Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Not sure how many of you have ever heard of the Trevor Helpline, but it is a 24/7 toll-free phone number that is dedicated to GLBTQI teens who are in need of a kind, understanding voice who won't judge them or try to change them--just listen to them & help them. Unfortunately, they gets lots of calls--15,000 calls per year--from GLBTQI kids, many who feel like they can't go on.

The Trevor Helpline was named for the 1994 Academy Award winning short film, "Trevor", which describes thusly:

Trevor constists of diary excerpts narrated by their author, a buoyantly charming 13 year old (Brett Barsky) who loves to lip-sync to Diana Ross records, gets excited looking at photos of men, and develops a crush on the most popular boy in school, Pinky Faraday (Jonah Rooney), who befriends him. Trevor's world comes crashing down when his true feelings for Pinky are discovered. Mocked by classmates and branded a "fairy", Trevor is shunned by his new best friend and attempts to kill himself in a scene that is both heart wrenching and darkly funny, but as played by Brett Barsky, Trevor is no victim. You can be certain that his enthusiasm and developing sense of self will see him through.
I saw it when it was shown on HBO & then I had to buy the DVD! It's a wonderful little film that not only sends out a message to the world that it's tough to be a teen NO MATTER WHAT YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION but that it's even harder for GLBTQI kids, who just don't look or feel or act like most other teens. It's why the suicide rate amongst GLBTQI kids is so high. According to the website Religious, nearly 1 out of every 3 kids who commit suicide are GLBTQI!

Anyway, it's a great little film if you've never seen it!

The reason I am posting this is because CNN has an article about the Trevor Helpline. I hope that, being in such a prominent place on the world wide web, more people (and more kids) will see & hear about it & understand that there is hope & help out there.

I hope you get a chance to read it & that you will spread the word about the Trevor Helpline, too! :-)

24-hour help for gay youth

by Jacque Wilson

(CNN) -- The transgendered woman on the other end of the line was threatening to kill herself by jumping off of a parking structure. The Trevor Helpline counselor who answered the phone worked to get the 24-year-old calm and immediately called police for help.

Exactly one month later, that same woman called the helpline back -- to thank them for saving her life.

Stories like these are the reason The Trevor Project operates its helpline, the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention number for gay and questioning youth. More than 500 volunteers are trained for 40 hours to run the bicoastal call centers.

"There's a high level of stress that youth face in the transition from youth to adulthood," Charles Robbins, executive director of The Trevor Project, said. "Add on top of that the challenges of sexual orientation or gender identity and we get 15,000 calls a year."

A 2005 Massachusetts Department of Education survey of 3,500 high school students, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found almost 11 percent have seriously considered suicide. And that percentage is almost four times as high for 10 to 24-year-olds who identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

"Because of the unfortunate stigma that still exists in the United States around homosexuality ... youth tend to hold back their feelings, don't disclose, live in denial or shame," Robbins said.

Every year The Trevor Project honors one individual who publicly works to reject that stigma and helps in the group's overall goal: to promote the acceptance of gay and questioning youth in society. This year's honoree, actor Alan Cumming, has been "unapologetic, and true to himself," Robbins said.

"Anything that helps those people have a voice and have someone to talk to and have somewhere to turn is really important," Cumming said. "Suicide is in the top three causes of death for teens. That's a shocking statistic."

The Trevor Project began in 1998, named after the short film "Trevor" that won an Academy Award in 1994. To encourage open discussions about suicide, personal identity and sexual orientation, the organization created The Trevor Survival Kit. The kit includes the DVD of "Trevor" and a classroom teaching guide.

"All of these resources are helpful and necessary for gay and questioning youth because it's important for them to understand that they are not alone, that there is a safe place for them to find someone to listen, and most importantly, that their lives are valuable," Jacqueline Wing, communications manager for The Trevor Project, wrote in an email.

For more information on The Trevor Project, or to see a list of suicide warning signs, visit To contact the helpline, call 1-866-488-7386 or (866) 4.U.TREVOR.

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