On #GivingTuesday, Show LGBTQ Youth We’re Here for Them

 

Last week we entered a new chapter in our history. The surprising election results have created so much uncertainty. After so many years of progress, LGBTQ people are wondering what’s to come. We are all concerned for the future of our young people.

In the days following the election, calls, chats, and texts from young people have reached the highest levels we’ve seen in Trevor’s history. They are calling us to tell us that they are frightened because:

  • They are worried that they will lose their rights
  • They are afraid to come out for fear of being rejected
  • They are terrified that conversion therapy will become acceptable (again)

The timing of this is also challenging, as the upcoming holidays can be difficult for LGBTQ youth who often feel all alone. In fact, winter is the busiest time of year for our emergency response volunteers. Last winter, we spent 402,300 minutes talking with young people who reached out to us for help. And this season, we’re taking steps to be as prepared as possible when the phone rings.

You can help. We’re participating in Giving Tuesday on November 29th, the global day dedicated to giving back. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season and is fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. By this date, we’re hoping to raise $25,000 to cover 25,000 more minutes of support to manage the spike in calls, texts and chats that we expect to increase during this winter. $1 helps keep our lines going for 1 more minute. With your help this season, we can fully ensure that LGBTQ youth know they are never alone.

Our youth deserve every minute…

Our counselors spend nearly 5,000 total minutes a day on our crisis lines responding to youth in emergencies during the holiday season. There are many ways to get involved in #GivingTuesday:

  • Make a gift to this campaign
  • $30 lets us talk to one youth for 30 minutes
  • $60 keeps our lines going for nearly an hour
  • $120 will cover one TrevorChat or TrevorText cris counselor’s shift

If you think you can raise $250 or more between now and November 29th, help us by becoming a fundraiser on our Giving Tuesday page.

Can you spare a couple minutes? Engage your community every Tuesday with stories about why you support The Trevor Project. Every Tuesday leading up to Giving Tuesday, we’ll be using Twitter and the hashtag #TrevorTuesday to feature donors like you who are building a brighter future for LGBTQ youth.

This Giving Tuesday help us raise $25,000. We at The Trevor Project believe in our youth.  We fight every day to save the lives of young LGBTQ people. And we will continue to lead the way for a brighter future for our youth, no matter what! Our phones are ringing off the hooks and with your support, we will continue to answer them 24/7 and save the lives of our precious young people.


We’re Partnering With The Mighty!

We’re thrilled to announce a new partnership that will bring Trevor Project’s resources in front of The Mighty‘s wide-reaching readership. We will now have a growing home page on The Mighty and appear on many stories on the site, allowing us to get many more people involved with our organization.

The Mighty is a story-based health community focused on improving the lives of people facing disease, disorder, mental illness and disability. More than half of Americans are facing serious health conditions or medical issues. They want more than information. They want to be inspired. The Mighty publishes real stories about real people facing real challenges.

We’re dedicated to providing comprehensive and support for LGBT people with mental illness in their lives. With this partnership, we’ll be able to help even more people.

We encourage you to submit a story to The Mighty and make your voice heard.


The Trevor Project Goes to Mexico to Advise on Creation of Suicide and Crisis Intervention Hotline

In October, The Trevor Project was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico to visit Mexico City to provide consultation with local organizers seeking to create crisis services for LGBTQ youth.  As the only nationally accredited suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth under age 25, The Trevor Project was chosen as an expert in the field of suicide prevention for LGBTQ people by the U.S. Embassy.  The Trevor Project was honored to represent the United States abroad as a consultant on how to create lifesaving programs for LGBTQ people.

Consultants from The Trevor Project were David Bond, LCSW, Vice President of Programs, and Brock Dumville, MPH, Senior Crisis Services Manager, who met with a local group of community influencers and LGBTQ advocates in Mexico City, including Alex Orué, the Regional Coordinator for It Gets Better in Latin America.  20 million people live in Mexico City, making it the largest urban center in Mexico and a key place to begin this lifesaving work.  Building from there, community organizers hope to reach out to parts of the country with more complicated access.

“We are grateful that the U.S. Embassy in Mexico understood that programs like those of The Trevor Project could help save young LGBTQ lives outside the U.S.,” said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project.  “We hope to use our expertise to consult with other international communities so that LGBTQ youth around the globe will have the benefit of knowing that there is a place for them to turn if they are in need.”

Over the course of two days in Mexico City, The Trevor Project communicated best practices from its work, covering 5 core programs and focusing specifically on Crisis Services, Peer Support Programs, and Education.  Local organizers discussed the particular needs of Mexico’s LGBTQ population, and what programs could be relevant, or what could be modified culturally to serve the unique needs of their community.  Day one was focused on strategic organizational planning, including assembling an advisory board and roles, an environmental scan of their resources and deficits.  Day two was focused on suicide theory and intervention strategies.

