrevorSpace is connecting youth throughout the country to find support and new friends, as well as promoting LGBTQ community events. Best of all TrevorSpace is free to everyone!
You always find a reason to smile. One interactive feature that stands out is A Reason to Smile. The Trevor Project says on their website, “We give them a reason to smile by reassuring them that there is hope, there is help and they are not alone.”
Here in the California’s Central Valley, the response about The Trevor Project is phenomenal. Scotti Maldonado, community organizer in Madera, California, remarks on the great effort volunteers and organizers put into the project. “They tirelessly work to further the message of acceptance for our community and keep our youth safe by refusing to become complacent to bullying and other forms of intolerance. Without the folks who work for and volunteer with The Trevor Project, our movement would be far set back in its ability to fight against intolerance.”
Shay Harleston, founder and president of the brand new Gay Straight Alliance (G.S.A.) at Mira Monte High School, stated that The Trevor Project is an important asset to the LGBTQ community because it outreaches to at risk youth and pushes for nationwide acceptance of the gay community. During this coming school year Mira Monte G.S.A. plans on bringing in Trevor Project resources and workshops to their high school.
Due to the tremendous amount of LGBTQ related suicides, The Trevor Project has partnered with a new campaign called “It Gets Better.” Recently promoted through local Chris Colfer of the award winning show Glee, It Gets Better, promises youth that the struggles of today progressively get better to a brighter tomorrow. Colfer, a Clovis East High School graduate who is out about his sexuality today, talks about the trouble of bullying and teasing every single day, promising that “it gets better.” Watch Chris Colfer’s It Gets Better video here.
LGBTQ and anti-bullying youth activist Corey Bernstein of Millburn, New Jersey speaks highly about The Trevor Project. “The Trevor Project is a valuable resource to the LGBTQ youth across the nation. Adolescence is difficult enough; these youth must also realize who they are in regards to their sexual orientation. In addition, they are frequently bullied by their peers and rejected by their parents. Dealing with all these issues as well as their lives as students can prove difficult. The Trevor Project provides a caring and understanding voice at any time of day or night. In a world that can seem cruel and harsh, especially to LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project gives them the support to pull through. The lives of the youth that The Trevor Project saves will prove that It Gets Better.”
Today, The Trevor Project offers services ranging from their crisis and suicide prevention lifeline, online support through their organization’s website, as well as resources for educators and parents.
For more information on The Trevor Project visit them on the Web at www.thetrevorproject.org. Find them on Facebook, Twitter
@TrevorProject, Tumblr, and YouTube www.youtube.com/trevorprojectmedia today!
Check out Justin’s articles on other great organizations working to help LGBT youth–GSA & Rainbow Delegation–and an article on bullying.