August 11 is an anniversary that defines Trevor’s legacy. The Trevor Project’s formal founding occurred on March 25, 1998, but August 11 marks the 25-year anniversary of the launch of TrevorLifeline, the first 24/7 national lifeline supporting LGBTQ youth in crisis.
The Academy Award®-winning short film, “Trevor,” a story about an LGBTQ teen who attempts suicide, was set to air nationally on HBO on August 11. The filmmakers — Peggy Rajski, Randy Stone, and Celeste Lecesne — wanted to include a number to a suicide lifeline for young people that might feel similar to Trevor’s character. After learning that LGBTQ young people in crisis didn’t have a place to call in real life, the idea for creating TrevorLifeline was born. HBO aired the short film, and featured a phone number for LGBTQ young people in crisis to call. On August 11, 1998, over 1,500 calls came in to TrevorLifeline from across the United States, and Trevor hasn’t stopped taking calls since.
Since 1998, we’ve provided 25 years of crisis services for LGBTQ young people; we’ve also grown our programs to include research, advocacy, public education, and peer support — all with their own milestones (like publishing the largest survey of LGBTQ youth mental health annually, launching chat/text and eventually making them 24/7, helping to pass The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, the first bill that is specifically LGBTQ-inclusive to pass Congress unanimously in history, and so on.) We also launched 24/7 crisis services for LGBTQ youth in Mexico, expanding our life-saving scope.
As we celebrate our 25th anniversary of Trevor Lifeline, we continue to imagine a world where all LGBTQ young people see a bright future for themselves and can always find community. Until then, we will continue to be here to meet the moment.