Tag Archives: The Trevor Project

American Family Association Attacks The Trevor Project and “Degrassi” For “Recruiting Teens to Become ‘Gay’

The officially recognized American Family Association with its umbrella hate group the Florida Family Association is attacking The Trevor Project which is airs a suicide prevention spot during the Teen Nick channel’s  DiGrassi.

Degrassi: The Next Generation (renamed Degrassi from the tenth season) is a Canadian teen drama television series.  Degrassi:  follows an ensemble cast of students at Degrassi Community School who face various challenges like poor self image, peer pressure, child abuse, sexual identity, gang violence, self-injury, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, homosexuality and death. And in a recent storyline portrayed a transgendered teenager.

According to the AFA:

Not only is Teen Nick affirming the homosexual and transgender lifestyles in the content of the program itself but also includes promotions during Degrassi which lead America’s youth toward, not away from embracing these behaviors.

The David Colton Executive Director of the FFA continues:

“They are openly recruiting teens and children to become ‘gay’ on a program that also promotes the transgender and homosexual lifestyle, if you call this helpline, you are not persuaded to walk away from the lifestyle. You are persuaded to be proud and embrace it.”

Oh and get this  The main sponsor of the Digrassi?  TARGET.  And the AFA is calling for financial terrorism, er I mean a boycott against TARGET CORP.   Irony or what?

As for David Colton.  “Dangerous lifestyle?” Please bitch, that meme needs to go. The only danger a gay teens faces is from bigots like you make thier living from the money they receive from the fear, studity, and hate of it’s members.  If anything must go it’s YOU.  And I will do my damndest to see that happen.

Is The Trevor Project Suggesting That LGBT Suicides Are Better Off Out Of Sight And Out of Mind?

Yesterday, on Spirit Day Interim executive director and CEO of The Trevor Project David McFarland wrote this in an Op-Ed that appeared in The Advocate stressing the point between suicide contagion and media coverage.

When we draw direct lines from sexual orientation or bullying to suicide, it can influence someone who is at-risk to assume that taking your own life is what you’re supposed to do next if you are LGBT or bullied. This may not seem rational, but attempting to take your own life is an irrational act.As a caring community, we can help avoid making suicide appear like a logical choice by putting distance between statements or stories describing instances of bullying and instances of suicide

Another factor that increases risk is suicide contagion – the link between media reports and a person’s decision to attempt suicide. In other words, the more a story of a particular victim is out there, the more likely one or more people who are at-risk will also attempt suicide. The recent tragedy in Ottawa appears to have occurred as a combination of compromised psychological well-being influenced by factors of contagion. That the young person was also the victim of anti-LGBT bullying made a bad situation even worse

Now before I start I want to say that I have a HUGE respect for the Trevor Project and the work that they do.  I really do.  But the whole subject of LGBT bullying really hits home for me because I was RELENTLESSLY bullied during my teen years.  Day in and day out.  I was called names, I was harassed, I was beaten up and yes I’ll admit that a few times I thought about killing myself. 

But when I had those feelings it was not because I had heard of others who had done it to escape, but because I felt I was so alone, and that no one was going through what  went through and that there was no help to be had. 

I understand where the Trevor Project is coming from. But suicide contagion takes its roots in a mental disorder that is not prevalent in many individuals. I’m not saying that its not dangerous or something threatening to LGBT youths.   But studies of GLBT suicides indicate a higher rate of suicide with a wide range of percentages which have ben disproportionately high for decades. But it has onlybeen  in the past year that the rest of the world has finally taken notice because the stories  of the bullied have been reported in the media and on blogs where it hasn’t in the past because of newspapers internal policies involving privacy and age laws of young offenders. And  not because of  fears of suicide contagion.

But now according to The Trevor Project reporting suicides MIGHT encourages those on the cusp of killing themselves to go ahead and do it.  But NOT reporting them leaves the impression that they are rare, isolated incidents rather than a symptom of something larger that needs correcting.

But there’s another thing that irks me greatly about yesterdays piece.  Is that it puts the suicide itself on the victim.  That it was the victims fault or that they are mentally ill  and David  McFarland does not say anything about the tortures and hell that these kids go though to get to that tipping point.  A point which I know well first hand.

