The Trevor Project
By: Keegan Coleman
In 1994, filmmakers Celeste Lecesne, Peggy Rajski, and Randy Stone produced a short film titled Trevor, a dramedy about a gay thirteen year old boy who makes an attempt to take his own life following rejection from his peers and social pressures. In 1998, Trevor, an Academy Award winner, was scheduled to air on HBO, when the filmmakers began to research available support for outcasted youth struggling with hardships similar to those portrayed by the film’s protagonist. Realizing that no helpline or support system existed, the Trevor Project was created as a resource to LGBTQ+ youth across the United States, serving as an organization to aid in crisis and suicide prevention and promoting the acceptance of LGBTQ+ youth across the United States.
Since 1998, the Trevor Project has played an instrumental role in raising awareness to end suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people, with a goal to to serve 1.8 million crisis contacts annually by the end of 2023. With 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considering suicide in the past year, the risk of youth in this country causing self harm is unnacceptably high. Decades of blatant misogyny, hyper-masculinity, and subjecting gender norms have perpetuated societal standards that systematically oppress hundreds of thousands of youth. Of the 1,994,000 individuals who identify as LGBTQ+, 73% have reported experiencing some form of discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity at least once in their lifetime. As many as 60% of LGBTQ+ youth have likewise reported a desire for mental health care in the past year but have been unable to access such resources.
Even on paper, these numbers are overwhelming. But for the nearly 2 million individuals who struggle to share who they really are with their friends, family, educators and more, for fear of being discriminated against, it can be demoralizing. Organizations like the Trevor Project deserve to be highlighted and showcased to our world, not just as a champion of inclusivity and freedom to self-identify, but as the standard for how we must strive to protect, foster, and encourage the young individuals of our county to live unencumbered by a fear that they will not be accepted.
Offering crisis-services, educational resources, and advocacy through legislation and litigation, and more, the Trevor Project has aided countless young individuals providing a safe space to grow in an often toxic society. Now the the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization, this blog post only scratches the surface of the tremendous acts that the Trevor project, and organizaitons like it, do for the nearly 2 million LGBTQ+ youth in our communities.
For more information or to access resources, you can visit The Trevor Project’s website here.