January 21, 2015
By: Charlie Kerr
Over the past year, I have served on The Trevor Project’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) – and it has been truly life-changing. From the amazing young activists I have met and worked alongside, to the opportunities Trevor has given me to advocate for transgender young people like me, I could never have imagined just how rewarding the YAC could actually be.
Surrounded by a diverse group of other young, driven LGBTQ advocates and supported by all of the wonderful staff at Trevor, the Youth Advisory Council has helped me become the best LGBTQ activist and advocate for youth that I could possibly be.
We each have quarterly projects, and Trevor’s staff provide us with the mentorship and support we need to make our dreams of a better world for LGBTQ young people a reality. At the same time, The Trevor Project looks to us to help them become even stronger, and reach a diverse range of LGBTQ young people in the most effective ways possible.
With the help of Trevor’s staff and social media presence, I created Trans Across America, a nationwide directory of health, housing, and legal services for transgender people. Finding accessible resources and services can be difficult for transgender people, especially for those living in rural areas or without health insurance, but Trans Across America helps people to find, share, and connect with organizations and people that can provide the services our community needs.
In the six months since I created Trans Across America, we have gained nearly 1,000 “likes” on Facebook and added resources in almost every state in the U.S., and have future plans to expand into Canada and complete our map of the US with at least one entry in every state. None of this would have been possible without the guidance of my fellow YAC’ers and Trevor’s staff, who taught me all about effective social media, research, and messaging strategies. Trevor has supported me through every step of the way.
If you are a young person who is passionate about LGBTQ rights and you want the tools and knowledge to be a part of making a better world for LGBTQ young people across the country, I implore you to apply for Trevor’s YAC. Your voice can make a difference!
If you’d like to apply to the YAC, or know someone who might, please visit: www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/yac-application