For many of the young LGBT community, the election of Donald Trump as president has been frightening.
The Trevor Project, an organization created to prevent suicide in the LGBT community, has been receiving an increase in suicide hotline calls following the presidential election.
“After the election it became clear to me that young people needed our help more than ever,” said the new CEO of The Trevor Project, Amit Paley.
The call volume doubled the day after the presidential election, and has increased since then, The Daily Beast reports. Paley reported the lifeline received more calls in May than it had in its entire 19-year history.
The young community often calls to talk about Donald Trump or anti-LGBT policies throughout the nation, such as anti-transgender bathroom bills and the banning of same-sex marriage benefits in Texas.
“The policies of this administration, no doubt about it, are directly harming young LGBTQ people,” Paley told the publication. “What’s so upsetting and shocking for them is that up until this point they had been growing up in a time of increasing acceptance and tolerance. Our mission is to end suicide among LGBTQ young people, and we are concerned by any activities that might reverse the progress we have made.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign’s “Growing up LGBT in America” 2012 survey of 10,000 LGBT-identified-youth between ages of 13 and 17, 42 percent reported growing up in a not-accepting community. They are more than two times as likely to have been verbally harassed at school compared to their non-LGBT counterparts.
“Imagine being a teenager, going through puberty, the challenges of that, especially if your gender is different to how the world sees you,” said Paley. “Imagine hearing from the leaders of the country that you don’t deserve to go to the bathroom that conforms to your gender identity, so you literally have to hold it all day. Forget the medical issues that causes. Forget how that makes people feel. Think about how that makes you feel not listened to. It’s heartbreaking.”
Paley said that when they have a president and politicians who impact the LGBT community’s self-worth, it’s the reason why the project is there to say, “No matter what anyone in Washington says, you are worthy, you are loved, you have dignity, and you are who you are and who you love does not lessen you as a person.”
If you or someone you know needs help, you can reach out to http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now.