T-Shirt Sales Promote LGBTQ+ Suicide Awareness
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This week starting Monday, Sept. 24th, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Student Council are partnering up to sell shirts to raise money for The Trevor Project.
The Trevor Project is an non-profit organization that raises awareness for suicide prevention in the LGBTQ+ youth. It was created in 1994 by Peggy Rajski and James Lecesne in response to a film they created about a 13-year-old boy named Trevor, who tried to take his own life after not being accepted because he was gay.
They realized that there was no 24-hour hotline for youth who could be going through this, so they decided to create one themselves.
SADD President Maggie Yang, senior, says the impact of the Trevor Project is tremendous.
“The Trevor Project advocates for the LGBTQ+ youth with actual legislative efforts,” Yang said. “I think the Trevor Project is really helping out those in need, giving the LGBTQ+ community a safe haven that they can turn to with their Trevor Lifeline.”
Yang wants all students to see the different groups come together for one cause.
“Whether or not people stand up for the cause that each group is advocating,” Yang said. “I want people to first realize that they are dealing with actual people, not just a stereotype.”
The shirts themselves were created by SADD sponsor Laura Coverstone. They are purple and feature the Trevor hotline on the back with a semicolon heart.
“We believed it fostered a community of inclusion, so we ran with it,” Coverstone said.
Coverstone said it was important because LGBTQ+ youth have a heightened chance of having thoughts or attempting or committing suicide.
“We want to make sure all of our students at MHS however they identify would feel safe and at home,” Coverstone said.
GSA Vice President Allie Konopelski, junior, helps students of all sexualities to deal with any discrimination they are faced with.
Konopelski said she is a part of GSA because she wants to provide a place for people of all sexualites to feel safe and be confident in who they are.
“We [GSA] are people. We’re normal. It’s not that deep,” Konopelski said. “I feel we’re passionate about it because of our own struggles with coming to terms with our own identities. And because of how the world and people around us have either accepted us or not and how they have reacted to us.”
This is Sam Hall, a sophomore that is new to the Messenger and is looking forward to working with the team this year. As of now, she is apart of the equity club and passively looking to get more involved with MHS. She dances six times a week along with some conditioning and training. She has a rigorous schedule, but she will figure it all out one day. She’s quite passionate about life itself and wants to know more about everything. She really likes traveling and meeting new people to understand cultures that are different from her own.