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 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!


Tyler Oakley’s Birthday Fundraiser Supports LGBTQ Futures

You may remember last year, when Tyler Oakley used his birthday to fundraise for The Trevor Project. This year, he’s repeating his generous campaign; and we are so grateful.

It’s amazing to see so many people come together to help empower the futures of LGBTQ youth in crisis. So far, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised with 42 days to go. Thousands of people are getting involved and are giving what they can to Tyler’s cause. As a “thank you” to the people who are donating, Tyler is offering postcards, campaign t-shirts, signed photos, personal Skype calls, and more.

Tyler has been involved with The Trevor Project for many years, and as his celebrity has grown he has continued to support our mission. Whether it’s been hosting our TrevorLIVE red carpet event alongside Shira Lazar (What’s Trending), meeting with our Trevor Youth Advisory Council, or taking the stage to accept the Trevor Youth Innovator Award (June 2013), Tyler has helped make a difference for The Trevor Project while sending a crucial message to LGBTQ youth: you are not alone.

Thank you, Tyler!


TrevorLIVE Photos Are Here!

So many incredible celebrities, leaders, and supporters came out to attend TrevorLIVE Los Angeles at the Palladium this past Sunday, December 7. Over the course of the evening, we recognized our 16 years of service and honored Yahoo (Trevor 20/20 Visionary Award), Bob Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC (Trevor Hero Award), and Skylar Kergil (Trevor Youth Innovator Award).

Here are just a few of the guests who came to support The Trevor Project!

LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 07: TV personality Kelly Osbourne attends “TrevorLIVE LA” Honoring Robert Greenblatt, Yahoo and Skylar Kergil for The Trevor Project at Hollywood Palladium on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kelly Osbourne
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 07: Actress Jennifer Coolidge attends “TrevorLIVE LA” Honoring Robert Greenblatt, Yahoo and Skylar Kergil for The Trevor Project at Hollywood Palladium on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jennifer Coolidge
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 07: Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson (L) and Justin Mikita attend “TrevorLIVE LA” Honoring Robert Greenblatt, Yahoo and Skylar Kergil for The Trevor Project at Hollywood Palladium on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jesse Tyler Ferguson; Justin Mikita
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 07: Actress Katherine Heigl attends “TrevorLIVE LA” Honoring Robert Greenblatt, Yahoo and Skylar Kergil for The Trevor Project at Hollywood Palladium on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Katherine Heigl
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 07: Actress Sarah Hyland attends “TrevorLIVE LA” Honoring Robert Greenblatt, Yahoo and Skylar Kergil for The Trevor Project at Hollywood Palladium on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sarah Hyland
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 07: Internet personality Tyler Oakley and TV personality Shira Lazar attend “TrevorLIVE LA” Honoring Robert Greenblatt, Yahoo and Skylar Kergil for The Trevor Project at Hollywood Palladium on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tyler Oakley; Shira Lazar
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 07: Director Peggy Rajski, CEO of The Trevor Project Abbe Land and screenwriter James Lecesne attend “TrevorLIVE LA” Honoring Robert Greenblatt, Yahoo and Skylar Kergil for The Trevor Project at Hollywood Palladium on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Peggy Rajski; Abbe Land; James Lecesne
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 07: Actress Brittany Snow attends “TrevorLIVE LA” Honoring Robert Greenblatt, Yahoo and Skylar Kergil for The Trevor Project at Hollywood Palladium on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brittany Snow

If you attended the red carpet, you can find your photo HERE.


#GivingTuesday Success

By: Abbe Land, Executive Director & CEO

Giving Tuesday logo

This year, The Trevor Project participated in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back to causes that make a difference. Thanks to supporters like you, we are so honored to say that we received thousands of dollars in donations online throughout the day in support of our life-saving work.

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants also offered Trevor supporters a special offer as an extension of their own Giving Tuesday campaign, helping to make the day an even bigger success and expand our reach even more. Every dollar is so important, and helps support the young people who reach out to us for help – especially during the holiday season, which can be such a difficult time for LGBTQ youth.

Not only did we raise funds, we raised awareness. Through our multi-channel #GivingTuesday campaign over social media, we engaged thousands of people and spread the word about what The Trevor Project is all about: saving lives, and building a brighter future; and that is truly invaluable. To everyone who gave, thank you so much!