The Trevor Project Offers Support
In the fall of 2010, the nation was engrossed by a surge of gay teen suicide. Within the span of a few months, nine gay students committed suicide due to bullying and lack of acceptance from their peers.
The rise of suicides among gay teens brings to light the lack of resources and education available for struggling and questioning youth.
Suicide has always been a long-standing problem. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, “Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24.” On college campuses, suicide is second in cause of death, according to The Centers for Disease Control.
Schools have always been focused on keeping students informed on suicide and bullying through assemblies and workshops, but tend to stay more politically correct and shy away from the charged topics associated with gay youths, offering little to no guidance in their journey of discovering their sexuality.
The Trevor Project, based on the 1994 Academy Award winning short film “Trevor,” aims to help stop this wave of suicides. “Trevor” details the story of a 13-year-old gay student who is rejected by his friends because of his sexuality and attempts to end his life.
When the movie first aired, the filmmakers realized that other questioning youths may be facing the same problems and that there was no support to aid them. They dedicated themselves to creating an organization that focused on tolerance and guidance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youths (LGBTQ).
The Trevor Project became the first and only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youths.
According to their website, the project strives to increase the number of LGBTQ youth program services such as school workshops and maintaining 24/7 crisis prevention. They also promote awareness and greater acceptance of LGBTQ youth as well as inspire advocacy.
The website offers an online chat session on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). This chat allows teens who are struggling to find their identity to talk to those who are more experienced and can help them deal with their own situations.
Resources for educators and parents are also offered online. The website offers a survival kit with brochures and books to help questioning students and workshop leaders who can go to schools and aid students. Additionally, educators can type keywords in the search engine to connect to numerous sites and events that can provide students further assistance.
As students get older, they can find themselves more alone than ever. In high school, students have the ability to create personal bonds with their guidance counselors and teachers, but in classes with over 100 students, this connection can often become lost.
Students who have nowhere to turn may become more confused and desperate. With The Trevor Project, students are given the opportunity to find the support and guidance they need.
However, The Trevor Project cannot do this alone. Campus Pride, a source linked on the site, promotes tolerance and increased education for LGBTQ youths. The program urges colleges to create a more welcoming environment for students and increase the safety of students who are harassed or bullied.
Irvine has taken an active role in promoting The Trevor Project, with posters lining the bridges of Ring Road and clubs and housing communities for LGBTQ students.
As support for The Trevor Project continues to grow, more tolerance can be found for those students questioning their sexuality, and the mission of The Trevor Project can be achieved.
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