The two-day consultation left organizers in Mexico with inspiring ideas and a tangible roadmap to build lifesaving programs for LGBTQ people.  With the support of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, United States-based NGOs are expanding their reach to start an international dialogue on how to save lives from suicide.  These cultural exchanges spread understanding for intervention strategies, support for mental health services, and compassion for LGBTQ people. The Trevor Project is honored to be recognized as a leader in suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth both nationally and internationally, and grateful for the support of the United States government in creating a more supportive world for LGBTQ people.


Miley Cyrus and Phantogram Show Their Support for LGBTQ Youth!

During the month of September, The Happy Hippie Foundation, Miley Cyrus, and Phantogram helped us raise awareness for Suicide Prevention Month on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  We are so grateful for their support of LGBTQ+ youth, and using their platforms to spread compassion and understanding.  In addition to spreading the word about our suicide prevention resources and self-care guide, Miley Cyrus spoke publicly about suicide prevention on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.  For the rest of October, Miley Cyrus is on our Times Square billboard to help us #PictureABrighterFuture for LGBTQ+ youth!


Do you want to be featured on our billboard too?  It’s easy: submit a selfie through the Donate-A-Photo app, and you could be selected to be our new billboard star in the heart of New York City!  You can submit for a chance to be featured from now until December.  For every photo you share, Johnson & Johnson will donate directly to support LGBTQ+ youth, and for every 15 photos submitted, you will help one youth in crisis receive the support they need.  Read more here to learn how you can share a selfie to support Trevor!


Sponsor Spotlight: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

For four years, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has been an invaluable partner of The Trevor Project.  They’ve produced fundraising events and provided hospitality to those who help forward our mission to end suicide among all LGBTQ youth. Kimpton’s consistent support is an extension of founder Bill Kimpton’s desire to promote crisis intervention and AIDS awareness among the LGBTQ community. We are incredibly grateful for Kimpton’s commitment to creating a culture of inclusion and for their work as a tireless champion of the LGBTQ community.

Sharing ideals of caring and compassion towards LGBTQ youth, Kimpton advances our vision for a brighter LGBTQ future. In looking back at our 2016 events, collaborating with Kimpton has allowed us to grow awareness for our lifesaving work on a national level.  Thanks to Kimpton’s hosted, catered events in Miami, we’ve been especially able to build our presence in the South, where Trevor’s crisis services are most heavily utilized.

Kimpton events across the country this year have generated more than $70,000 in financial backing for our lifesaving services, and raised awareness by attracting hundreds of guests and celebrity performers like Steve Grand, Kyle Dean Massey, and Deborah Cox.  These fun and celebratory events allow Trevor to build support within communities around the country, while raising vital funds for our crisis intervention services, educational programs, and advocacy work.

Kimpton’s employment programs also reinforce their belief in a brighter future for LGBTQ youth. They’ve coordinated regular employee-led outreach to the LGBTQ community and were the first hotel company to score 100 percent on the HRC Corporate Equality Index in 2004. In 2011, they received the “HRC Innovation Award for Workplace Equality” for their pioneering benefits programs, including transgender-inclusive, fully-insured employee health plans and grossed up employees’ incomes to offset taxes from domestic partner benefits. With employees involved in many facets of The Trevor Project partnership, Kimpton continues its legacy of employee-driven philanthropy.

The Trevor Project looks forward to continuing our relationship with Kimpton, and we are excited to celebrate Trevor Live with them in December. With Kimpton’s generosity and dedication to Trevor’s mission, we have partnered to spread compassion, to build community, and ultimately, to save young lives together.


LGBTQ History Month

For LGBTQ History Month, The Trevor Project is highlighting a few key civil rights activists who helped to pave the way for a more inclusive society.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but should pique your interest in the incredibly diverse community that founded the gay rights movement.  While not all these activists are highlighted in textbooks yet, we’re excited to see states like California adopting an LGBT history curriculum, and look forward to many more to come.  Until then, if you’re looking for role models, keep in mind the tagline that this movement gave us: “We’re Everywhere!”


“I’m living the way Sylvia wants to live. I’m not living in the straight world; I’m not living in the gay world; I’m just living in my own world” –Sylvia Rivera
Sylvia Rivera was a Puerto Rican, bisexual, transwoman who was a veteran of the 1969 Stonewall uprising, founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, the Gay Activists Alliance, and the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, and an outspoken activist who rallied against racism, sexual violence and transphobia.

“When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” –Bayard Rustin
Bayard Rustin was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights. A master strategist and tireless activist, Bayard Rustin is best remembered as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests ever held in the United States.

