Trevor Outreach Across The Nation

Lost-n-Found Youth executive director Rick Westbrook (l) and actor and activist Josh Hutcherson (r). (Photo by Patrick Saunders)

The Trevor Project has been connecting with champions of LGBTQ youth across the nation as we raise awareness about our suicide prevention and crisis intervention work. In July, through our PowerON initiative, we co-hosted an event with Lost-N-Found Youth, an organization that works to end homelessness for LGBTQ youth in Atlanta. With nearly 40 percent of homeless youth who identify as LGBTQ and an estimated 650,000 homeless LGBT youth nationally, it is crucial that we show we are there for them, especially when they may struggle getting connected to resources.

Trevor’s Youth Advisory Councilmember Tom Woermer, LGBT Tech, human IT, and Straight But Not Narrow came together to help raise $3,000 dollars for PowerON so that we could provide refurbished computers and cell phones to youth and connect them to Trevor’s lifesaving services. 10 laptops and 28 solar chargers were donated at our event, with Josh Hutcherson in attendance, along with 200 folks, including Rep. Park Cannon – 58th District GA, four Atlanta City Council Members, and two Atlanta City School Board Members. According to ThinkProgress.org, “Having a phone can be the difference between sleeping in a public space, risking physical harm, and calling a trusted friend, family member, or case worker who can give you a place to stay…and 62 percent of homeless youth own a cellphone but only 40 percent have a working phone..” Learn more about why being connected to tech is crucial for the mental health and well-being of homeless LGBTQ youth in the video below.

The Trevor Project has also been lucky to connect with Miss Missouri, Erin O’ Flaherty, the first openly gay Miss America contestant, as she raises awareness about our suicide prevention efforts among the LGBTQ community in the South and beyond. Miss Missouri marched with us and YouTube star Brendan Jordan for our San Diego Pride event. It was so meaningful to the LGBTQ community there, and we thank Trevor Ambassador Joshua Coyne for organizing such an empowering event. We look forward to working with them in the future. You can check out some of our Tweets here and our first Facebook LIVE video, which got over 10K views.

You can join our fight to save young lives at our upcoming events in Miami August 28, Chicago September 16, and San Diego September 24 with Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. Thank you for being a warrior for LGBTQ youth. Showing them that they matter can help us save lives.


Celebrating Pride 2016 with Trevor

Throughout the month of June, from Los Angeles to New York, Trevor celebrated Pride Month across the nation, showing LGBTQ youth that their futures deserved to be supported and validated. We are so grateful to Pride Community and Outreach volunteers who have showed up to our Pride events across the United States to show LGBTQ youth that they matter. A day after the heinous mass shooting that killed 49 LGBTQ folks in Orlando, our Los Angeles staff and volunteers still bravely marched in West Hollywood’s Pride, with The Thunderman’s actress and Kid’s Choice Award Winner Kira Kosarin leading the charge. In the weeks following Orlando, our amazing staff and volunteers were also there to respond to some of our highest volume of calls, chats, and texts this year.

Even in this day and age, we are fighting to celebrate our existence as a strong, resilient LGBTQ community. Yet, we keep pushing to hold safe spaces for our young people.

As we move into July, September, and October, Trevor will continue raising awareness through tabling and proudly marching at events across San Diego, Dallas, Memphis, Castro, Atlanta, and others, working with partners like AT&T, Revlon, Twitter, Johnson & Johnson, and Macy’s.

Twitter, our Trevor 20/20 Visionary Honoree at TrevorLIVE, helped us share support of the LGBTQ community online with their emoji #LoveisLove, then opened their headquarters to our San Francisco community for our #ThisisMe fundraising event. Thanks to sponsor Revlon’s Sinful Colors #PRIDE nailpolish line, Trevor was also able to offer LGBTQ youth a chance to show their pride by expressing themselves through their own self-care, style, and beauty. AT&T’s Live Proud Activation gave LGBTQ youth an opportunity to share their moments of acceptance with the help of Trevor supporter Lisa Vanderpump, as well as explore their Pride Personalities through a live #ATTLiveProud personality quiz across Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Petersberg, San Francisco, and on social media. With Johnson & Johnson, we supported their #LoveHasNoLabels campaign, focusing on educating folks about hidden biases against the LGBTQ community.

We want to thank supporter Tyler Oakley for donating a portion of proceeds to Trevor from his LGBTQ album Pride Jams, as well as LA Weekly for featuring us as one of the best organizations to volunteer with. Our supporters, volunteers, donors, and sponsors are all champions for young LGBTQ people’s brighter futures. We hope you join us at Pride celebrations across the nation to celebrate the beautiful diversity of our community.


