The Trevor Project, Inc.
July 1, 2009
It was about 3 in the morning in the spring of 2005. I had been tossing and turning in my sleep, feeling anxious and unsettled. I finally had had it, got up and googled a gay helpline. Trevor was the only 24-hour one I could find. I called, nervous as hell. And talked to someone on the phone, and whispered as quietly as I could that I was gay. (I didn't want my roommates to hear). But it felt like a bomb dropped, nevertheless. It was the first time I actually came out to someone, guilt-free and without feeling that I had caused a grievous sin. I felt silly. Here I was in my early-20s and was scared of my own gay shadow.
The call helped me realize that I wasn't a freak, that what I was feeling was true and right, and that it was okay to talk about it. The helpline counselor gave me the courage to step out and establish my life as an out gay man. What a load off my back!
Fast forward two years later, I had forgotten about the helpline that helped give me a sense of identity and happiness. I was now more involved than ever in all-things gay: PFLAG, gay soccer team, queer 20s group, etc. One night, I came across a blog that mentioned that there was going to be a New York office being established. Trevor was looking for counselors. I applied, and I was thankfully selected to be in the first class of the East Coast Call Center. I have been a counselor ever since, trying to give back any way I can.
Trevor saved my life. I can honestly say that. Before, I had no one to talked to. I was alone. I was miserable. And so now, I don't want anyone to feel that way, especially kids who grow up thinking that they're freaks because they like or love someone of the same sex. They shouldn't have to.
Trevor opened up my heart, and I hope you open yours by donating. Thank you.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
the more than thousands of calls that come pouring through from queer teens looking for an empathetic ear.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
It's excellently run. The slim staff makes everything run smoothly.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
the life-long enrichment you get from knowing that you've helped someone realize it's okay to be gay.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
phenomenal. I've met some incredible people from actors, doctors, social workers, students, lawyers, etc. -- all with incredible heart and great purpose.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
open up other call centers in other parts of the country, such as the south and midwest, where most of our callers come from.
Ways to make it better...
Nothing. It's been great!
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...
funding, funding, funding. I think the organization could reach out more if there's more money backing up their extraordinary efforts to make this world a place where kids can feel safe.
One thing I'd also say is that...
I wish I had extra money to give more to this organization. But my time is the most valuable part I can give right now. And I'm more than happy to do it.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Volunteer & Helpline counselor.