Hi my name is Bethany and I am trying my best to help the teens of Alaska be who they are. (Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans.) I know one person can make a difference, but the suicide videos in heath class don’t do much. I travel from Barrow to the Island in a normal week. I have a club at school to help every one and I can’t really make a web site because I don’t know how.
I told some of the people I help to watch Glee and it helped a lot. Then, after all the episodes I handed them, they all killed themselves. It stopped the curse for a while. I am not trying to bribe you, nor am I seeking fame or money. I want some one to help me and that is all. Please send some one?! I am not Superwoman and I get that ,but I think of all the teens I help as if they were my little brothers and
sisters and I don’t want to dig a grave for them. When someone inconsiderately calls them a “fag” or “ho” or other words I will not write here, it sends them to into a slow downward domino affect. Help me please.
Letter submitted by:
I am so glad that you decided to reach out to us here at the Trevor Project. Your sincere concern for the health and happiness of your friends shows me just how lucky they are to have you in their lives. I can also understand how difficult it can be to see your friends having a hard time and be called mean and hurtful names, and it’s important to make sure that you take care of yourself. As you said, you are a wonderfully caring or compassionate individual but you are still a human being and it makes total sense that are reaching out for help. There are definitely resources that you can take advantage of and share with any of your friends who might find them to be useful.
It’s great that you suggested that your friends watch Glee, as it is often helpful to see positive examples of openly LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender) characters in the media. I would imagine that your friends all appreciated that very much. At the same time, I appreciate how you would want to make sure that your friends have other resources at their disposal. First of all, have you encouraged your friends to seek out a trusted adult – such as a teacher or guidance counselor – when they experience name-calling at school? Everyone should feel safe at all times, and especially when they are at school. I would definitely encourage them to do that. Your friends – as well as you – are always welcome to call us on the Trevor Lifeline at (866) 488-7386 at any time, day or night. If any of your friends actually start saying that they are thinking of taking their own lives, you can should definitely call the Lifeline or dial 911. You can also encourage them to use Trevor Chat, which provides online support at times. You can see the full schedule here: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/chat. Finally, I’d suggest that you share Trevor Space, which is a safe and supportive online community where LGBTQ young people ages 13 – 24 and allies are able to converse and network with one another. You can find that here: http://www.trevorspace.org/ You should also look at these Alaska-specific resources here: http://www.everyoneisgay.com/us/alaska.html.
Aside from these online resources, I would definitely urge you to learn more about local resources for LGBTQ youth and their allies and families. In terms of experiences in school, check out GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network), which has resources that are both on line and often local as well. You can find it all at www.glsen.org. I would also encourage your friends to look at PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), as it has resources for families who are in various stages of coming to understand and accept their LGBTQ members’ identities. Again, all of these resources are completely inclusive of allies.
Bethany, your friends are truly lucky to have you in their lives. We at Trevor recognize that it can’t be easy to be confronted with the kind of negativity that you described above, but just remember that you are a huge source of positivity and support for them and for that they are very lucky. Please explore the resources outlined above and feel free to write or call us anytime in the future. We are all rooting for you and your friends!