TrevorLIVE and #ThisisMe: Paving The Way for Brighter LGBTQ Futures

Right now, LGBTQ youth are seeing that they have to struggle for rights and opportunities that seem so basic, including the freedom to gather with our community for a night of relaxation and socializing, without fear. That’s why we have been beyond grateful for the Trevor supporters who have bravely stood with us to serve as pathfinders in the fight for equality at pride events, TrevorLIVE New York, and #ThisisMe in San Francisco.

A day after the tragic events in Orlando, at TrevorLIVE New York, Executive Director and CEO Abbe Land said, “As our youth grapple with their confusion, fears, hurt, and questions, it is important for them to see us, to see us celebrate who we are and for them to know we are holding our heads high and being strong. We are there to help them…and we will continue to be there for them.”

With over 690 guests and Presenting Sponsor Kevin Potter, we honored Trevor Heroes Jordan Roth and Richie Jackson, 20/20 Visionary Twitter, and Youth Innovator Cole Ray Davis, raising over $820,000 for our lifesaving work. Davis, a young trans activist who lives in rural North Carolina, reminded us about limited LGBTQ resources in the South: “Organizations like Trevor are needed because in places like Deep Run, North Carolina, it’s hard to feel like you can trust anyone…It’s encouraging to know that The Trevor Project is raising awareness about their resources in the South with their Southern Initiative, because we need it…This award represents hope for all the LGBTQ young people who don’t think they’ll ever amount to anything—the people who think they’re alone in the Bible Belt—the people who can’t find mental health support or doctors who will perform gender affirming surgeries for them—the people who can’t find anyone to talk to outside of The Trevor Project. No one is alone and The Trevor Project is always here for you.” To check out more content from TrevorLIVE, visit Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr.

A few weeks after TrevorLIVE, we continued raising awareness at Twitter’s Headquarters in San Francisco for #ThisisMe, where over 450 supporters expressed their pride on our orange runway, helped us become the third highest trending topic on Twitter, and raised over $50,000. These dollars came at a time when we have seen increased calls, chats, and texts come into our crisis services.

As performer Frenchie Davis told our followers: “We all have a social responsibility to take care of our young people…black, white, brown, transgender, bisexual, gay, straight…to care for, encourage, and inspire the young people in our communities…to encourage them and tell them that they are okay and that they are loved for who and what they are.  Every three minutes, an LGBT person considers taking their own life, so the work The Trevor Project is doing is so important.”

Help us do even more by joining our Impact Circle. As our budget year comes to a close, we could really use just 10 more Impact Circle members donating $100 per month. Together, we can continue paving the way for brighter LGBTQ futures. To check out content from #ThisisMe, visit Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr. Thank you for being a part of saving young lives.


Grammy Winner Rob Thomas Honored with The Ally Award at Taste of The City

In April, we celebrated our lifesaving work with over 500 supporters at Trevor NextGen New York’s annual fundraiser, Taste of The City: Spring Fling 2016. As Ally Honoree and Grammy Award-Winning singer-songwriter Rob Thomas said, we came together to be “on the right side of history.”

We thank all of our NextGen New York Ambassadors, volunteers, donors, sponsors, and the talent who were a part of making this night possible. We are so grateful that Rob Thomas, comedian Julie Halston, DJs Avan Lava and Tygapaw, and host Braden Bradley graced our stage with their talent to help us forward our mission to end suicide for all LGBTQ youth.

We also want to thank our presenting sponsors Viacom, Kevin Potter, Absolut, as well as all our food, wine, and spirits partners who made our event truly unique.

For more pictures from Taste of the City, visit Flickr. See Rob Thomas’ acceptance speech below and read the Forbes article about the event. You can also check out photos from A Night Out for Trevor San Francisco at Dirty Water Restaurant and Bar. To learn about future events with Trevor, visit our Event Page.


Support Trevor at United Relay: History’s Biggest Coast-to-Coast Challenge

Starting in May, The Trevor Project is joining 9,000 runners in a race across the United States. Help save young LGBTQ lives in the biggest coast-to-coast challenge in history by signing up along any of the United Relay routes.

 

You can be that one supportive person who can decrease a young person’s risk for suicide by 30 percent. To get involved, set up a donation page and encourage your friends and family to take part. If you are underage, differently abled, or don’t feel like racing, you can make a big difference by raising awareness, cheering us on, or donating here. If you would like a discount on signing up for the race, email [email protected] for more information. AfterShokz will be giving away free headphones through a weekly prize draw here.

To prepare for United Relay, Trevor recognizes that self-care is necessary for building endurance. As National Sleep and Nutrition Awareness Months come to an end in March, we’ve compiled some tips on how to get ready for the race.

