If you’re anything like me, or like a significant proportion of the LGBTQ youth around the world, you may have contemplated what the world might be like if you simply left it.
Many teenagers and adults contemplate suicide at some point in their lives, imagining that it can’t get much worse that they currently have it. People say, “But it gets so much better,” or “You don’t actually want to die.” But that’s a false conception, if they didn’t want to die because of their circumstance then they wouldn’t be considering such a drastic instance.
There are a lot of us that need someone to talk to, someone to get us out of these hazardous and incendiary thoughts. The Trevor Project does that, offering a help-line and live chat for those suffering from suicidal thoughts and tendencies who feel that it’s not going to get better.
Beginning at its inception as a short film in 1994, writer/producer James Lecesne brought Trevor to life, a thirteen-year-old gay male who makes an attempt at suicide. Realizing that many LGBTQ teens might contemplate the same, they discovered that there weren’t any resources available to queer teens who were considering taking their own life as an option.
From then on, they dedicated themselves to becoming a resource for the world as an organization used to promote the acceptance and inclusivity of LGBTQ youth, as well as aiding in suicide prevention. From its inception, it has become a beacon of hope for queer youth around the world, the first of its kind, to offer around-the-clock suicide prevention.
The Trevor Project is a free, confidential service that offers hope and someone to speak with personally, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Since its beginning several hundreds of thousands of young LGBTQ people have reached out in need of hope from the Trevor Project for its words of wisdom and hope. Its resources and online support proves to be life-affirming and aids in saving the lives of those who feel that they aren’t worth it.
The project has been supported by a multitude of celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Kathy Griffin, and Daniel Radcliffe. Recently, Tyler Oakley started up a fundraising venture to support the Trevor Project to raise $150,000 for his birthday. The goal was reached after a mere six days of existence. The support continued to rise for the YouTube star who dedicated his time and efforts to raise money for the initiative. While viewers and supporters could gain prizes for their donations, excitement came from offering hope to LGBTQ youth around the world just like them. As of March 31st, the last day of the fundraiser, a total of $525,754 was raised to the benefit of the Trevor Project. Organizations worldwide praised Oakley for his championing of the cause, helping youth worldwide to have support and resources to overcome internal struggle.
As a person who has used this resource for guidance in a time where I was troubled, I can sincerely say that the supporters are championing a cause that is used to better LGBTQ youth lives by offering them a glimmer of hope where there might not have been one. Studies have shown that suicidal tendencies are high among those that are LGBTQ because of inherent homophobia or a lack of support system amongst other motivations. The Trevor Project creates a safe zone to express yourself, express your fears, and express your need for help. In return, they offer you a plea for you to continue your life and be who you are in an accepting and inclusive environment.
Not only does it offer prevention, but the Trevor Project also offers resources for education of the warning signs of suicide and the risk factors involved. Everyone plays such an important role in making sure that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are able to get help from accepting and inclusive places at home, at their school, and in their communities. It shows that every single person can be an ally for the cause of life and be a shining place of hope and acceptance.
The Trevor Project says that yes, your life is worth it. You matter. Not just to yourself, but to the people around you. To the people in your community. To the people across the ocean. Tyler Oakley has championed this cause and it’s time for us to start giving in to something that truly affects our community. This is about preserving who we are, out identity, and ensuring that the LGBTQ youth of the world has the resources available to get out of the black holes of depression and realize that they are so worth it. Their lives are so much more than what they fathom them to be.
It does get better. We are survivors.