The Trevor Project has been providing support for almost two decades on the Trevor Lifeline, the only nationally accredited suicide lifeline for LGBTQ+ youth available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386, and during that time we’ve seen social media become increasingly more important. Youth were turning to social media not just for fun, but for support and community. To respond to this need, The Trevor Project launched our own peer-to-peer social media site for LGBTQ+ youth in 2008, called TrevorSpace. TrevorSpace now has nearly 150,000 members who support each other every day through serious discussions about coming out, suicide, mental health, and relationships. They also build their own community through more light-hearted conversations about their interests and passions.
We’re celebrating a re-launch and upgrade of TrevorSpace, which creates an even more easy-to-use platform for youth to connect with other like-minded peers. Unlike the Trevor Lifeline, TrevorText, or TrevorChat, TrevorSpace is not a crisis intervention tool, but rather an international social media site where LGBTQ youth from all over the world can connect. “TrevorSpace friendships can provide connections that we know can make a difference in the well-being of a young person, and can often mitigate the kind of isolation that increases a young person’s risk of suicide,” notes our Vice President of Programs, David W. Bond, LCSW, B.C.E.T.S. By giving LGBTQ youth a safe place to connect with each other, TrevorSpace is a powerful resource for LGBTQ young people to find support among their peers.
TrevorSpace is an online, social networking community for LGBTQ youth ages 13 through 24 and their friends and allies. Youth can create personal profiles and connect with other young people throughout the country, as well as find resources within their communities. TrevorSpace is carefully monitored by administrators designated by The Trevor Project to ensure all content is age appropriate, youth-friendly and factual. This ensures the site provides the safest space possible for its young members, and that TrevorSpace remains a safe space for all LGBTQ people.
The safety and privacy of the LGBTQ youth members on TrevorSpace are both incredibly important to us. Members cannot privately message each other without staff and volunteers verifying who they are through a process called photo certification. In order to get photo certified, members have to submit a “selfie” of themselves holding a piece of paper that prominently displays their user ID. This helps young people know they are talking to other members who are who they say they are. Trevor Project staff and volunteers also proactively monitor discussions on TrevorSpace to make sure young people have a safe, supportive space where they can be themselves.
For LGBTQ youth who feel isolated in their communities, TrevorSpace is a way for youth to discover that they are not alone. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, remember that the Trevor Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, TrevorChat.org is available 3-9 pm EST 7 days a week, or you can text the word “START” to 678678 Tues-Fri 3-9 pm EST (soon to be 7 days a week this summer!). To learn more about how The Trevor Project is creating a brighter future for LGBTQ youth, visit thetrevorproject.org.