The Trevor Project Commemorates Human Rights Day

Today is #HumanRightsDay, a time for people to help build a world where LGBTQ people are embraced in every community. All should have the right to feel safe living as their authentic selves. Like always, we create that safe space for youth by having counselors on call 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, TrevorChat.org, and TrevorSpace.org. But, we are also fighting for the mental health rights of the community so that they will have brighter futures moving forward.

Through our advocacy efforts, we’ve helped get conversion therapy banned in Illinois and Oregon, and in Burbank, we’re implementing a school suicide prevention policy. We’re also fighting to get mental health services funded across states, tribes, and universities through the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. By next year, we hope all these advocacy efforts become realities on a nation-wide level.

Help us in this fight for human rights at thetrevorproject.org/advocacy.


Supporting World AIDS Day

 

On World AIDS Day, we take a moment to reflect on how we can support those who are currently living with HIV and those who have lost loved ones to this virus.

Over the years there have been incredible scientific advances and many laws have been enacted to protect people living with HIV. Today we understand much more about how to support those impacted by the virus. Yet, with 34 million people who have HIV globally and more than 35 million who have died from the virus, there is still so much to do.

In a world where stigma and discrimination are often faced by the LGBTQ community, World AIDS Day is an opportunity to educate young people about their health, the health of others, and how to treat everyone with respect and understanding. Throughout November, we’ve shared educational materials for LGBQ and trans youth about practicing safe sex, and we’ve raised awareness about how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today.

However, the education must continue beyond World AIDS Day, and when youth ask us questions on the Trevor Lifeline, TrevorChat, TrevorText, and TrevorSpace.org, we are committed to sharing facts and knowledge. This year, you can share your support of World AIDS Day by not only wearing a red ribbon, but also educating yourself and raising awareness. And, if you or someone you know needs support during this time, call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.

Our hearts go out to all those in the community who have been affected by AIDS and HIV, and we hope you know, we are here to offer support when you need us, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Why Folks Are Giving to Trevor on Giving Tuesday

The holiday season can be difficult for the youth we serve. It is during this time that LGBTQ youth need us the most. Like always, we will have counselors on call 24/7.

On December 1, we are participating in Giving Tuesday, the global day dedicated to giving back.

With your help, we hope to receive donations that will help 1,000 young people in crisis through our suicide prevention and crisis intervention services. To do this, we’re setting the first donation amount at $25, with the hope of engaging 1,000 donors. Involve your community in giving to our lifesaving services through thetrevorproject.org/trevortuesday.

Already we’ve seen amazing support from folks on Twitter, like one school counselor who said he supports The Trevor Project because “It’s my job and pleasure to help all to feel supported and that they are somebody…because they are.”

A nonprofit education program said they support The Trevor Project because “All youth deserve love and respect to become amazing adults.” One woman shared that she loves her wife, and she supports the future of young people so that they are able to live as she has been able to.

The Trevor Project will always be there for LGBTQ young people in crisis, and this holiday, no one should feel alone.

Thank you for joining our community of donors. When you donate, you can share your story on Twitter like the folks have done below, using the hashtags #TrevorTuesday and #GivingTuesday, along with an unselfie image we’ll send to you in your donation confirmation.

Help make a direct impact on LGBTQ youth.


Corporate Spotlight: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

For over two years, Kimpton has been an invaluable partner of The Trevor Project, from helping produce fundraising events, to providing 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 support crisis intervention and AIDS awareness among the LGBTQ community.  Committed to creating a culture of inclusion, Kimpton has worked with The Trevor Project to engage with the LGBTQ community, and we are incredibly grateful.

Sharing ideals of caring and compassion towards LGBTQ youth, Kimpton supports our vision for a brighter LGBTQ future. Through social media, they’ve acknowledged the importance of National Coming Out Day, World Mental Health Day, and Spirit Day, in which they rallied all employees to don purple for GLAAD’s bullying prevention campaign. Most importantly, they’ve helped raise a total of $25,000 for The Trevor Project through the Cirque Du Pride Party in San Francisco with MC Margaret Cho, and the Orange Party with GLEE actors, MC Kevin McHale and performer Alex Newell.

