The Trevor Project
|Founded||March 25, 1998|
|Legal status||501(c)(3) nonprofit organization|
|Focus||Crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth|
|Headquarters||West Hollywood, California|
|Method||Saves young lives through its free and confidential Lifeline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources, and advocacy.|
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Through a toll-free telephone number, it operates TrevorLifeline, the only nationwide, 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention lifeline offering free and confidential counseling for LGBTQ youth. Counseling is also available 24/7 via chat every day at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting 678-678.
The organization also runs TrevorSpace, the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, and operate innovative education, research, and advocacy programs.
The organization was founded in 1998 in West Hollywood, California, by James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski, and Randy Stone. They are the creators of the 1994 Academy Award–winning short film Trevor, a dramedy about Trevor, a gay thirteen-year-old boy who, when rejected by friends because of his sexuality, makes an attempt to take his life. When the film was scheduled to air on HBO television in 1998, the filmmakers realized that some of the program's young viewers might be facing the same kind of crisis as Trevor, and began to search for a support line to be broadcast during the airing. They discovered that no such helpline existed, and decided to dedicate themselves to forming what was, in their view, a much-needed resource: an organization to promote acceptance of LGBTQ youth, and to aid in crisis and suicide prevention among that group.
TrevorLifeline was established with seed funds provided by The Colin Higgins Foundation and HBO's license fee. As a result, it became the first nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth. The project also provides online support to young people through the project's website, as well as guidance and resources to educators and parents.
In November 2009, the project was contracted by the Tulare County Suicide Prevention Task Force, located in Tulare County, California. With this agreement, the project received public funds for the first time. In June 2009, seven Tulare County volunteers completed The Trevor Project Lifeguard Workshop Facilitator training. Lifeguard workshops have been done in schools in Tulare County municipalities, including Dinuba, Lindsay, Porterville and Visalia, as well as in Hanford in adjacent Kings County.
The Trevor Project has been supported by various celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres, Troye Sivan, Kathy Griffin, Shay Mitchell, Daniel Radcliffe, Neil Patrick Harris, James Marsden, Chris Colfer, Kim Kardashian, Darren Criss, Dianna Agron, George Takei, Anderson Cooper, John Oliver and Tyler Oakley.
The Trevor Lifeline
TrevorLifeline is the only nationwide, 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ youth in the United States. The lifeline is a free and confidential service from counselors trained to listen without judging, and can refer callers to supportive local organizations and groups; this information is also available on the organization's website.
On August 10, 2009, the organization announced that it received a major cash donation to support the lifeline from actor Daniel Radcliffe, star of the Harry Potter film series. Radcliffe said in a statement:
I am very pleased to begin my support of the Trevor Project, which saves lives every day through its critical work. It's extremely distressing to consider that in 2009 suicide is a top-three killer of young people, and it's truly devastating to learn that LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
TrevorText is a free, confidential, secure service for LGBTQ youth to text a trained Trevor counselor for support and crisis intervention. Text “START” to 678-678. Available 24/7. Standard text messaging rates apply..
TrevorChat is a free, confidential, live and secure instant messaging service that provides live help for LGBTQ youth by trained volunteers. Visit TheTrevorProject.org/Help. Available 24/7.
TrevorSpace is the world's largest safe space social networking community for LGBTQ youth ages 13 through 24, along with their friends and allies. Youth can create personal profiles, which are verified by the administrators before they are allowed to interact with other profiles, and connect with other young people internationally, as well as find resources within their communities. TrevorSpace is commonly used to receive or give advice and make friends who have shared similar experiences as the user. TrevorSpace is carefully monitored by administrators designated by the organization to ensure all content is age-appropriate, youth-friendly and factual. Members over the age of 18 cannot privately message members under the age of 18. TrevorSpace links members to The Trevor Project's home page, where information about TrevorLifeline and other resources is available. The software used to create TrevorSpace was donated to the project by Tim Gill, an American software entrepreneur and philanthropist.
The survey provides new insights into the challenges that LGBTQ youth across the country face every day, including suicide, feeling sad or hopeless, discrimination, physical threats, and exposure to conversion therapy.
- 39% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past twelve months, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered
- 71% of LGBTQ youth reported feeling sad or hopeless for at least two weeks in the past year
- Less than half of LGBTQ respondents were out to an adult at school, with youth less likely to disclose their gender identity than sexual orientation
- 2 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that someone tried to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, with youth who have undergone conversion therapy more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as those who did not
- 71% of LGBTQ youth in our study reported discrimination due to either their sexual orientation or gender identity
- 58% of transgender and non-binary youth reported being discouraged from using a bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity
- 76% of LGBTQ youth felt that the recent political climate impacted their mental health or sense of self
- 87% of LGBTQ youth said it was important to them to reach out to a crisis intervention organization that focuses on LGBTQ youth and 98% said a safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth would be valuable to them
The Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health is part of its commitment to use research and data to continually improve its life-saving services for LGBTQ youth and expand the knowledge base for organizations around the globe.