Personally I am dismayed that the Trevor Project would take this rode.  “Suicide contagium” is not the problem.  Bully’s are, lack of support networks are, the fear and  feelings of being alone are,  and knowing that there is no one out there that will stop it for you and protect you.   That’s the REAL problem.  And in the past year since the stories of our lost LGBT children have come to life wondrous and excellent support networks, programs, and friends have stepped forward to help. 

Would that have happened if their stories were never told?  Would there be a “It Gets Better Project”?  Would the Trevor Project itself gotten the exposure that it needs to help these kids?  I doubt it.

As I said I do hold the Trevor Project in high regard but I think on this issue they are wrong and they need to work more on the causes of bullying, preventing it mentoring the troubled, and creating safe spaces and lives for our LGBT youth. 

These children’s stories must be told and and they cannot be forgotten or pushed into a closet so others remain unaware of the problem.  LGBT youth NEED TO KNOW that it is not only happening  to them, that suicide is the wrong choice, that there is help available, and that they are not alone.

But that’s just my opinion. 

I’m not the expert.  I was only a victim. 


Trevor Project To Run Lifeline Call Center From Harvey Milk’s Historic Castro Camera Store and Headquarters

After months of shouts and screams from activist, bloggers and friends of the late great LGBT activist Harvey Milk about the the Human Rights Campaign turning Harvey’s old camera store and activist headquarters into an “HRC Gift Store”, The Trevor Project today announced that it will be sharing Harvey Milk’s old camera shop space at 575 Castro in San Francisco with the HRC and will operate a Lifeline call center from the site:

“Today, The Trevor Project, in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign announced a long-term partnership to operate a crisis and suicide prevention Trevor Lifeline call center along with an HRC Action Center and Store from the site of Harvey Milk’s Castro Camera. This exciting new partnership to harness Harvey Milk’s legacy at this historic location is thanks in part to the grassroots support of local San Francisco leaders, including Harvey Milk’s close friend and campaign manager, Anne Kronenberg. Cleve Jones, Frank M. Robinson, the Academy Award®-winning writer of “Milk” and Trevor Board Member, Dustin Lance Black, and David McFarland, Chair of the Board of The Trevor Project have each made statements in support of this new and exciting endeavor.”

Cleve Jones Jones had earlier been critical of HRC’s planned use of the site as a boutique, as had former Milk speechwriter Robinson, who told the Bay Area Reporter:”To start selling Harvey Milk coffee mugs, Milk condoms, whatever merchandise … for God’s sake no. It is a cheapening of Harvey’s image. Harvey essentially gave his life for the gay community and for anybody to go in there and make money off of his image by selling cheap trinkets, I am sorry that is a no-no in my opinion.”

Now with the Trevor Project also making use of the space Jones says: It is wonderful that Harvey’s message of hope will again emanate from the site of Castro Camera. He spoke often of our responsibility to our young people and experienced first-hand the pain of losing loved ones to suicide. The next time a frightened gay kid from Altoona – or anywhere – calls out for help, that call will be answered by a Trevor Project volunteer in Harvey’s old store. I think he’d approve.”

Human Rights Campaign Turns Its Back On The Trevor Project – Refuses To Sub Lease Harvey Milk’s Camera Shop

LGBT tempers have been flaring and animosity growing at the Human Rights Campaign latest faux pas to relocate its San Francisco store and “action center” which is nothing more than a glorified gift shop,  into the retail space where the late gay rights hero and activist Harvey Milk had his camera store.

Numerous uggestions have been made to HRC over the past week on how to rectify this almost total negative backlash about the move and save what little face it has left with one of the most popular and poetic ideas being that HRC sublet the space to The Trevor Project to operate a call-in center at the storefront for at risk LGBT youth.

Openly gay state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco)  “Harvey would be pissed and amused and then try to leverage it. This might be the common ground solution,” said Ammiano. “He would want for us to not be fighting in public as much and come to some solution that would be really beneficial.”

Cleve Jones, who was close with Milk, has broached the idea with HRC officials.

“Try as I might, I can’t think of anything that would be more appropriate, more perfect for Harvey Milk’s store,” said Jones, who has repeatedly spoken out against HRC’s moving into the space.