Kimpton’s employment programs also reinforce their belief in a brighter future for LGBTQ youth. With their employee resource group, KPRIDE, they’ve coordinated regular outreach to the LGBTQ community and they 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. They also celebrated the landmark June 26 Supreme Court ruling with a custom-created video illustrating the history of same-sex marriage across the U.S. And, 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 the relationship with Kimpton, and we are excited for our upcoming events at their hotels, including the New York volunteer appreciation party, Trevor Gives Thanks, and our inaugural cocktail reception in Chicago. With Kimpton’s generosity and dedication to Trevor’s mission, we have been able to work together to spread awareness about volunteering and fundraising opportunities so that we can continue our efforts to save young lives.


Trevor Gives Thanks

During this season of thanks, we reflect on the immense amount of gratitude we have for everyone who continues to make our lifesaving work possible. From our board members and donors, to our volunteers and staff, we recognize that it’s because of all of you that LGBTQ youth know they can always reach out to The Trevor Project, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

For you to truly understand how much you mean to Trevor, we thought it would be best to share messages from the youth we’ve served, including one young person who said…

“When no one else understands or is willing to talk about the hard stuff, I always know I can turn to The Trevor Project. You’ve helped me so much. Thank you.”

With hundreds of thousands of youth who rely on The Trevor Project as the one place they can reach out to, we are grateful that over the last 17 years, with your support, we have been able to grow from a 24/7 phone line to a comprehensive suicide prevention and crisis intervention program, including a lifeline, text and chat services, and an online community now serving 200,000 youth annually.

We couldn’t meet youth where they are at without our over 1,000 volunteers, from our crisis counselors, to those who are doing outreach in communities across the nation. Together, they are the backbone of our mission to end suicide for all LGBTQ youth and we can’t thank them enough for their dedication and passion. After one crisis call, a young person told us…

“Today, I decided it’s OK to be who I am. You helped me realize that. Thank you so much.”

When we think about youth who do not feel they can live as their authentic selves, especially in rural areas of the South, we are grateful for our donors and board members who are helping us innovate our programs so that we can connect with youth who may not know we exist.

As we gear up for TrevorLIVE on December 6, we look forward to being able to thank many of you in person. Our invaluable connections with donors, board members, staff, and volunteers could not be possible without our sponsors and partners. It’s because of all of you that we can put all our focus towards youth who tell us to “Please keep saving lives.”

At the end of the day, it’s not just one person who makes The Trevor Project’s work possible. All of you are contributing to our vision of a brighter future for all LGBTQ youth. With you, The Trevor Project is not only saving young lives, but also changing them. As one young person has said…

“I just want to thank everyone at The Trevor Project for all you have done for me. I wouldn’t be here without you amazing people. Now I’m living life. Happy.”

This season, remember that The Trevor Project exists because of all of you, and we are forever thankful, as are all of the LGBTQ youth we serve.


Trevor Gives Thanks

During this season of thanks, we reflect on the immense amount of gratitude we have for everyone who continues to make our lifesaving work possible. From our board members and donors, to our volunteers and staff, we recognize that it’s because of all of you that LGBTQ youth know they can always reach out to The Trevor Project, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

For you to truly understand how much you mean to Trevor, we thought it would be best to share messages from the youth we’ve served, including one young person who said…

“When no one else understands or is willing to talk about the hard stuff, I always know I can turn to The Trevor Project. You’ve helped me so much. Thank you.”

With hundreds of thousands of youth who rely on The Trevor Project as the one place they can reach out to, we are grateful that over the last 17 years, with your support, we have been able to grow from a 24/7 phone line to a comprehensive suicide prevention and crisis intervention program, including a lifeline, text and chat services, and an online community now serving 200,000 youth annually.

We couldn’t meet youth where they are at without our over 1,000 volunteers, from our crisis counselors, to those who are doing outreach in communities across the nation. Together, they are the backbone of our mission to end suicide for all LGBTQ youth and we can’t thank them enough for their dedication and passion. After one crisis call, a young person told us…

“Today, I decided it’s OK to be who I am. You helped me realize that. Thank you so much.”

When we think about youth who do not feel they can live as their authentic selves, especially in rural areas of the South, we are grateful for our donors and board members who are helping us innovate our programs so that we can connect with youth who may not know we exist.

As we gear up for TrevorLIVE on December 6, we look forward to being able to thank many of you in person. Our invaluable connections with donors, board members, staff, and volunteers could not be possible without our sponsors and partners. It’s because of all of you that we can put all our focus towards youth who tell us to “Please keep saving lives.”

