Trevor Recognizes Women’s History and Bisexual+ Health Awareness Month

Proclaimed by President Jimmy Carter in 1987, Women’s History Week was originally established by The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women to teach K-12 classrooms about the suffrage movement in the United States. Now known as Women’s History Month, the time is recognized internationally on March 8 for International Women’s Day, a time to highlight women across the world, take action, and pledge gender parity.

During Women’s History Month, The Trevor Project acknowledges that transgender women must also be recognized across the world. Transphobia has become a national crisis, especially for trans women of color. We are still faced with the staggering reality that 41 percent of transgender and gender non-conforming people have attempted suicide. Through TrevorChat and TrevorText, we were able to serve 54 percent of crisis contacts who identified as female and 19 percent of our digital crisis contacts were transgender, genderqueer, or third gender.

We continue to use such platforms as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram to connect with young people, highlight inspiring LGBTQ activists, and talk about the struggles of marginalized groups.In March, we are also raising awareness about Bisexual Resource Center’s Bi+ Health Awareness Month, sharing information about Bi+ activists, Bi+ health disparities, and Bi+ resources, like the Trevor Support CenterBiNetUSA and BRC. According to LGBTmap.org, U.S. Bi+ females experience higher rates of intimate partner violence than gay, lesbian, or straight people, as well as higher rates of poverty and PTSD. In fact, one of the second largest groups we serve on TrevorChat and TrevorText is bisexual. We recognize Bi+ Day of Remembrance on March 11 as a time to remember all Bi+ lives lost, and show all Bi+ folks we are here for them always. We support feminists and Bi+ activists who are fighting for LGBTQ rights each and every day, and we want to remind folks that we support all LGBTQ young people 24/7 on our Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 and thetrevorproject.org.


PowerOn: Providing Technology to Underserved LGBTQ Youth

As a queer Division I runner in college who often felt alone in his sports community, Trevor Youth Advisory Council member Tom Woermer found that the ally community embraced his identity. In an effort to help other LGBTQ youth feel less isolated, he started the PowerOn initiative with The Trevor Project, Straight But Not Narrow, and human-I-T to help underserved LGBTQ youth gain access to computers, tablets, and phones. Now research nonprofit LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute has joined the the PowerOn initiative to further help LGBTQ youth establish invaluable connections and support networks.

For some LGBTQ young people, the internet is the sole place to find peers, engage in civic activities, and search for medical and health information. According to GLSEN’s “Out Online” study, 52% of LGBTQ youth who are not out to peers in person have used the internet to connect with other LGBTQ people. 50% of LGBTQ youth have at least one close online friend, and 77% take part in an online community that supports a cause or issue. It is for this reason that The Trevor Project joined PowerOn after building TrevorSpace.org, a safe, confidential, online network of over 200,000 LGBTQ youth and their straight ally friends.  “At The Trevor Project, we know that connecting to a community can reduce the risk for suicide attempts and other high-risk behaviors. That’s why we are so excited for this collaboration,” says Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project.

Initially, Tom began raising awareness of PowerOn by reaching out to rural LGBTQ centers where he knew LGBTQ youth would feel safe and comfortable, eventually expanding his efforts to homeless shelters.  After providing 40 computers and tablets to 40 homeless LGBTQ youth at the True Colors Fund and several other centers, PowerOn began to provide 100 phones and service plans to LGBTQ youth around the D.C. area.

Most recently, The Fosters actor Gavin Mackintosh announced that he’ll be donating unused and old electronics to LGBTQ youth through a PowerOn PSA, and we are grateful for the visibility. As Tom says, “PowerOn is eliminating barriers that once prevented LGBTQ youth from finding themselves through community connections.”

If you would like to support PowerOn, you can donate old laptops, tablets, and smartphones at human-i-t.org/ally. human-I-T will collect and refurbish all computers free of charge. Thank you for helping us give LGBTQ youth instant access to open-source technology and LGBTQ online resources, like The Trevor Project’s TrevorChat and TrevorText, TrevorSpace.org, and Trevor Support Center. We look forward to seeing you #PowerOn on Twitter!

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Straight But Not Narrow

Founded in 2011, Straight But Not Narrow has quickly become a leading ally organization.  With the help of celebrities and other young influencers, SBNN is a 501c3 non-profit charity primarily focused on straight youth and young adults, and strives to positively influence the perception of, and behavior toward their LGBTQ peers. For more information, visit www.wearesbnn.com and follow on Twitter at @WeAreSBNN.

LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute

The LGBT Technology Institute is a tax-exempt non-profit organization conducting cutting edge research at the intersection of LGBT communities and technology and creates resources, tools, and programs to support LGBT communities. The LGBT Technology Institute strives to serve LGBT communities through education, programs, partnerships and research, and is committed to expanding research to better LGBT communities all around the world. For more information, visit www.lgbttechpartnership.org and follow at @LGBTTech.

human-I-T

human-I-T is a tech-based non-profit in Los Angeles, California that breathes new life into old devices. A socially responsible company, human-I-T is leading the charge to close the digital divide by turning E-waste into opportunities and educational tools. By partnering with local governments and organizations, human-I-T creates programs that ensure no one is left behind digitally. For more information about how to help bridge the digital divide, visit smarthuman.org. Follow @right2tech.


Trevor’s Affirming #SelfLoveSelfie Campaign: #HeartYourself

Valentine’s Day can be a difficult time for LGBTQ youth who feel unsupported by their family, friends, and communities. During the month of February, we also recognize two serious movements that affect how young people treat others and themselves: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 21-27).

Both movements demonstrate that it can sometimes be hard for young people to find self-love, practice healthy love, and care for themselves.  But struggling with any issue, whether it is depression, disordered eating, or an unhealthy relationship, does not mean a person is broken. Instead, this is an opportunity to pause and recognize when a person needs help.

That is why The Trevor Project is here to offer validating acceptance and support, 24/7. For the young people who don’t feel they can confide in anyone, we are here to listen through calls, chats, and texts. Our safe, supportive online community TrevorSpace.org also provides a place for young people to connect and share their experiences over issues they care about.

To show our support, we launched a series of photos for a #heartyourself #selfloveselfie campaign, encouraging #LGBTQ youth to share how they practice self-care and affirm their identities. All are welcome to take part, any time. We are here to support you.


Black History Month

February is Black History Month and The Trevor Project is highlighting a few historical, queer people of color.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but should pique your interest in the incredibly diverse community that who helped to pave the way for a more inclusive society.  In the face of this difficult political climate, learn your history to find strength in the trailblazing heroes who came before us, who stood up to oppression, and changed the world.

“My sexuality is part and parcel of who I am, and my poetry comes from the intersection of me and my worlds” – Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde was a writer, feminist, and civil rights activist. As a poet, she expressed anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life with technical mastery, passion, and beauty.

“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” – James Baldwin
James Arthur Baldwin was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His work explores fundamental internal and external pressures facing people of color, gay and bisexual men, and the internalized obstacles facing those with intersecting identities.

“It’s a long old road, but I know I’m gonna find the end.” – Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s, and is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on other jazz singers, earning her the nickname the Empress of the Blues.  Her story was told in the HBO TV film Bessie, directed by Dee Rees and starring Queen Latifah.

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something – to say something – and not be quiet.” –Rep. John Lewis. Mr. Lewis spoke in support of LGBT equality from the podium in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the 40th Anniversary March on Washington event. John Robert Lewis is an American politician and civil rights leader. He is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, serving since 1987, and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. Lewis was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington.

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” – Angela Davis
Angela Yvonne Davis is an American political activist, academic scholar, and author. Davis’ imprisonment for over a year in 1970 inspired the international “Free Angela” movement and among other subjects, she has taught about black liberation, inclusive feminism, LGBT equality.

“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.


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.


What We Did During Suicide Prevention Month

We are faced with the staggering statistic that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24, and that youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning are three to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that the risks for the transgender community are higher. These statistics must change, and we know that with our crisis services, education and advocacy efforts, and your support, The Trevor Project can make a difference.

During Suicide Prevention Month in September, we highlighted our program OktoAsk.org to raise awareness about the importance of asking for help when needed. Through the Trevor Lifeline, TrevorText, TrevorChat, and TrevorSpace.org, we want to show youth that there are supportive environments they can turn to—even in their darkest moments.

World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 was a time for us to raise awareness about our mission as the national suicide prevention resource for LGBTQ youth. When long-time friend and supporter Victoria Justice wanted to partner with us around this issue, we couldn’t say no. Ten percent of pre-sales of her LGBTQ-friendly film Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List went to our life-saving mission. And, to impact the thousands of teens who tweeted about our partnership, we asked them to text VICTORIA to 41444 to further their support and take action with us by making commitments to volunteeradvocate, or donate.

In addition, we took part in Action Alliance’s Google hangout, tabled at the World Suicide Prevention Day Conference, and we continued to raise awareness on Twitter and Facebook. To show your support, share our video with Victoria Justice or text VICTORIA to 41444. Raising awareness and donating to us throughout the year will directly impact the youth we serve.


Victoria Justice Supports The Trevor Project

#AskForHelp is the message of The Trevor Project’s new PSA campaign. Too often, we’re afraid to ask for help when we really need it. After all, asking for help isn’t always easy. Figuring out where to start or who to turn to can be overwhelming and we may not want to bother anyone with our worries or fears.