Get Better Sleep
1. Set a routine to wake up the same time each day
2. Exercise regularly
3. Avoid naps longer than 20 minutes
4. Eat and drink lightly before bed
5. Turn off electronics and dim the lights an hour before you sleep
6. If you can’t fall asleep, try getting up, taking a walk, journaling, meditating, or turning on music

Plan Nutritious Meals
1. A few weeks leading up to the race, plan meals with lean meats like chicken or fish and/or plant-based carb foods that are in season, like vegetables, fruits, and legumes
2. A few days leading up to the race, stay away from food that is not easy to digest or may not agree with your stomach, like processed foods, fats, fried foods, dairy, or extra fiber
3. Three hours before the race, eat a breakfast of carbs and protein or energy bars
4. 30 minutes before the race, continuously sip water to stay hydrated

Whether you race with Trevor or not, we appreciate all your support and we thank you for raising awareness about United Relay!


Trevor Hosts Students for Alternative Spring Break

In March, The Trevor Project’s Community Engagement and Outreach team organized activities for student Alternative Spring Break groups from across the nation who were driven to help us save young LGBTQ lives.  Wingate University, Gettysburg College, and Florida International University students had an intensive overview of Trevor’s story, our vision, mission, and programs. Trevor Ally, Advocacy, Outreach, and LGBTQIA competency-based trainings prepared Wingate and Florida International students to do outreach in New York, distributing resources about our services to youth-based organizations and community centers.

In a cultural exchange between The Trevor Project  and LGBT Youth Japan, a Tokyo-based student organization that educates Japanese young people about LGBT support systems currently employed by foreign countries, our Wingate student volunteers learned about the state of LGBT youth in Japan, while our Japanese students were informed about our lifesaving work. An LGBT Youth Japan student, Kody, was particularly inspired by the visit: “I’ve known about your organization since Tyler Oakley started hosting the red carpet for TrevorLIVE. I’ve always wanted to visit you since then, so it was a dream come true moment! Now, inspired by people I met in New York, I’ve decided to continue posting various coming out videos by interviewing my ally and LGBT friends in order to increase our visibility in Japan and help young LGBT people who might be in need of help and encouragement.”

We are grateful that we had the opportunity to connect with young people through education and we look forward to seeing them become leaders within the LGBTQ community.


Corporate Spotlight: Baxter International

Over the last few years, we have experienced a surge in the need for our digital program, TrevorChat.  With the mission to expand access to healthcare for the disadvantaged and underserved in the United States and around the world, healthcare company Baxter International’s foundation generously provided The Trevor Project with a grant that made it possible for us to significantly increase the number of Trevor-trained volunteer counselors supporting LGBTQ youth in crisis.

We appointed two full-time TrevorChat shift supervisors, which allowed us to provide supervision and training to many more volunteer counselors, while also maintaining seven days a week of TrevorChat sessions. Together with Baxter, we can continue to innovate the ways in which we offer lifesaving and life-affirming support, and we are so grateful.


Moments to Remember: TrevorLIVE Los Angeles

On December 6, 2015 at The Hollywood Palladium, celebrities and supporters gathered to raise over 1.1 million dollars towards The Trevor Project’s suicide prevention and crisis intervention services for LGBTQ youth. The night began with an engaging red carpet livestream, hosted by Shira Lazar, Todrick Hall, and RJ Aguilar, with questions gathered from youth on Twitter and Instagram. The irreverently comedic, yet heartfelt show, directed by Adam Shankman, began with a moving speech from Executive Director and CEO Abbe Land, who spoke about our Southern Initiative, which aims to bring more resources to youth in rural areas who may not know about our services.

Joel McHale hosted the night of entertainment, which began with an electric performance of “Peeno Noir” by Tituss Burgess.  Lisa Kudrow made a special appearance as Valerie Cherish in a tribute video to HBO’s President of Programming, Michael Lombardo. Julia Louis-Dreyfus presented the award to Lombardo, honored as the Trevor Hero for his fight to bring LGBTQ equality into the workplace and his pivotal role in inspiring Vice President Joe Biden to announce his support for marriage equality in 2012.

“The Trevor Project, by providing crisis counseling and a sense of community, is a lifeline to scores of youth struggling to feel unbroken, to feel of value,” said Lombardo. “There is nothing more basic, more critical, than the work Trevor does and what it represents – that one is never alone, that being gay or lesbian or trans is a difference to be embraced and valued.”

The Youth Innovator Award, presented by Candis Cayne, Kevin Zegers, and Jeffrey Paul Wolff and sponsored by Wells Fargo, was awarded to Jazz Jennings for her work with the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation to raise awareness about LGBTQ issues and advocate for transgender youth. In her speech, Jennings said, “Being transgender has not just been a physical transition for me. It’s been about discovering who I am, how to love myself, and spreading that love towards other people and accepting one another no matter their differences. Knowing that I can help folks discover themselves, and that organizations like The Trevor Project exist to help kids understand their feelings and identities is lifesaving.”