At the end of the day, it’s not just one person who makes The Trevor Project’s work possible. All of you are contributing to our vision of a brighter future for all LGBTQ youth. With you, The Trevor Project is not only saving young lives, but also changing them. As one young person has said…

“I just want to thank everyone at The Trevor Project for all you have done for me. I wouldn’t be here without you amazing people. Now I’m living life. Happy.”

This season, remember that The Trevor Project exists because of all of you, and we are forever thankful, as are all of the LGBTQ youth we serve.


Building Resilience and Community During Transgender Awareness Week

From November 14-20, people across the world come together, building community around Transgender Awareness Week. This is a time to not only help raise visibility of transgender and genderqueer issues, but also recognize the challenges these communities face. Unfortunately, transgender people often face hatred or fear just because of who they are. Violence, harassment, discrimination, and lack of support are huge issues facing the young transgender community today – especially among young transgender women of color. This is why, on November 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember lives lost.

At The Trevor Project, we recognize that loss in the transgender community, on top of the adversities and non-affirming conflicts that transgender folks too frequently face, can wear on a community’s resilience. In one report, over 40 percent of transgender people attempted suicide and according to GLSEN’s National Climate Survey, 80 percent of transgender students stated that they felt unsafe in school because of their gender expression. This is why it’s important for transgender individuals to find supportive networks and share positive, life-affirming stories that connect them and build strength within the community.

Renowned suicidologist Thomas Joiner theorizes that a feeling of belongingness can reduce suicide attempts and death by suicide, and according to Psych in the Schools, one supportive person can reduce suicide by 30 percent. At The Trevor Project, we offer nonjudgmental support to transgender and questioning youth who have nowhere else to turn to for help. Our crisis-services volunteers on the Trevor Lifeline go through extensive training to understand the distinct challenges transgender young people face, and they continue to learn about various LGBTQ topics throughout the year.

No matter how old you are or where you live, our life-affirming online hub, the Trevor Support Center, allows readers to explore a wide range of transgender and non-binary topics, Q-and-As, and resources in a way that promotes visibility, spreads awareness about diverse identities, and offers support to youth around the country. TrevorSpace, our online social network for LGBTQ youth and their allies, gives members a chance to select gender terms with which they identify (they can use more than one or forgo a label completely). For some youth, this can be the first time they’ve ever identified as their true self.

According to TrevorSpace Coordinator, Chris Angel Murphy, “It is incredibly inspiring to see youth connect and share their stories on TrevorSpace. There is a strong network of trans-identified youth who support and check-in with each other regularly. Some of them have even shared that TrevorSpace is one of the few places they can live their truth. The best part? They are intentionally creating and holding that space for each other.”

Within The Trevor Project’s Youth Advisory Council, several transgender activists are advising our programmatic and outreach efforts so that we can best serve LGBTQ youth. YAC Member and Co-founder of Transgender Student Educational Resources, Eli Erlick says, “The Trevor Project introduced me to a community of empowered young trans activists who want to make a difference in our communities. I know that with this community, we can change the world.”

When YAC member and transgender activist Charlie Kerr met Erlick she said it was life-changing: “Before I joined the YAC, I didn’t have any other friends who were transgender women, let alone who were transgender women involved in activism and organizing. I consider Eli Erlick one of my best friends despite the fact that we are on opposite sides of the country. YAC member Juniper Cordova-Goff is also one of the most amazing, powerful, driven, and dynamic activists I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Without Trevor, I would have never had the opportunity to meet and bond with these two people who each, in their own, give me so much strength and inspiration every day.”

Organizations like The Trevor Project will continue to be there for transgender youth who need lifesaving help or want to connect with someone who simply lets them know that it’s okay to be who they are.

Thankfully, society is slowly changing to be a more affirming and accepting place. Shows like Beautiful As I Want To Be, True Life: I’m Genderqueer, Transparent, and The T Word are promising advancements in visibility and understanding. Heroes like Jen Richards, Tiq Milan, Angelica Ross, Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Geena Rocero, Chaz Bono, Laura Jane Grace, and Lana Wachowski are giving new visibility to important conversations about what it means to be transgender. Advocates will continue to push forward in the fight for true equality, and for the rights of transgender people nationwide who face disproportionately high risks and discrimination.

