Trevor Project Holds NextGen Prom in LA
When you think back to your high school days, do you mostly remember dodging bullies, longing to fit in, wishing you could bring your crush to homecoming or the prom? Well now you can! The Trevor Project invites all folks of legal drinking age to attend their third annual Trevor NextGen Prom 2014, a fundraiser supporting the group’s lifesaving work for LGBTQ youth. The event will be held on Saturday, May 31 on the rooftop of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
"When we started the Trevor NextGen program in the fall of 2010, we were looking for a way to tie it back to our youth. So we thought hosting a series of high school-themed events would be good," said co-host Grant Sloss. "We started with homecoming that fall, and did a prom in the spring. It has been a good way to tie it back to the youth that we serve through the crisis hotline."
Sloss and his co-host Adam Hunt note that for a lot of kids, prom was not a celebration, but a reminder that they are different. This nightlife event isn’t geared for current high schoolers, but for those people, both gay and straight, who want to help support Trevor’s programs and get involved to help save lives.
"The Trevor Project has a number of great programs, and the most famous one is the Trevor Lifeline," said Hunt. "It costs about $15 per average per phone call, and helps a youth make it through another day, so maybe they can go to their own prom. That’s the service that w really started out with, but because of our supporters over the last 15 years, we are also able to have Trevor Texts, where you immediately text and get a response."
The organization has also added options like Trevor Chat, an instant messaging support program, plus educational initiatives like the Trevor LifeGaurd workshop, where they go to schools to talk to students about bullying and tolerance. They are also a growing presence in Washington, DC, lobbying for LGBT-inclusive legislation.
"I think we’re getting there," said Sloss, "but the influx of calls that the Trevor Project still gets to this day suggests we’re not fully there, that there are kids being ostracized and left out. If we can call that out and shine a light on it with a night like this, that’s all we can hope for."
And what a night it will be! The event will be hosted by YouTube celebs Jessica and Hunter, and include special performances by singer/songwriter Eli Lieb (Young Love) and RuPaul’s Drag Race favorite Shangela.
"Plus, attendees have the opportunity to win a date to the prom with Kelli Osbourne, who graciously agreed to attend the event!" said Sloss.
Hunt said that if people were interested in sponsoring the event, they could reach out to the Trevor Project for corporate sponsorship, as these companies have done: Absolut, MillerCoors, Kraken Spice Rum, Boodles Gin, Dobel Tequila. Uber, and Simmons Murphy Designs.
Individuals who want to give back can make a donation, buy a ticket online and let organizers know they they are donating it back to the cause, or donate an amount of their choice to the Kelli Osbourne competition, and let organizers know they won’t be attending.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people under the age of 24. The organization’s life-saving work is supported by volunteers who represent a diverse network of socially conscious, up-and-coming young leaders called Trevor NextGen. Honored by the White House as a "Champion of Change," the Trevor Project is a leader and innovator in suicide prevention.
"As we have more of a presence on social media, we can reach out to parts of the country who didn’t know of our existence before," said Hunt. "We have more callers every year, because kids are learning about us. And there are TV shows, movies and a gay presence that we didn’t have when we were younger, like ’Glee’ or MTV’s ’Faking It,’ that shows LGBTs winning prom court or king and queen. These shows are helping improve things, but we still have a lot of work to do."
For more information, visit TheTrevorProject.org, or join Trevor NextGen on Facebook at facebook.com/TrevorNextGenLA