Dustin lance Black who is on the Board of the Trevor Project  said “Talk about an idea that Harvey would have loved, to have those phone calls from Altoona being answered in that shop and have a drop in space for those who come to San Francisco,” said Black, referring to Milk’s anecdote about receiving a phone call from a young gay man in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

As of this time over 500 people have added their names to a Facebook page which was launched (ADD YOURS!) to urge HRC officials to rethink their use of Harvey’s Store at 575 Castro Street. and to allow The Trevor project to sub lease it and for them to move elsewhere.

And what does the HRC think about this?

Spokesman Fred Sainz said it has no plans to sublease the store to another group. “That location will be an HRC action center and store,” said Sainz.

The arrogance of HRC is astounding.

A protest against HRC’s moving into the store is planned for this Saturday, December 18th  from 12 noon to 2 p.m @ 575 Castro Street.


Just Like Sticks and Stones But Words Can Harm You

Anti-gay rhetoric helps prompt LGBT teen suicides; anti-bullying effort intensifies

In early September, news reports told the tragic tale of 15-year-old Billy Lucas in Indiana, a floppy-haired boy who liked to show horses and lambs at county fairs. After daily torment and harassment from bullies who perceived he was gay, Lucas was so broken, so depressed and felt so alone that he couldn’t stand living one more day.

He hung himself from a rafter in his family’s barn, ending his life before he was old enough to get his driver’s license.

During the past two months, newspapers and the Internet have been filled with stories of similar incidents across the nation, including the suicides of 13-year-old Asher Brown, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, 13-year-old Seth Walsh, 19-year-old Raymond Chase and others. All decided to end their own lives, and all for the same reason: They were tormented, harassed and bullied to a point they could no longer stand it.

In September alone there were 11 LGBT bullying-related suicides, all of which appear to be tied to anti-gay rhetoric and hatred.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that homosexuality is considered a prime factor in bullying and that gay youth who are bullied are more likely than other children to be depressed, lonely and anxious and are more prone to think about suicide or trying to commit suicide.

CLICK HERE to continue reading “Just Like Sticks and Stones” at Cincinnati CityBeat

WIN Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burn’s Boxer Shorts And Support The Trevor Project

Last October 13th,  Fort Worth, Texas councilman Joel Burns. Joel Burns spoke at the council meeting  about an abusive experience in high school, a fraught relationship with his southern father, and then how rich his life became once he got through the difficult times. His genuine emotion and moving speech to the council quickly went viral and has become an insiprational message to LGBT teens and adults everywhere via the “It Get’s Better Project”

Now the Honorable (and wonderful) Joel Burns,, has generously donated the boxers he received as a gift from Ellen Degeneres for his recent appearance on The Ellen Show on October 20 to be put up for raffle with Aal proceeds going  to The Trevor Project to aid LGBTQ youth in crisis.

Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20  Drawing held November 21, 2010


WATCH Kathy Griffin Speak Out On Teen Gay Suicides And Anti-Gay Bullying. "All You Anti-Gay Public Figures Have These Gay Teens Blood On Your Hands." (Video)

“All you anti-gay public figures, and you know who you are, you have the blood of these dead teens on your hands,”
THANK YOU Kathy Griffin for finally telling it like it is and placing the blame where it should be placed. 

Reed Cowan and Dustin Lance Black Team Up To Make A Documentary About Anti-Gay Bullying

Reed Cowan writer-director of the film 8: The Morman Propo$ition, along with Dustin Lance Black  (Oscar-winning screenwriter for Milk) and Charles Robbins (Executive Director of The Trevor Project) on a documentary-style film. on the recent rash of Anti-gay bullying.

Via Greg In Hollywood:

“It’s going to be made for television on this recent rash of suicides and trying to get this talked about,” he said. “This was the official meeting and now we’re going to start pitching it to networks. It will be documentary style.”

Cowan offered these details: “The film will start out inside the call center of The Trevor Project which gets some 30,000 crisis phone calls a year. So the film will start out there and we will profile some of the young people who called in crisis. Whether they called with a bottle of pills in their hands, a gun to their head, a noose in one hand ready to put it around their necks. We are going to give that pain a voice, we’re going to turn it into some purpose because this is a teachable moment in our world.”

Cowan ssays that the film has no working title yet but he will be the director and that they will do their best to get the documentary out quickly as they can.