Presenting the Trevor 20/20 Visionary Award to The Walt Disney Company was Amy Adams, following Jeremy Jordan’s uplifting Disney medley and a touching video that highlighted Disney’s support of the LGBTQ community through its various television, film, and theme park projects over the years. Chairman of Walt Disney International, Andy Bird, accepted the award, saying: “The Trevor Project saves lives. It is a candle in the darkness, illuminating the way to safety for so many young people struggling to find acceptance. And, even though the world has changed dramatically since this organization was founded, there is still so much to be done. The Walt Disney Company is proud to be part of the effort…and to stand with The Trevor Project tonight and always.”

The evening was full of laughs, heartfelt speeches, and jaw-dropping performances by Aja Naomi King, Alex Borstein, Alfred Enoch, Brad Goreski, Brenna Whitaker, Cheyenne Jackson, Conrad Ricamora, Eli Lieb, Guillermo Diaz, Jack Falahee, Jeremy Jordan, Martin Starr, Matt McGorry, Niecy Nash, Pauley Perette, Rachel Bloom, Sarah Silverman, Suzanne Cryer, and Tony Hale. Pictures and videos of celebrities offering support to LGBTQ youth can be seen on Flickr and Instagram.

To commemorate the lifesaving work of The Trevor Project, the night ended with a powerful performance of “The Circle of Life” by Burgess.

We thank TrevorLIVE presenting sponsors Wells Fargo, HBO, and The Walt Disney Company, corporate and individual donors, volunteers, and staff for making this a night to remember. To find out more about TrevorLIVE New York in June 2016, check in at trevorlive.org.


Corporate Spotlight: Astellas

When The Trevor Project set out to expand suicide prevention and crisis intervention services in the Midwest last year, global pharmaceutical company Astellas was simultaneously looking to support diverse initiatives such as ours through their Employee Resource Group (ERG) Together As One (TAO).

As we work with Astellas to expand our volunteer base in Chicago and build up our ambassador program of young professionals making a difference, we are strengthening our TrevorChat program in the city.

“Together, we share a mutual goal – to end suicide among LGBTQ youth while supporting their well-being – and we can’t accomplish that mission without building new partnerships that further strengthen our ability to provide lifesaving help,” says Executive Director and CEO Abbe Land.

By supporting events such as our most recent mixer at Roscoe’s, in collaboration with longtime supporters Bank of America and Deloitte, Astellas is also helping us establish more fundraising and corporate partnerships in Chicago.

Linda Friedman, Executive Sponsor of TAO ERG, says, “Being a young person is hard; being a teenager while dealing with sexual identity or gender acceptance issues can be especially traumatic. That’s why we have partnered with The Trevor Project to provide financial and volunteer support to further the mission of ending suicide among the LGBTQ community.”

With a top score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, Astellas continues to increase their involvement with more LGBTQ projects such as Trevor’s. We are excited to see where our new collaboration takes us and look forward to working with them for our upcoming May event and more in Chicago.


Celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Week

During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, The Trevor Project’s staff celebrated our amazing volunteers with awards, social media features, and enormous gratitude.

In New York, staff held a Volunteer Awards Ceremony where veteran volunteers for Trevor Lifeline were honored with trophies and MVP volunteers for Lifeguard Workshops, TrevorChat, TrevorSpace, Pride celebrations, as well as administration volunteers were given 5 year anniversary pins and MVP awards. Food ranged from empanadas and yucca bites to veggie skewers and cake.

“Volunteer appreciation is important because volunteers are the heart of The Trevor Project,” said Jennifer Dugan, Trevor’s new Community Engagement Coordinator. “They make our services possible!”

NextGen New York members also held a ceremony at Viacom. “Trevor All Star” awards were given to NextGen leaders and volunteers who’ve gone above and beyond in their duties. Food and drinks were provided and an after party was hosted at a nearby venue.

Los Angeles volunteers also celebrated during a Volunteer Awards Ceremony at Broadstone Candara, a beautiful donated space in Hollywood, where passed appetizers were donated by Marino Ristorante. Here, a wide range of volunteers from all aspects of the organization were honored with certificates, pins, and trophies. Later, volunteers gathered at Sassafras Saloon in Hollywood for an after party.

Danielle Orner, Trevor’s Community Engagement Associate in Los Angeles, said, “We ask so much from our volunteers, who will spend approximately 150 hours training and supporting LGBTQ youth. So many of them go above and beyond to participate in fundraising, additional programs, and mentorship. Each volunteer’s passion, commitment, and talent are invaluable to preventing suicide nationwide.”

Are you interested in volunteering for The Trevor Project? Visit Trvr.org/Volunteer to learn more!