Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When Fiction Comes To Life

The Trevor Project   866-4-U-TREVOR or 866-488-7386.

Justin Aaberg,15

Billy Lucas,15

Asher Brown,13

Seth Walsh,13

Tyler Clementi,18

Raymond Chase,19

Caleb Nolt 14

Suicide.  Lives lost far too soon.   Left with no hope and the thought that there was only one thing left they could do.  Because they were bullied physically and mentally.  Because of who they were or who they loved or who they were believed to be.

The first article in this series addressed the Matthew Shepard foundation  and its efforts to rid the world of the cruel hate crime violence that resulted in injury and death.  But sometimes the cruelty damages the part of a person that we can’t see.  It takes away their will to live.  

The leading support in this area is The Trevor Project:  (from Wikipedia) The Trevor Project is an American non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.  The Trevor Project was founded by James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone. They are the creators of the 1994 Academy Award-winning short film, Trevor, a dramedy about a gay 13-year-old boy who, when rejected by friends because of his sexuality, makes an attempt to take his life. When Trevor was scheduled to air on HBO 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.

Daniel Radcliff explains the Trevor Project

and he provides some behind the scenes and interview footage:

The Trevor Project website:

The Trevor Helpline:   866.4.U.TREVOR or 866.488.7386.

Last week the Trevor Project had so many hits, the website kept crashing.   They need donations to do the work they do.  You can donate at their website, and you can even Text: TREVOR to 85944 and donate $5 to The Trevor Project!

Recently columnist Dan Savage and his partner started the “It Gets Better” project, and the response has been huge:

Last I checked their YouTube channel “itgetsbetterproject” had over one million views and over 12,500 subscribers and roughly 1000 entries.  The numbers keep growing.   The Advocate rated their top 25 (so far)

And  TU found this one which sums them all very well.

And this one features Tyler Oakley, a famous YouTuber who interns for The Trevor Project.  Clips from this video even appeared on the national evening news:

Tyler calls on all of us to help out.  In addition to The Trevor Project and Matthew Shepard Foundation listed above, There are plenty of  other resources to help us do that:

GLAD - Gay and Lesbian Ally organization

GLAAD - Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

GSA - Gay and Straight Alliance organization

GLSEN - Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network

PFLAG - Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

HRC – Human Rights Campaign

Please visit the HRC site and sign the petition to end bullying in schools

Also, you can help by staying informed:  Here are some great ways to do that:

It may seem like there have been an unusually high number of suicides lately.  The beginning of the school year does cause additional stress and does cause a peak in the cases.  However, sadly, this really is nothing new.  Historically the number of suicides among gay youth has always been hugely disproportionately gay males.  The difference now is that awareness, knowledge, and attention to the cause has greatly improved.   At least acknowledging the problem is the first step toward resolving the problem.

Naelany wrote a story in response to the latest suicides, called Did No One See The Writing On The Wall? If you know of any other stories that deal with bullying and/or suicide among LGBTQ youth, please share them with us in the comments.

The next step is up to you.   

Several potential actions have been presented to you.  Please pick at least one.  I will sign the HRC petition, donate to The Trevor Project, and will work with local schools to see how I can get this information to the youth of the community.  I will stay in touch by reading the blogs so when I know things like important legislation is underway and will contact my legislators.   I just read that Senator Al Franken is a fierce advocate so I hope to see action there very soon.

What will you do?  I challenge everyone who reads this to pick at least on action.  Please leave a comment and let us know which one(s).  Thank-you!!!

PS.  Next Monday October 11 is National Coming Out Day.  I hope to write more on the topic of ‘coming out’ someday.  In the meantime, check out:

1 comment:

LovelyPenguin said...

Update! I hear there is a Facebook effort to wear purple (rainbow flag symbol for spirit) on Oct 20. Also, there are many candlelight vigils being planned. Contact your local PFLAG for more information. Help elevate awareness!