By: Abbe Land, Executive Director & CEO
In the 28 days of February, our nation recognizes Valentine’s Day to share the power of love, American Heart Month to encourage wellbeing, and Black History Month to highlight Black leaders who have – and are – making a difference in our world.
The Trevor Project is featuring several Black heroes from the LGBTQ and ally community on social media to express the importance of this awareness month for youth; we are also sharing a new video by Trevor supporter and NCIS actress Pauley Perrett called “Beautiful Child” to help spread love and support on Valentine’s Day.
Still, it is still far too common for our society to gloss over or erase the stories of diverse advocates, heroes, inventors, scientists, and more; especially when these people identify as LGBTQ. For LGBTQ youth of color, this can be uniquely challenging. The often small handful of diverse leaders taught by teachers, parents, and peers dramatically shrinks when an L, G, B, T, or Q is added. Sometimes, it may seem like no one in our history is like them, at all.
We can all help reduce this isolation by spreading awareness of incredible LGBTQ and ally people of color who have made great strides and accomplishments in our world. Like Bayard Rustin, the civil rights organizer and adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. who helped lead the 1963 march on Washington. Or Josephine Baker, a WWII spy and famous entertainer who said: “All my life, I have maintained that the people of the world can learn to live together in peace if they are not brought up in prejudice.”
During Black History Month and throughout the months to come, help spread love and support by elevating the voices of history’s leaders who are not often heard. For some young people who feel like they don’t belong, it may truly be life-saving.