“I’m not greedy, I know what I want.” –Brenda Howard
Brenda Howard organized the 1970 Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day Parade on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which gave birth to annual Pride parades and gave her the name the “mother of gay pride.” She also founded the New York Area Bisexual Network and was a tireless advocate for bisexual rights.

“My problem is that I can’t accept life for what it is… like it’s presented to me. I feel that there is something deep and wonderful underneath it that no one has found.” –Lou Sullivan
Lou Sullivan is an American author, activist, and transman known as the founder of FTM International and is largely responsible for the modern understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity as distinct, unrelated concepts.

“Hope will never be silent.” –Harvey Milk
Harvey Bernard Milk was an American politician who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California.

“Pay it no mind” –Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson was a transgender and gay liberation activist, a veteran of the Stonewall riots, cofounder of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries with Sylvia Rivera, and an AIDS activist with ACT UP.

National Suicide Prevention Month


The Trevor Project’s electronic billboard on 43rd Street and Broadway in the heart of Times Square

You too can save young lives, which is the message of The Trevor Project’s Suicide Prevention Month campaign this September. Using various forms of digital media throughout the campaign, we launched a billboard in Times Square as well as a Public Service Ad campaign featuring actor Kira Kosarin, daughter of Trevor volunteer Lauren Kosarin, directed by Danny Kosarin (Kira’s father).

Sharing her family’s story in The Advocate, Lauren Kosarin explained the importance of this campaign: “We are still living during a time when many LGBTQ people cannot always live their authentic lives safely. LGBTQ youth know this, which can lead to devastating consequences. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24. The rate of suicide attempts is four times greater for LGB youth and two times greater for that of questioning youth than that of straight youth. Nearly half of transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives and one quarter have reported making a suicide attempt…We all play a part in the fight to save young lives. You too can save a life, no matter how involved you get with The Trevor Project.”

To inspire people to connect, communicate, and care about suicide prevention, we joined the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Take 5 to Save Lives, and SAMHSA for their #BeThe1To campaign and worked with transgender rapper Kaycee Ortiz of Futurehood to reach out to LGBTQ people of color. To engage people on social media, Trevor created guides on how to practice self-care, talk about suicide prevention, and educate schools about our suicide prevention training program, Lifeguard.

Trevor’s Executive Director & CEO, Abbe Land shared how to take action in Gay Star News: “Many times, people who are feeling suicidal feel powerless. They may want to reach out for help, but shame may prevent them from doing so. Sometimes, the ones they love may not know how to offer help. Trevor’s campaign empowers both those in crisis and those wanting to help to start connecting and forming more supportive environments for all.”

Trevor’s shareable guides and posters will allow everyone to take part in raising awareness about suicide prevention, either digitally or in the classroom. With Trevor’s Self-Care Guide, people in crisis can see how to take care of themselves at home, school, or in public. With Trevor’s Suicide Prevention Guide, people who are unsure about how to offer help or people who don’t know how to ask for help can find ways to connect, communicate, and get care. And, with Trevor’s Back to School Guide, Trevor offers ways for schools, classmates, teachers, and youth-serving professionals to offer support and a more welcoming environment to LGBTQ youth in crisis.

To show LGBTQ youth that their lives matter, share Trevor’s PSA or any of their suicide prevention guides at: thetrevorproject.org/SaveLGBTQLives. Communicating and connecting about suicide can be the first step towards empowering LGBTQ youth to get the care they need.

 


AB 2246 Passes: CA Becomes First State in The Nation With Suicide Prevention Education

Governor Jerry Brown has established a national precedent by signing AB 2246, a bill that requires the adoption of suicide prevention, intervention, and follow-up plans by local California school districts with students in grades 7-12. Co-authored with The Trevor Project, Equality California, and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, AB 2246 is the first state bill of its kind in the nation, as it mandates that all schools in California implement suicide prevention policies that specifically address the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.  The bill requires local education agencies to develop  their policies in conjunction with suicide prevention experts, school and community stakeholders, and school mental health professionals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among young people ages 10-24. Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and nearly half of transgender people have thought about suicide.

Assemblymember O’Donnell believes that suicide prevention training for teachers and schools is crucial for saving young lives. “As classroom teacher, I know from experience that educators often serve as the first line of defense when a student is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. “AB 2246 will provide parents, teachers and schools with the tools they need to help save the lives of at-risk youth.”

“Nearly 20 percent of young people who reach out to The Trevor Project’s suicide prevention programs are from California. AB 2246 will provide parents, teachers and schools the tools they need to recognize students at risk for suicide and understand how to help, which will surely decrease the risk among youth in the state” says Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project.

“Aside from students’ own families, teachers often spend more time with at-risk kids than anyone else,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “But it is difficult help if they don’t recognize the warning signs or have access to resources at their schools. With the first state law in the nation to require middle and high school suicide prevention education that specifically requires attention to the needs of LGBTQ youth, California can now serve as a model for schools nationally.”

