What’s Coming Up for Trevor?

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 17: CEO and Executive Director Abbe Land of the The Trevor Project arrives for The Trevor Project’s 2013 “TrevorLIVE” Event Honoring Cindy Hensley McCain at Chelsea Piers on June 17, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for The Trevor Project) *** Local Caption *** Abbe Land

I am so excited that we’ve now completed the year-long process of developing a comprehensive 3-year strategic plan that will carry us well beyond our 16th year. Its future-forward goals lay the foundation for The Trevor Project’s expansion, and ensure that we focus on continuing to support LGBTQ youth in the strongest way possible.

Over the past several years, The Trevor Project has grown – and this growth will continue as we begin the new fiscal year in August. We have seen that more and more young people across the country are reaching out to Trevor for help, especially in a digital age where a growing number of youth are accessing our online services. To meet this need, we plan to invest in our programs, our infrastructure, and our volunteers.

The focus for this year will be to strengthen and expand the capacity for our crisis services, which will be achieved by adding staff that support the Lifeline, TrevorChat, TrevorText, and Trevorspace; as well as recruiting more volunteers to work with these programs.

With TrevorSpace in particular, we will dedicate resources to dramatically improve the functionality and usability of the website’s platform, and ensure that the social network is optimized for mobile devices. More young people than ever are accessing this life-affirming site from their phones, and we want to make sure that TrevorSpace members never have to be without this supportive online community.

Our education and advocacy work will continue to be key components of our strategy, and we plan to concentrate these efforts in programs and opportunities where Trevor provides unique value. Trevor’s outreach team will continue to focus on recruiting more volunteers, and all of us will be working to secure the financial resources necessary to support our planned program expansion.

I feel confident and optimistic about The Trevor Project’s direction moving forward, and encourage you to check our website for updates as the year continues. Thank you for supporting The Trevor Project and the LGBTQ youth we serve. We can’t do it without you!


FIFA: Take a Stand Against Homophobia

The Trevor Project joins our partners in solidarity as we ask FIFA, the organizing body of the World Cup, to speak out against the use of homophobic slurs and chants during the games. Learn more about the #StoptheSlurs campaign, HERE.

Open Letter to FIFA

Joseph S. Blatter, President
Fédération Internationale de Football Association
FIFA-Strasse 20,
P.O. Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland

July 11, 2014

Dear President Blatter,

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and its allies were extremely disappointed and surprised by FIFA’s recent decision to affirm use of the anti-gay slur ‘puto.’ Conapred, Mexico’s anti-discrimination agency, has come out strongly stating that the word is offensive and hurtful, so it is perplexing that FIFA has determined otherwise.

Sadly, the negative effect of your decision quickly manifested. During the 23 June telecast of the World Cup, fans of team Mexico chanted ‘puto’ more times than ever, along with other anti-gay slurs like ‘culero.’ FIFA seems only to have popularized words that, in many parts of the Spanish-speaking world, mean “faggot.” In countries where it is not specifically an anti-gay epithet, it is a very offensive pejorative, which expresses misogynistic attitudes.

FIFA’s own statutes specify that it would expel fans for discriminatory behavior, yet you are taking no action whatsoever. Economic sanctions against the teams surely are not the only means by which to take a stand. By not addressing the use of anti-gay slurs in advance of the World Cup and by not speaking out against their use now, FIFA is endangering the wellbeing of LGBT sports fans both in its venues, as well as those watching at home. FIFA has also put television networks in an awkward position, forcing them to undermine their own corporate values by airing words that offend countless audience members. Similarly, some World Cup sponsors and advertisers have been forced to compromise their own values, which demand respect for LGBT people and customers.

As groups such as the undersigned have worked to address homophobic behavior at sports games, we have seen organizations step forward and take a stand. Univision read a strong statement on air before and during the half time of the recent Mexico v. Netherlands match that demonstrated the network’s commitment to making broadcasts safe for all fans. ESPN also addressed this issue on air. Both broadcasters have stated, however, that they cannot control the feeds that FIFA provides — and so the ball is back in your court.

FIFA now has the opportunity to do more by creating messages that make your position clear and uphold your own statutes, which prohibit discrimination.

Previously, FIFA was asked to take part in a public education campaign to help eradicate anti-gay slurs from your games. That call was ignored, however. If FIFA continues to turn its head the other way and tacitly condone anti-gay discrimination, we will be left with no choice but to express our very grave concern to your sponsors, several of which have a long history of speaking out against anti-LGBT bias.

