Trevor Helps Introduce the D.C. Youth Suicide Prevention & School Climate Survey Act

According to the Centers for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2012, nearly 15% of the District of Columbia’s students ages 11-17 had contemplated suicide at some point, with statistics more than doubling for the LGBTQ population, ages 11-13.

In an effort to reduce these alarming numbers, D.C. Council Member David Grosso worked with The Trevor Project, The D.C. Center, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and others on the Youth Suicide Prevention & School Climate Survey Act, which was introduced in the fall of 2015.  Requiring suicide prevention training of all school personnel in D.C., this is the first bill in the nation to specifically require education about LGBTQ youth as a group with a higher risk of suicide. The Youth Suicide Prevention & School Climate Survey Act will require that information about the LGBTQ population be provided to all school employees, with an update in curriculum every five years to ensure the latest research is being incorporated.

With training, teachers and administrators can better identify youth who may be at-risk for suicidal ideation and refer those students to mental health professionals.  In an effort to improve student performance and attendance in the classroom, school personnel will be also be able to identify factors in the school environment that may contribute to youth stressors, such as the lack of safe spaces and gender neutral bathrooms, interpersonal relationships, social interactions, and organizational processes.

Through early intervention, the D.C. Youth Suicide Prevention & Climate Survey Act is a long-term investment in young people’s futures. Co-sponsored by twelve out of thirteen council members, the bill has overwhelming support and will soon go to the full council for final votes. Ultimately, by enacting this bill, we believe it will become the model legislative statute for other states to adopt, which will help stop suicide and specifically protect LGBTQ youth.

Council Member Grosso says, “It has been an honor to work with the Trevor Project and other advocate organizations on drafting and passing the Youth Suicide Prevention and School Climate Survey Act of 2015. Throughout the legislative process, The Trevor Project was a strong partner and consistent advocate for the best mental health services and policies to put our students in the best position to learn and succeed. I thank them for their partnership and look forward to working with them on future projects.”

To join us in inspiring change across the U.S., learn about how to take action on our Advocacy Page. Thank you for helping save young lives by joining us in our advocacy efforts.

Black History Month

As a son of former slaves, historian and scholar Carter G. Woodson of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History established the second week of February as “Negro History Week” in 1926, coinciding with Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 and abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ birthday on February 14. The goal of the week was to ensure that the role of African Americans in U.S. history was not misrepresented or erased and that race would be talked about in public schools within the context of the broader society.  Woodson had said, “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition. It becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”

During the Civil Rights Movement, as folks fought for black rights and black history clubs thrived, the week was extended into Black History Month in 1970, with urging from the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University. Now, the Month is recognized in the UK and Canada.

At Trevor, we understand that race, sexuality, and gender are interrelated and must be talked about in the context of socioeconomic privilege so that we can move towards creating a brighter future for all youth. To raise awareness about intersectionality, we often share on social media about how privilege can both undermine and uplift folks of varying identities, and that it is our responsibility to listen and affirm queer youth of color whose individual lives have been shaped differently by their experiences. For Black History Month, we will be highlighting the achievements of black LGBTQ folks, recognizing activists and artists who inspire our future young LGBTQ leaders with the hashtags #BlackHistoryMonth and #BlackFutureMonth. Follow along on our InstagramTwitter, and Facebook as we share information and inspiring quotes. And, please remember that we’re here to celebrate every LGBTQ identity every day.

MLK Day: A Time to Be of Service

As one of the greatest leaders in the advancement of civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr. combatted racial inequality with radical nonviolence, a protest tactic inspired by independence leader Mahatma Ghandi and gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin. By organizing protests against segregation, poverty, and the Vietnam War, King was consistently of service to others as a minister, activist, and humanitarian. It is for this reason that MLK Day is now recognized as a National Day of Service.

No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your race, gender, or sexuality is, you can be of service any time of the year. But on MLK Day, we want to pause and reflect on all those who contribute to The Trevor Project daily to make a positive difference in the lives of LGBTQ youth. Every day at The Trevor Project, volunteers are answering calls, chats, texts, and saving young lives. Those who are of service inspire young people to see the good in themselves so that they can be of service to others. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everybody can be great, because everybody can be of service.”

While online civil rights movements like #BlackLivesMatter and transgender movements like #SayHerName become the next wave of our civil rights movement, consider how you can contribute to intersectional movements. Whether you make MLK Day or any other day your time to start being of service, there are many ways you can become involved in changing the lives of others through service. For local activities you can take part in on MLK Day, find some in your area. Share your acts of service on MLK Day with the hashtags #ServiceSelfie, #DayofService, and #MLKDay on Twitter and Instagram. Show us how you’re giving back to your community and connecting with others.  After all, being of service is a great way to make a positive difference not only on the lives of others, but also yourself.

To pledge a commitment to volunteer this year, consider becoming involved with The Trevor Project. Be a part of our mission to end suicide for all LGBTQ youth and support the LGBTQ community as a whole. And, in February, follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we share inspiring information during Black History Month.

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, 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.

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 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.