Whether or not these pivotal steps continue to make a difference is up to all of us. As author and activist Jennifer Finney Boylan said in GLAAD’s video series, I AM: Trans People Speak:

“People don’t need to understand all the ins and outs of what it means to be transgender in order to be loving. If we begin with love, everything else will flow from there. And the things that we need to understand will flow from that as well.”

However transgender folks find a community to be a part of this week, remember that we all have a part in making the community feel supported. As Youtuber and Harry Potter Alliance Communications Director Jackson Bird states, “We have a long way to go towards equality and acceptance of transgender people and it’s going to continue to be a fight…These injustices we face are due to a stigma born out of a lack of understanding and compassion that our world, including our friends, coworkers, and families have for transgender people. If you are not a transgender person, or if you are a transgender person with any amount of privilege, security, or a platform, continue to educate yourself, educate others when able, amplify the voices of the less privileged than yourself, take action when you can, and remember those who came before us and those we’ve lost. And if you are transgender…find support where you can. There are a ton of resources you can turn to online…I recommend The Trevor Project.”

To be inspired by transgender folks who are raising awareness and taking action, see images we shared on social media throughout the week below.

On Transgender Day of Remembrance, help build resilience with the community by joining our staff at the events below or visit this link of events compiled by TDOR.info. This is not a full list, so please check your area to find an event near you. To submit your own event, visit the following link.

West Hollywood, CA

  • Date: November 20, 2015 6:00 PM PST
  • Location: West Hollywood Library, Auto Court; 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard

New York City, New York

  • Date: November 20, 2015 7:00 PM EST
  • Location: The NYC LGBT Center; 208 W. 13 St. NY, NY 10011

Washington, D.C.

  • Date: November 20, 2015, 6-8 PM EST
  • Location: Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC, 474 Ridge St. Washington, D.C. 20001

San Francisco, CA

  • Date: November 20, 2015, 6-8:30 PM PST
  • Location: SF LGBT Center, 1800 Market St., SF, CA

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.


How To Join Our Community of Donors

In the last month, we’ve had fundraising events all over the country, bringing together supporters of our life-saving services. It’s been wonderful seeing our community in person, bonding over how they participate in what we do. We are incredibly grateful for all of our supporters and could not continue our suicide prevention and crisis intervention work without them.

To gear up for TrevorLIVE LA, our annual fundraiser held on December 6, we threw Trevor Gives Thanks, a small get-together of donors and volunteers at Bugatta to build community around those who will be sponsoring, offering services, and working at our Los Angeles event. In New York, we launched our new major donor program, Impact Circle, bringing together new and long-standing supporters to pledge gifts of $1,200 or greater at the New York office of international PR firm, Edelman. And, at Kimpton’s Palomar Hotel in San Diego, comedian and GLEE star Kevin McHale hosted The Orange Party, with performances from fellow GLEE star Alex Newell, a silent auction, and heartfelt speeches from our San Diego Ambassadors. The philanthropic month was capped off with a $10,000 check presentation from Sir Ivan, pop-dance recording artist and founder of The Peaceman Foundation. Sir Ivan has been a generous supporter of The Trevor Project since 2011, and with his newest donation and partnership, we aim to strengthen our services to the transgender community in particular.

You too can join our community of donors by participating in Giving Tuesday, the global day dedicated to giving back. This day is particularly important to The Trevor Project because during the holidays, LGBTQ youth need our services more than ever. By December 1, we hope to eventually reach 1,000 youth in crisis with the help of $1,000 donors. $25 can make a difference in one young person’s life. To give back to our life-saving work, please consider forming your own fundraising page for The Trevor Project or making a one-time donation and encouraging your community to participate in helping save young LGBTQ lives.

Another way to celebrate your support of our work is to join us at Fall Fete in New York Nov. 13, honoring Meghan McCain, with performances by The Haus of Mimosa, DJ Tracy Young, and The Lesbian and Gay Apple Corps. Marching Band. Then, on December 6 in Los Angeles, join us at TrevorLIVE for an irreverent night of comedy, music, and heartfelt speeches that will engage guests philanthropically. We thank you for making our work possible, and for giving a brighter future to LGBTQ youth.


The Importance of Asexual Awareness Week

By Founder of Asexual Awareness Week, Sara Beth Brooks

This week, asexual people around the world are celebrating the sixth annual Asexual Awareness Week. When I founded this project In 2010, I had no idea it would not only reach across the United States, but also around the world. As Ace Week has quickly become a tradition in the lives of asexual, demisexual, grey-asexual, and other ace spectrum people each October, it’s important to take a moment to remember why this awareness is so important.

