On any given day at any given school, a tween or teenager is being harassed because he/she is gay or perceived as such. They slam him against a locker and call him “faggot.” Taunts about her sexuality are scrawled across the walls in the girls’ bathroom. When they walk down the hallways of the school, they are subjected to mean commentary and vicious ridicule. With hormones run amok and ever shifting social dynamics, life for a young person coming of age is hard enough. But for bullied kids, everyday life is a living hell; this is especially so if the torment they are subjected to is based on their sexual orientation, real or perceived.
Tweens and teens do not have the benefits of wisdom, life experience and time. Their still developing brains struggle just to stay on top of homework, and they do not yet have the emotional maturity or capacity for dealing with unprovoked hatred that comes from nowhere. If a kid is lucky, he or she has a supportive and loving family that can offer refuge from the cruelty of their days. However, for some LGBT teenagers, their families present just another set of problems and there is no safe haven. They are adrift. Day-to-day life can be very lonely, and some of these gentle souls answer a growing sense of futility with the ultimate escape: suicide. From small towns to dense urban centers, this is a very real problem all across the United States. Thankfully, however, there is help and hope for such youngsters, no matter where they are. This would be the Trevor Project
Jim Lecesne, Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone started the Trevor Project in 1998 when their Academy Award-winning short film “Trevor” was aired on HBO. “Trevor” is the fictional story of a 13-year old boy who attempts suicide after being rejected by his friends for being gay. Knowing that many of their young viewers were in situations similar to their lead character, the filmmakers of “Trevor” wanted to provide resources for support during the airing of the film. When they discovered that no such resources existed, they created the Trevor Project.
The mission of the Trevor Project is “to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources.” They carry out this mission in a variety of means, which include raising awareness through strategic partnerships with public schools and religious groups, advocacy for suicide prevention education and anti-bullying policies in schools, a 24 hour hotline for crisis intervention and suicide prevention and also “Dear Trevor,” an online question and answer forum for LGBT youth. The Trevor Project website has loads of information and resources, and I’ve just scraped the surface here. Clearly, they are using a multidimensional approach to make life better for countless LGBT and/or questioning young people.
In October and November, I went into the studio and recorded three new songs: “We Three Kings,” “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” and “Lonely Town.” As my personal homage to the season, I would like to make these songs available to you on a “you name the price” basis. When you download this music, you pay as much or as little as you see fit, including nothing if you so desire. These three songs are my gift to you and are a small way to show my gratitude for your interest, support and kindness throughout this past year. If you choose to make a payment for your downloads, I will donate all proceeds to the Trevor Project. I am heartened by the great work of this fine organization. In a crazy world, the Trevor Project is a beacon of compassion, intelligence and hope. Please consider helping me help the Trevor Project. Although my contribution may ultimately be small in the grand scheme, if it makes things better for even one kid, then it is most definitely worth it.
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Peace, Love and Joy to All!