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 A curriculum is even available for download at and events around the globe are listed here. For more information on asexuality, please visit or

World Mental Health Day

October 10, 2015 is World Mental Health Day. In the United States, mental health is much more accepted as a part of overall health than it is in many other countries across the world.  We are privileged to be able to talk about it in this country, which we hope encourages those who are struggling feel more open to getting help. This allows us to decrease the stigma and is key to suicide prevention efforts like The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is a safe place for LGBTQ youth to open up about their identities, and the counseling they receive on the Trevor Lifeline, TrevorText, TrevorChat, or on can be a crucial part of improving their state of mind.

With LGBQ youth being three to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers and transgender youth having an even higher risk, suicide prevention and crisis intervention services like ours are key to public health. For youth who face suicidal thoughts, they often feel hopeless and may believe they have no one to turn to for support. However, there are alternatives to sitting in the hopelessness, and at The Trevor Project, our trained counselors are here to help youth ages 13-24 explore alternative ways of thinking.

Warning Signs

If you or someone you know notices changes such as those in the list below, it may be time to address feelings of sadness, despair, loneliness, or immense hopelessness with a professional, our trained counselors, close friends, or a trusted family member.

1. Sleeping too much or too little

2. Losing appetite or overeating

3. Difficulty concentrating
4. Phasing out

5. Isolating

6. Activities that used to give you enjoyment no longer do

Coping Strategies
When you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s important to connect with a supportive community around you, like Reaching out to friends and loving family members can help you feel like you’re not alone and that people care about you. Know also that sometimes, you can’t change the way you feel, but you can work on changing the way you think about things. If you can consider a new perspective, sometimes the way you feel about things will change too. Taking care of yourself, with activities such as the examples below, can help you shift your mindset.

1. Journal out your thoughts

2. Schedule fun events (go to the movies, a park, dance, play sports)

3. Do something creative that fuels your mind

4. Spend time with friends

5. Exercise

6. Meditate

7. Visit a mental health professional (therapist, school counselor, or psychiatrist)

8. If you are spiritual, connect with a supportive and affirming religious leader or spiritual healer you trust

9. Identify what feels good and bad in your life, then minimize the bad to feel more balanced

Know that help is always available and people do want to support you when you’re experiencing mental health issues, even if you may feel like a burden. Surround yourself with people who care, and you may find your mental health improving.

Chronic Mental Health Issues
Some people do experience chronic mental health issues. In this case, seeking out a mental health professional can be particularly helpful. Be sure to talk to your doctor to figure out what’s best for you.

Staying mentally healthy is like taking care of your physical fitness. You can’t exercise just once and expect to be healthy. It’s important to consistently examine how you’re doing and give yourself check-ups once in a while. The good news is, there is support out there, and you are not alone.

If you or someone you know has been considering suicide or has been feeling down lately, call our Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 or find a supportive community online at

What Five Things Matter Most to Our Youth Advisory Council?

On October 17, our Youth Advisory Council will be meeting with our board to present five issues that the nation’s LGBTQ youth care about so that The Trevor Project can serve our youth even better and increase our visibility through outreach and programmatic efforts.

Comprised of 20 members across the country, ages 16-24, the YAC serves as a liaison between youth nationwide and The Trevor Project, where members have the opportunity to become leaders in suicide prevention, sexuality, and gender identity.

If you’d like to join the YAC, look out for our applications to open up later this year, and in the meantime, check out how to get involved with volunteer and advocacy opportunities.

World Suicide Prevention Day & LGBTQ Youth

On September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day, long-time supporter Victoria Justice explains the startling statistics affecting LGBTQ youth. If you are in need, remember, it’s brave to #AskforHelp ( or call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. And, to support our crisis intervention and suicide prevention services so that we can help end suicide for our youth, text VICTORIA to 41444 to donate. If you’d like to extend your support through September 18th, download Victoria’s film “Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List” and 10 percent of proceeds will go to The Trevor Project. Help save young LGBTQ lives on World Suicide Prevention Day.

NextGen New York Hosts Inspiring Speakers

On March 4 in New York, Trevor NextGen hosted an empowering event focusing on LGBTQ youth and the media. Throughout the evening, advocates and leaders shared their stories and spoke to more than 50 attendees to inspire, spread awareness, and educate.

It is increasingly important to lift of the voices of LGBTQ young people who are often not represented in media outlets, as well as share their diverse stories and perspectives. Oftentimes, LGBTQ young people are unable to see people who reflect their identities. This can be isolating and challenging, especially if a young person is struggling to accept themselves for who they are.

Trevor Youth Advisory Council member Charlie Kerr

The speakers who discussed this important topic included Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO and President of GLAAD; Jonathan Higbee, Associate Web Editor at Instinct Magazine; Kelvin Moon Loh, Broadway actor; and Charlie Kerr, filmmaker and Founder of Trans Across America.

Charlie, who is also a Trevor Youth Advisory Council member, shared her experiences related to street harassment on the streets of New York as a trans woman. She debuted her video series showcasing youth who share the emotional and physical toll of this public type of harassment.

Thank you to NextGen New York for creating this important event, and to HuffPo Gay Voices for their partial sponsorship!