The Trevor Project!
Please introduce yourself and your role at The Trevor Project.
My name is Amy Loudermilk and I’m the Director of Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. I lead the organization’s public policy and advocacy initiatives at the federal and state level.
What does The Trevor Project do?
The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 866.488.7386.
Why is The Trevor Project's approach to youth outreach important?
The Trevor Project offers accredited life-saving, life-affirming programs and services to LGBTQ youth that create safe, accepting and inclusive environments over the phone, online and through text.
Trevor Lifeguard Workshop: The Lifeguard Workshop is a free online learning module based on The Trevor Project’s in-person workshop, which is listed in the SPRC/AFSP Best Practice Registry for Suicide Prevention. The Lifeguard Workshop webpage includes a video, a curriculum guide, lesson plans, and additional resources for educators.
Trevor CARE Training: This training for adults provides an introduction to suicide prevention techniques based on Trevor’s CARE model (Connect, Accept, Respond, Empower).
Trevor Ally Training: This training introduces adults to the unique needs of LGBTQ youth.
LGBTQ on Campus: These online, interactive training simulations for students and faculty in higher education are AFSP/SPRC Best Practices for Suicide Prevention and were created in partnership with Kognito Interactive and Campus Pride.
Step-In, Speak-Up: These online, interactive training simulations for faculty and staff working with youth in Grades 6-12 are AFSP/SPRC Best Practices for Suicide Prevention and were created in partnership with Kognito Interactive.
Model School District Policy for Suicide Prevention: A roadmap to help school leaders easily navigate ways to bring suicide prevention policies and resources to their schools, developed in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists.
Coming Out As YOU! – A pocket-sized guide to inspire critical thinking in youth who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Trevor Support Center: A resource where LGBTQ youth and their allies can find answers to frequently asked questions, and explore resources related to sexual orientation, gender identity and more.
Why are LGBTQ+ youth substantially more at risk for depression, self harm and suicide?
Homophobia, transphobia, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, bigotry, discriminatory legislation, family rejection, religion-based persecution. These issues can play a part in the higher rates of certain mental illnesses prevalent among LGBTQ youth.
Are there any noticeable patterns, themes or prevalent issues in the calls TP receives?
The whole coming out process is always a really big theme because it still remains a scary, anxiety-inducing process, perhaps even more so for today’s young people.
Is it possible to measure the outreach of the project?
The Trevor Project receives more than 200,000 contacts from LGBTQ youth, allies, and youth serving adults per year.
What's been a personal highlight of your time at The Trevor Project?
I helped pass the first law in the nation that requires schools to have suicide prevention, intervention and postvention policies that specifically address the needs of LGBTQ youth. That felt pretty good.
What LGBTQ+ stereotypes are most prevalent? Most harmful?
We are a vibrant, diverse, and international intersectional community. All stereotyping is harmful.
What brought on the recent panic of trans people using the "wrong" bathroom? Do you have any advice for someone who is concerned about trans individuals' bathroom use?
Transphobia and some of the political rhetoric going on in our country. If someone thinks they haven’t used a public restroom with a transgender person, they are absolutely wrong.
What's some queer media you've been enjoying? Any recent representation that feels particularly important?
The most striking representation I’ve seen and am still enjoying is in a current series of crime novels written by Irish author John Connolly, although they are set in the United States. He includes main characters Angel & Luis who are a gay, interracial couple. The series has got to be close to twenty books now, and to see so much attention being paid to how their relationship evolves, while also being hilarious and lovable characters is a gift. It’s so rare that you see mainstream books with major LGBT characters.