FIFA must take decisive action to eliminate anti-LGBT slurs from its venues and stop disregarding the concrete harm these slurs inflict on countless fans.

Yours truly,
Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO, GLAAD
Christina Kahrl, GLAAD National Board of Directors
Chad Griffin, President, Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
Eliza Byard, Executive Director, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network)
Rea Carey, Executive Director, The Task Force
Alex Nogales, President and CEO, National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO, The Trevor Project
Gabriel Blau, Executive Director, Family Equality Council
Michael Silverman, Executive Director, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF)
Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Senior Director of Advocacy, Women’s Sports Foundation
Anna Aagenes, Executive Director, GO! Athletes
Alison Doerfler, Executive Director, Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, Inc.
Nevin Caple, Co-founder and Executive Director, Br{ache the Silence
Les Johnson, Vice President, Federation of Gay Games
Jeff Sheng, FearlessProject.org
Cyd Zeigler, Co-Founder, Outsports
Ari Gutierrez Arambula, Chairperson, Latino Equality Alliance
Luis Ignacio Guzman, Vice President, CODISE A.C. (Mexico)
Esteban Paulón, President, Federación Argentina de Lesbianas Gays Bisexuales y Trans (Argentina)
Jorge-Mario Cabrera, Director of Communications, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
Antonio Medina Trejo and Jorge Cerpa Velázquez, AM Comunicación e Información (Mexico)
Rev. Nancy Wilson, Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches
Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director, DignityUSA
Alex Patchin McNeill, Executive Director, More Light Presbyterians
Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry
Rev. Harry Knox, President and CEO, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Yolanda Elliott, President, Seventh Day Adventist Kinship International
Rabbi Debra Kolodny, Executive Director, Nehirim


Trevor Joins United Nations Pride Event

As a part of LGBT Pride Month, The Trevor Project is proud to have partnered with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in an event to commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York. Hosted by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, this educational experience took place at Roosevelt House at Hunter College in New York, NY on Thursday, June 26

Trevor volunteers, Alyx Steadman (a former leader of the YAC) and Zachary Quinto, both spoke alongside LGBT activist Bill Bahlman and discussed the domestic and international progress we’ve made for LGBT citizens since 1969. However, they also underscored the work left to achieve before rejection, discrimination, and hate are a thing of the past.

“The phones at The Trevor Project still keep ringing day and night,” said U.S. Ambassador Power, after highlighting her commitment to tackle these challenges. “So long as those phones keep ringing, we still have work left to do.”

If you missed the live event, you can walk the recording below.


Trevor Discusses Family Acceptance

On May 29, The Trevor Project will be hosting a briefing on Capitol Hill, sponsored by Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and in partnership with the Family Acceptance Project. This policy briefing will highlight the critical issue of suicide among LGBTQ youth and the important role of family acceptance in preventing tragedy.

Among the challenges faced by LGBTQ youth is the practice known as “conversion therapy.” Too often, families turn to this dangerous and discredited therapy because of its promise that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed. For young people who are forced to participate in “conversion therapy,” the treatment is often seen as a form of rejection by their family, which can lead to negative consequences including depression, anxiety, drug use, and suicidality. Through government advocacy, however, The Trevor Project is working to protect youth from these harmful practices.

Our Capitol Hill briefing will help draw attention to the continued need for our policy makers to get involved in LGBTQ youth suicide prevention by promoting family acceptance, protecting youth from dangerous conversion therapy, and uplifting the health of LGBTQ youth across the country.

Panelists include: Trevor’s Executive Director and CEO, Abbe Land, and Government Affairs Director, Alison Gill; Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project; Brian Altman, Legislative Director at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); and Charlie Kerr, Trevor Youth Advisory Council member.

For more information about Trevor’s policy priorities, visit: TheTrevorProject.org/advocacy


Positive Policy Supports LGBTQ Youth

February is a month of love, and we at Trevor are emphasizing the positive, loving things we can do to help prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth. For young LGBTQ people in school, their environment can make them especially vulnerable. However, by creating safer spaces, promoting inclusive school policies, and building connections between youth and educators, we can help improve the lives of LGBTQ youth nationwide.

To do this, The Trevor Project is sharing a new Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention that focuses on preventing suicide through making positive changes. This comprehensive tool is based in the latest research, and offers accessible tools for improving existing suicide prevention policies and gives guidance to school districts that need help taking their first step.

Created in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the American School Counselor Association and the National Association of School Psychologists, this new resource plays an incredibly important role in supporting LGBTQ youth. We are also pleased to share that Trevor’s Government Affairs Director, Alison Gill, and The Trevor Project will be awarded the Allies for Action Partner Award from AFSP for our work in leading Model Policy’s creation. Congratulations to Alison for all her work on behalf of Trevor!