But the truth about asking for help is that no problem is too big or too small. There are helpers everywhere – parents, teachers, adults, counselors, neighbors, religious leaders and Trevor counselors – who are there to listen when you need support. Asking for help may be scary, but it’s also one of the bravest things you can do.

Ask for Help – It’s the first step to getting the support you need. Are you ready to ask for help? Contact The Trevor Project to talk with a trained counselor at 1-866-488-7386.


Trevor Celebrates Women Leaders and Activists Nationwide

By: Abbe Land, Executive Director & CEO

Women’s History Month is a crucial time for us to reflect on the woman-identified people in our history who, despite discrimination and inequality, made enormous strides worldwide. Today, I feel fortunate to recognize just a few of the powerful female leaders who helped make The Trevor Project possible.

Peggy Rajski

Peggy Rajski directed and co-produced TREVOR, the film that inspired our mission. In 1998 Peggy co-founded The Trevor Project, was the interim executive director and has continually served on Trevor’s Board of Directors as a passionate advocate for LGBTQ youth in crisis. We are so grateful for her vision and commitment to supporting The Trevor Project as we save young lives.

Brenda Freiberg

Brenda Freiberg was one of our earliest Board Chairs. As an award-winning AIDS activist, she helped grow our organization during a time when the Board of Directors meetings were held in her own home! It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come since then, due in part to her leadership.

Meredith Kadlec

As the first out lesbian Board Chair at The Trevor Project, Meredith brought a unique and valuable perspective to the forefront. Through her leadership, we were able to expand Trevor’s services and programs and lay the foundation for a strategic plan that would carry us into the future.

Throughout the LGBTQ nonprofit world, women are also standing at the forefront of key issues in the community – like Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director; Rea Carey, the Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force; Sharon Lettman-Hicks, the National Black Justice Coalition and Lorri L. Jean, the Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, to name a few.

And of course, there are the hundreds upon hundreds of women nationwide who are helping to create a better to tomorrow for youth everywhere. On our social media we will be highlighting just a few who have made an impact on our society. To them all, we are so grateful. Thank you!


In February, Spread Love and Reduce Loneliness

By: Abbe Land, Executive Director & CEO

In the 28 days of February, our nation recognizes Valentine’s Day to share the power of love, American Heart Month to encourage wellbeing, and Black History Month to highlight Black leaders who have – and are – making a difference in our world.

The Trevor Project is featuring several Black heroes from the LGBTQ and ally community on social media to express the importance of this awareness month for youth; we are also sharing a new video by Trevor supporter and NCIS actress Pauley Perrett called “Beautiful Child” to help spread love and support on Valentine’s Day.

Still, it is still far too common for our society to gloss over or erase the stories of diverse advocates, heroes, inventors, scientists, and more; especially when these people identify as LGBTQ. For LGBTQ youth of color, this can be uniquely challenging. The often small handful of diverse leaders taught by teachers, parents, and peers dramatically shrinks when an L, G, B, T, or Q is added. Sometimes, it may seem like no one in our history is like them, at all.

We can all help reduce this isolation by spreading awareness of incredible LGBTQ and ally people of color who have made great strides and accomplishments in our world. Like Bayard Rustin, the civil rights organizer and adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. who helped lead the 1963 march on Washington. Or Josephine Baker, a WWII spy and famous entertainer who said: “All my life, I have maintained that the people of the world can learn to live together in peace if they are not brought up in prejudice.”

During Black History Month and throughout the months to come, help spread love and support by elevating the voices of history’s leaders who are not often heard. For some young people who feel like they don’t belong, it may truly be life-saving.


Pauley Perrett Releases New Song for The Trevor Project

Around Valentine’s Day, NCIS actress Pauley Perrett released a new song called “Beautiful Child” to spread awareness of The Trevor Project, and our life-saving mission. Long-time Trevor supporter, Lance Bass joined Pauley for the song’s music video along with Criminal Minds actress Kirstin Vangsness, Calpernia Addams, Kevin Lawson, and more.

“Beautiful Child” sends a message of love to every young person, and lets listeners know that someone out there cares. At the end of the song’s music video, viewers are encouraged to call the Trevor Lifeline if they are ever feeling suicidal or need help.

“I can’t tell you how many times a song, or music, has saved my life,” said Pauley. “It’s those little melodies that carry you through the hardest times. Music can translate a message that, in some ways, is even more impactful than spoken or written words.”

Pauley continued, “The negative messages around us, telling people that being LGBTQ is wrong, are not the truth. Our goal is to help reach youth who need to hear that they are beautiful, just the way they are. As the song says, ‘Know you are loved. Don’t be scared.'”

To watch the video for “Beautiful Child,” click here to visit Pauley’s YouTube page!