50 Bills 50 States
The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign is the largest grassroots campaign in the world endeavoring to protect LGBTQ youth from this dangerous and discredited practice. The organization partners with mental health associations, youth organizations, LGBTQ groups, student clubs, faith communities, and educational institutions in every state by sharing stories, mobilizing volunteers, and informing policymakers to promote the submission and passage of powerful legislation. The campaign works to introduce legislation to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy in every state in the country. The campaign supports these important bills by educating lawmakers and the public about the dangers of conversion therapy; providing testimony lifting up the stories of LGBTQ youth who contact us in crisis because of conversion therapy and the personal experiences survivors; and building and equipping a growing network of thousands of grassroots 50 Bills 50 States volunteers to call, email, and meet with their elected representatives.
The project's Lifeguard Workshop Program uses a structured, age-appropriate curriculum to address topics around sexuality, gender identity, the impacts of language and behavior, and what it means for young people to feel different. The program also teaches young people to recognize depression and suicide amongst their peers, the impacts of language and behavior on LGBTQ youth, and suicide prevention skills in schools.
Tyler Oakley's fundraiser
On February 10, 2014, YouTube personality Tyler Oakley started a fundraiser to collect $150,000 for the Trevor Project. Oakley set the deadline for the money to be collected by the time of his birthday, March 22, but the goal was reached after only six days. Oakley later extended the fundraiser and more than $462,000 had been raised as of March 29. On March 31, the fundraiser ended, with a total of $525,754 raised.
People can volunteer with The Trevor Project from anywhere in the country. To become a crisis counselor to support LGBTQ young people through the organization's text or chat services, or helping with its advocacy work in your home state, visit TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Involved. If you live in New York City or Los Angeles, you can also sign up to be trained as a crisis counselor on TrevorLifeline, its 24/7 phone line for young people in crisis.
The Trevor Project uses annual events to honor individuals and businesses that have been leaders in supporting LGBT rights and advocated against bullying and hate crimes. In 1998, it held the first Cracked Xmas fundraiser in Los Angeles. In 2001, a New York City-based annual event was added, using entertainers to raise financial resources for the organization. As of 2009, Cracked Xmas was the group's largest annual fundraiser.
Trevor Hero Award
- 2005: Tony Kushner
- 2006: Michael Cunningham
- 2007: Nathan Lane
- 2008: Alan Cumming
- 2009: Dustin Lance Black
- 2010: Vanessa Williams and Daniel Radcliffe
- 2011: Lady Gaga
- 2012: Katy Perry
- 2013: Cindy McCain & Jane Lynch
- 2014: Robert Greenblatt & Arianna Huffington
- 2017: Dan Reynolds
Trevor Life Award
The Trevor Life Award honors a person who is an inspiration to LGBTQ youth. Recipients include:
- 2002: Armistead Maupin
- 2003: Rosie O'Donnell
- 2004: Debra Messing, and Megan Mullally
- 2005: Marc Cherry
- 2006: Roseanne Barr
- 2007: Ellen DeGeneres
- 2008: Sigourney Weaver
- 2009: Neil Patrick Harris
- 2010: Kathy Griffin
Trevor Hope Award
The Trevor Hope Award is presented to businesses that have demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community and "has increased the visibility and understanding of LGBT issues." It was first presented in 2004. Recipients include:
- 2004: Wells Fargo
- 2005: LPI Media
- 2006: HBO
- 2007: Clear Channel for its commitment to LGBTQ causes including "its ranking as a 'best place to work' for LGBTQ employees by the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index."
- 2008: Lifetime
- 2009: AT&T
- 2010: Levi Strauss & Co.
Trevor Commitment Award/Trevor 2020 Award
Awarded to businesses that support LGBT rights, started in 2007.
- 2007: Bravo
- 2008: MTV's The N (now called TeenNick)
- 2009: CNN
- 2010: Macy's
- 2011: Google
- 2012: MTV
- 2014: Yahoo!
Trevor Youth Innovator Award
Awarded to LGBTQ or straight people under the age of 25 who work to support, inspire, and empower LGBTQ youth. Recipients include:
- "The Trevor Project, Inc." Business Entity Detail. California Secretary of State. Retrieved on March 18, 2016.
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...the nation's first toll-free 24-hour suicide prevention hot line for gay and questioning youth.
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- Brown, Geoffrey (1 March 2012). "Interview: Shay Mitchell of 'Pretty Little Liars'". OUT magazine. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
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- on YouTube
- [clarification needed] Estrada, Nora Alicia (December 7, 2010). "Dicen no al suicidio". Mural (in Spanish). Guadalajara, Mexico. p. 2.
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- on YouTube
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- on YouTube
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- "Neil Patrick Harris and AT&T to be Honored by The Trevor Project". Press Release. Trevor Project. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- "The Trevor Project Announces Recipients of Annual Hero and Commitment Awards: Nathan Lane to Receive The Trevor Hero Award and Bravo to Receive The Trevor Commitment Award at Organization's Seventh Annual New York Event". Press release. The Trevor Project. April 11, 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
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- "The Trevor Project to Honor Vanessa Williams and Macy's, Inc.: June 28 awards gala in NYC pays tribute to honorees' support of the LGBTQ community". June 7, 2010. Trevor Project. Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- Powers, Lindsay (March 21, 2011). "Daniel Radcliffe to Receive Trevor Project's Hero Award". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- "Lady Gaga To Receive Trevor Hero Award For LGBT Community Work". Huffington Post. November 20, 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- Rudolph, Christopher. "Cindy McCain Gets Huge Gay Honor". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
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- "Trevor Project to Honor Barr at Cracked Xmas". Trevor Project. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
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