In addition to promoting this new Model Policy in your district, making schools safer for vulnerable youth is something that anyone can do. Whether it’s hosting a bake sale to fund a Gay-Straight Alliance or dedicating a concert to raising awareness, showing you care about the LGBTQ youth in your area is always a step in the right direction; positive changes like these can help improve a school’s climate, and ultimately, help save a life.

To show your love for the LGBTQ youth in your area and help bring the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention to your community, visit: TheTrevorProject.org/pages/modelschoolpolicy.


New Evidence-Based Tools to Create Safe Schools and Prevent Suicide

“Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention” released by The Trevor Project, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American School Counselor Association and National Association of School Psychologists

(Februay 5, 2014, Los Angeles, CA) – In time for National School Counseling Week, four leading organizations supporting the mental health of youth are releasing a “Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention.” This modular, adaptable document will help educators and school administrators implement comprehensive suicide prevention policies in communities nationwide. When suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth as young as 10 through age-19, it is crucial that our school districts have proactive suicide prevention policies in place.

“It’s hard to talk about suicide, but we know that a young person’s environment plays an incredibly important role in preventing it – especially for students who are most vulnerable to attempting suicide, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students,” said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of the Trevor Project. “Improving a school’s environment is something that school leaders can control, and this ‘Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention’ provides accessible steps to making life-saving changes for youth in crisis.”

The model policy, a collaboration created by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and The Trevor Project, is research-based, comprehensive and easily adaptable for middle and high schools without policies or those that need help amending existing policies. Inside, readers will find specific, actionable steps to support school personnel; sample language for student handbooks; suggestions for involving parents and guardians in suicide prevention; and guidance for addressing in-school suicide attempts.

“Our organizations came together to provide different perspectives on crisis intervention, youth mental health and suicide prevention. We were able to define the best practices that create a strong, positive school environment,” said Robert Gebbia, Chief Executive Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

In addition to educators and school leaders, school-based mental health professionals such as counselors and psychologists are essential in putting a policy into practice to enhance the whole school environment. “School counselors are often the first to identify a student who may be at risk,” said Dr. Richard Wong, Executive Director, American School Counselor Association. “With protocols in place we can help that individual student as well as support school personnel in creating safe schools.”

School psychologists can further provide, “insights into family systems and mental health issues to help ensure that our learning environments are respectful of all students,” said Susan Gorin, Executive Director, National Association of School Psychologists.

Only four states in the U.S. currently require that educators receive annual training to prevent suicide, (Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee). To reduce the prevalence of suicide attempts among youth throughout the nation, the movement for mandated suicide prevention training must grow, and school districts everywhere must take steps to have strong prevention policies in place. With recommendations rooted in best practices, the “Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention” can complement state law requirements and help schools achieve an inclusive, comprehensive suicide prevention plan. To access this resource, visit TheTrevorProject.org/pages/modelschoolpolicy.

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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide. To fully achieve its mission, AFSP engages in the following Five Core Strategies: 1) fund scientific research, 2) offer educational programs for professionals, 3) educate the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention, 4) promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention, and 5) provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involve them in the work of the Foundation. Learn more at www.afsp.org.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) promotes student success by expanding the image and influence of professional school counseling through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and systemic change. ASCA helps school counselors guide their students toward academic achievement, personal and social development, and career planning to help today’s students become tomorrow’s productive, contributing members of society. Founded in 1952, ASCA currently has a network of 50 state associations and a membership of more than 33,000 school counseling professionals. Learn more at www.schoolcounselor.org.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) represents more than 25,000 school psychologists who work with students, educators, and families to support the academic achievement, positive behavior, and mental wellness of all students. NASP promotes best practices and policies that allow school psychologists to work with parents and educators to help shape individual and system wide supports that provide the necessary prevention and intervention services to ensure that students have access to the mental health, social-emotional, behavioral, and academic supports they need to be successful at home, at school, and throughout life. Learn more at www.nasponline.org.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) young people ages 13-24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential phone, instant message and text messaging crisis intervention services. A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention trainings and resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.

CONTACTS:
Laura McGinnis ([email protected]; 323-423-7405); Susan Denelsbeck ([email protected]; 212-363-3500 * 2025); Kathleen Rakestraw ([email protected]; 703-864-8734); Kathy Cowan ([email protected]; 301-657-0270 *226)