Day 31…The Trevor Project…

Wow…31 days.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it and this past week, with work and the holidays, it’s been very difficult to get a post written every day.  But I did it.  I got them all done and I hope that we managed to make a difference to some of these great charities.

It took me a long time to decide what charity to end with.  Since it is the last one, I imagine it will stick with people, so I wanted to make sure that it was a really good one.  I think I found the right one with The Trevor Project.

I consider myself to be very lucky.  I have a family that is open-minded.  I have friends that are not judgemental.  And I live in a place that is very liberal and accepting of everyone.  Sometimes I forget that it’s not like that for everyone.  Sometimes I don’t realize just how much hate and intolerance is out there…but it is out there and sometimes the target of that hate is a kid.  Or a teenager.

Gay, lesbian and bisexual kids have to deal with the same issues the rest of us have to deal with as kids…but sometimes they also have to deal with hate and intolerance.  That intolerance can be in school or in their communities or even in their own houses.  Often, these kids have no where to turn.  They become overwhelmed and they think their only way out is suicide.  But because of The Trevor Project, there is a place for them to turn.

The Trevor Project was founded in 1998 by James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone, the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR. TREVOR is the story of a 13-year-old boy who has a crush on the most popular boy in his school.  When his classmates discover his feelings, they tease him and mock him.  Eventually, Trevor can’t take it anymore and tries to kill himself.  He is unsuccessful and by the end of the movie he develops a sense of who he is and an enthusiasm for life.

When the movie was scheduled to air on HBO, the filmmakers wanted to broadcast a lifeline phone number with it so that young viewers who might be having the same experience as Trevor would have somewhere to turn.  But they couldn’t find one.  No such organization or number existed.  So on August 8, 1998 James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone opened the Trevor Lifeline. Since that time, The Trevor Project has become a national leader providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.

Since then, The Trevor Project has expanded.  It now offers things like TrevorChat, which is suicide counseling through instant messages.  They also run a service called TrevorSpace, which is the largest social network specifically for young LGBTQ people.  The now have over 800 volunteers and counselors and they have handled over 200,000 phone calls since their inception.  Their vision is for a future where the possibilities, opportunities and dreams are the same for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Hopefully, someday we will be there.

Please consider helping this fantastic organization by making a donation or finding out how to become a volunteer.  They are doing good and important work.  Let’s help them keep it going.

I want to thank everyone who has helped me with this project.  Thank you so much for every dollar you donated, for every encouraging comment you sent, for every re-tweet and Facebook share.  I wouldn’t have been able to do this without your support!

Happy New Year everyone!