The Trevor Project is proud to have participated in the hearings that took place in Sacramento and thanks Boardmember Lindsay Chambers for testifying along with Trevor’s ED and CEO, Abbe Land.  We also thank Governor Jerry Brown for this groundbreaking step in LGBTQ advocacy and education efforts.


Young People Find Community on a Fundraising Page for Trevor

A few months ago, The Trevor Project learned that many viewers of the CW’s TV show “The 100” were upset about a storyline that presented a lesbian character in an unfavorable way.  After two seasons of a storyline that built up to a possible relationship with bisexual character Clarke, the lesbian character Lexa was killed, as part of the plotline, which left several viewers with feelings of loss and disappointment.

One person, Gina Tass, a behavioral therapist, saw that these young people needed a place to process their feelings in a healthy way, so she created the Leskru fundraising page for The Trevor Project that could serve as a safe space where they could voice their opinions, make an impact together, and not feel alone. On March 6, 2016, The Trevor Project was pleasantly surprised to see donations flood in in an effort to turn this negative television moment into something truly positive.

With over 4100 donations, ranging from one dollar to several thousand, including a matched contribution from Zimbio, the LGBT Fans Deserve Better™ movement has raised over $155,000, showing that there is power in bringing our collective voices together. Actress Alycia Debnam-Carey (Lexa) reported to the Daily Beast that she is proud her character’s storyline has inspired activism: “Just to think that it had such an impact on people…It’s kind of an honor…It became a positive thing, which is really the most important thing about it all.”

The Trevor Project is here 24/7 for all youth who are hurting at 1-866-488-7386 and thetrevorproject.org. The safe supportive online community TrevorSpace.org has over 140,000 members who are looking for connection—connection similar to the type that the Leskru donors have found on just one fundraising page for Trevor. “We thank all Leskru donors who have given a voice to not only the lifesaving work of The Trevor Project, but also the LGBTQIA community as a whole,” says Abbe Land, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project.

For Suicide Prevention Month, consider joining the Leskru community at https://give.thetrevorproject.org/fundraise?fcid=625415.

[LGBT Fans statement] We want to thank all of the amazing individuals who have responded to the LGBT Fans initiatives. With our latest project, we’ve managed to promote the Pledge for better representation on television, as well as push our total amassed funds for Trevor, past the $155,000 mark. We feel that the Trevor Project is in a unique position to understand the impact of how LGBTQ people are represented in the media, due to their daily interaction with LGBTQ youth, many of whom are struggling with loss and who are looking for connections and role models, and as such believe that this is a good match. We hope new and old supporters alike will continue to join us in the fight for better LGBTQIA characters and storylines in the media, as well as our projects to raise funds for Trevor and suicide prevention.

To learn more about LGBT Fans Deserve Better™ and our initiatives please visit:
http://lgbtfansdeservebetter.com
and
http://wedeservedbetter.com/


Sponsor Spotlight: Johnson and Johnson

As we raise awareness about the importance of self-care during National Suicide Prevention Month this September, The Trevor Project would like to extend our gratitude to Johnson & Johnson! As a proud supporter of Trevor for several years during Pride season and throughout the year, Johnson & Johnson knows the significance of self-care and is donating to help us continue our lifesaving work.

Created by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, the Care With Pride™ campaign connects The Trevor Project, PFLAG, and the Family Equality Council in a unique partnership that focuses on raising awareness about the health and wellbeing of all youth, and inspires people to “pay it forward” by donating to make a difference.

All through October and for the rest of this year, you can be a part of this campaign by downloading Donate a Photo, a free app (available in Google Play for Android and in the App Store for iOS devices) from Johnson & Johnson that takes your photos and turns them into a way to do good!  For every photo uploaded through Donate a Photo, Johnson & Johnson donates $1 to a non-profit partner of the supporter’s choosing.*

You can help make a difference every day through Donate a Photo in 3 simple steps:

  • Choose Trevor as an organization to support
  • Upload a picture (either from your camera roll or take one on the spot).
  • Share your photo on the Donate a Photo gallery.

You can also share to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help spread the word and get your friends and family to donate as well!

In just a few minutes, you can download the app and get started. You can upload one photo a day, every day! The app also lets you see and share the impact of your actions.

We are so proud to be a part of this national partnership, alongside two LGBTQ nonprofit leaders. Visit healthyessentials.com to learn more about Care with Pride™, redeem coupons that offer $55 in savings, and give your support!

*Johnson & Johnson has curated a list of trusted causes, and you can donate a photo to one cause, once a day. Each cause will appear in the app until it reaches its goal, or the donation period ends. If the goal isn’t reached, the cause will still get a minimum donation.