Asexuality is an orientation where a person does not experience sexual attraction. Oftentimes, asexual people, or aces, experience erasure and invisibility in everyday life, because there is little to no public discourse about asexuality. Some aces struggle with understanding their sexuality for some time before finding the asexual community. A common theme of ace identity is feeling broken, alone, or even ashamed of one’s sexual orientation. But as information about asexuality is starting to reach mental health professionals, they are seeing how they can better serve us.

Over the last six years, we’ve worked with countless organizations to educate on asexuality and ace experiences. Since 2012, Trevor Project has integrated materials about asexuality into their trainings and services. And our work as a community isn’t done yet. Last year, the University of California system took demographic information from among its undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff and found that 4.6% of that population identifies as asexual. These growing numbers of people identifying as asexual show that it has never been more important to continue educating about asexuality. Community events such as Asexual Awareness Week not only serve to bring us closer together, but also help more people understand the fundamental diversity of human sexuality.

This week, as profile pictures turn purple, white, grey, and black in support of asexuality, you can learn more too through the collection of resources we’ve gathered on asexualawarenessweek.com. A curriculum is even available for download at asexualoutreach.org and events around the globe are listed here. For more information on asexuality, please visit www.aceweek.org or www.asexuality.com.


Anna Kendrick Honors The Trevor Project at Variety’s Power of Women Event

You may remember the viral video of Anna Kendrick performing with Kristen Chenoweth at TrevorLIVE. It was a defining moment that brought her back to her passion of singing after she hadn’t performed live in ten years. We’d like to think it propelled her into the “Pitch Perfect” movie series. Most importantly, it connected her to our organization and a community of LGBTQ youth who today look up to her through all her social media channels. Anna Kendrick’s passion for our organization is what led her to recognize our work at Variety’s Power of Women event, honoring women who are using their celebrity and privilege to make changes for underrepresented communities across the world.

With LGBTQ rights still being an issue in our country despite the progress that’s been made in the government and media’s portrayal of LGBTQ characters, it’s important that role models like Anna Kendrick align themselves with our work. “I just think that what (The Trevor Project does) is necessary,” she says. “I remember a couple of years ago I had a friend say, ‘I am glad gay rights are important to you.’ It was the first time that I considered that people think it’s unique or brave” to champion gay rights. “It just seems to me that it’s just basic human rights.”

In her beautiful speech about The Trevor Project, Anna Kendrick talks about the need for our services, now more than ever.

“Recently, the The New York Times said young people are identifying and exploring formerly unknown and unlabeled frontiers of sexuality and gender and it’s beautiful and it’s fun and it’s exciting and it gives me hope that this generation is onto something that’s so liberated and healthy that it will make us all look back on our youth and make us all wonder why we couldn’t have figured it out.” She continues, “As adults, we’ve made our decisions about what’s right and what’s moral, and when we hear politicians spouting messages of homophobia, we have the strength of our conviction to rely on, but as a teen trying to navigate the world, who hasn’t found a system of support, those reactionary voices are loud, and ugly, and capable of making a young person see the way they were born as an insurmountable obstacle, and Trevor is there. The Trevor Project educates and advocates for LGBTQ youth in schools and the political arena, but first and foremost, they are committed to providing crisis counseling 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, through phone, chat, and text. And in spite of the progress of our nation in recent years, the numbers of teens reaching out has only grown, because hate is still real, and families who disown their children for coming out is still real, and conversion therapy and its devastating effects are still real, and at 13, 14, and 15, knowing that maybe one day you can get a job and you can get married are not your priorities and if your home life and your day-to-day make you feel trapped and alone, you need access to spaces that are safe and accepting to feel hope, and Trevor is there and committed to growing and making themselves more and more accessible to teens.”

Anna Kendrick was awarded alongside Salma Hayek for her work with Chime for ChangeOprah Winfrey for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy FoundationGwyneth Paltrow for her work with LA Kitchen, and Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki for her work with Room to Read. We thank Variety for making it possible to raise awareness about our life-saving resources among a crowd of philanthropists and changemakers. More visibility means more LGBTQ youth know about our services, and it encourages supporters to make our work possible.