Let me start off by saying that The Trevor Project is one of the most amazing and inspirational non-profit organizations that exists and I'm constantly overwhelmed with how honored I feel to be a part of this organization.
The Trevor Project is a non-profit life saving organization that focuses on providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning youth. Their main focus is providing help to youth in need by reaching out to them through their free and confidential lifeline.
(If you are reading this and you are in need of their services or would like the number to suggest for a friend here's it is: 866-488-7386)
On Sunday, December 8, the organization held their annual Trevor Live event. They raised over 1 million dollars through donations, live and silent auction items, and more.
It was at this event that I delivered my story to the audience.
I was a user of the lifeline that I mentioned above. Then I became a YAC (Youth Advisory Council) Member and created my own projects to change the lives around me.
I had never thought of my story being brave. I had never thought of my story being inspiring. But that's what I was told by numerous guests after I told my story.
I was unaware that there were many volunteers who were counselors on the lifeline. The people I spoke to years ago might have even been in the audience. But what I was mostly unaware of is how much it meant to them to know what happened to just one of the many youths that call them after the phone call ended.
I felt honored. I didn't receive an official award that night. But I feel like I did. All of my life I've wanted to do something to make a difference. I wanted to do something that would inspire people to change the world around them.
I felt like that pride that night and I still do.
It was an extremely moving thing for me to have people thank me for being brave.
It was moving because I know that I wasn't the only one being brave. Every youth that's ever made that call or reached out for help, is brave. Every person that stood against the grain and remained tall in what they believe in and who they love, is brave.
I was nervous at the thought of delivering my speech. But then I realized I was doing it for those who weren't there. I was doing it for those in the past, present, and future who belong in some way to The Trevor Project.
I'll never be able to thank The Trevor Project enough for opening these doors for me, for giving me the support all those years ago, and for giving aid to all of those anonymous faces of youth who needed that voice on the other side of the phone.
The Trevor Project is an organization that I will always believe in.
Mostly because The Trevor Project has always believed in me.