As we read the accounts and witness the aftermath of the heinous act of bigotry and hatred that occurred at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, we should be extremely clear in realizing that this country will be impacted for many years to come. This attack was especially targeted at the LGBTQ community. Lives have been callously taken or forever changed as individuals were gathering in what was believed to be a protected space, exactly where they can convene in solidarity and share pride in their neighborhood
Adding to the heartbreak and undeniable fear we feel about these events, was the arrest in Santa Monica, Calif., of a particular person whose auto was filled with weapons to especially hurt and kill LGBTQ folks. This is one more horrible reminder of how some in the planet see our neighborhood, even in this day and age.
As the executive director and CEO of the Trevor Project, the only national accredited crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization serving LGBTQ youth, I know firsthand about the struggles of LGBTQ young individuals. Every minute, every single day, young people reach out to us simply because they feel alone, misunderstood, and vulnerable. How can we reassure them that every thing is OK when all around them, they continue to hear messages of hate and intolerance? Our youth see and really feel that we are presently in a struggle to fight for rights and opportunities that appear so simple — the appropriate to use the bathroom of your gender. The appropriate to receive adequate mental wellness solutions. And now, the freedom to be with your neighborhood for a night of relaxation and socializing, without fear.
These blatant acts of violence against the LGBTQ neighborhood send horrible messages of hate to young people. In a time that seems like much progress has been produced in the LGBTQ community, the Trevor Project is really conscious of the challenges young folks still face in getting their accurate selves. They are currently being barraged by rhetoric from homophobic and transphobic politicians and laws getting presented in states all through our nation, and now they have a visual representation of what hatred can do. It is our job as an organization and our job as a folks to protect our youth. To shield our future. Young men and women need resources to effectively approach the challenges they are facing on a minute-by-minute basis. They need to have all of our assist. We require to stand up, unite, and continue the fight.
Although watching the response these days, I am heartened and hope our young folks are as effectively. There is a unified outrage from so numerous segments of the world’s population, not only the LGBTQ community. This mass killing, the worst mass shooting in United States history, is becoming reported on everywhere, including every key news outlet. Outrage is coming from so many, starting at the best with the president calling it what it is — an act of violence against the LGBTQ neighborhood, and he will not stand for it.
We at the Trevor Project know a single individual can make a difference and right now we are seeing so a lot of people saying no more. Reach out to the Trevor Project you are not alone. We are right here 24/7 at (866) 488-7386 and TheTrevorProject.org.
ABBE LAND is the executive director and CEO of the Trevor Project. A longtime resident of West Hollywood, Abbe lives with her husband, artist Martin Gantman.