When the Trevor Project touched my life ~ Diana Copland: Outside the Margins

Join us as Diana Copland goes Outside the Margins.

Diana Copland OtM

When The Trevor Project touched My Life


I think sometimes we hear about organizations like the Trevor Project and think, “that sounds like a wonderful thing.”  An organization that provides suicide prevention and counciling services for LGBTQ kids IS a wonderful thing.  We’ve all seen the statistics; homelessness and suicide rates among gay, lesbian, transgender and bi-sexual teens are frightening.  The Trevor Project, started in 1998, saves lives through its confidential phone, instant message and text message intervention services.  It’s cutting edge and it’s available to troubled kids right where they live, in their cell phones.  I first heard of Trevor because Daniel Radcliffe is one of their celebrity sponsors, and I’m a big fan.  I’ve donated when I could, because I had a friend who killed himself when we were in high school.  His parents were very religious and he was gay, and I’ve wished so much so many times there was someplace Andy could have called, someone he could have spoken to.  But other than that, I didn’t really think I’d see evidence of Trevor’s good work in my life.


Boy, I was wrong.


I have a young friend.  He is one of the kindest, gentlest people I’ve ever met.  His life’s goal is to finish his education, get his nursing degree, and then work with our aging community.  He is remarkable with the elderly, so sweet and caring, and this country needs more people like him.  I count myself very lucky that he’s decided to be friends with this somewhat eccentric, middle aged lady.  We have so much fun together, and my times with him are filled with laughter.  We check out the same men, talk about movies and musicals and just generally enjoy one another’s company.  He’s a delight.


We met for brunch recently, and he said he had something to tell me.  He looked so solemn that my first fear was that he was moving away.  I guess I’m selfish, but there are so few people here in Spokane I can be myself with, and I didn’t want to lose him.  But that wasn’t what he wanted to tell me. What he did tell me made me feel very selfish for my first impulse, and then very, very sad.


When he was really young, around five, he was sexually molested.  This is bad enough, but his molester is a family member.  He has spent a lifetime suppressing the memory of this, but as other adult survivors of childhood molestation will tell you, the memories, the trauma, never go away.  Things that happened to you when you’re four or five remain as clear in your mind as if they happened yesterday. And the harder you try to suppress them, the harder the memories fight back, until you simply can’t ignore them any longer.


This is what happened to my friend.  When he was in his teens, he acted out in anger.  He overcame that, and thought he was okay.  Then, about a month ago, at work, he sank into a depression so profound and so deep he felt as if he couldn’t move, let alone crawl out of it.  He went home that night and very seriously considered killing himself.  Instead, thank God, he called the Trevor Project.


I can never express how grateful I am to the person on the other end of the line when he called.  They talked to him, told him he wasn’t alone, and helped him to connect with a local counselor who specializes is helping LGBTQ kids and has proven to be one of those angels walking around in plain clothes.  She is helping him to face what happened to him and to accept that none of it was his fault, that he was a victim then but he doesn’t have to stay one.  Because of the Trevor Project, and because of this counselor, my friend is finding the strength to deal with his demons and move past them.  And for that, I am eternally grateful.


I know there are lots of organizations worthy of donation this time of year, but if you do give, I hope you’ll consider the Trevor Project.  Because of them, there is a very bright light still shining in the world.  This young man is going to do wonderful things with his life.  I am so grateful I get to watch him do it.











~ Diana Copland

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6 thoughts on “When the Trevor Project touched my life ~ Diana Copland: Outside the Margins

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. There are so many organizations out there begging for our time and money that I easily get lost in it all. I tend to seek out those organizations that have touched my life or the lives of those around me. I love seeing when an organization is more than just a name. I will be sending on a donation to The Trevor Project shortly.

  2. I’m so glad your friend reached out for help, so many don’t. They don’t because they think that they will be ignored or because they are ashamed to ask for help.
    I have a young friend myself who has attempted suicide several times in his short life. One of those attempts is what brought us together as friends. I have encouraged him to call the Trevor hotline when he gets so down it doesn’t seem like he’ll ever be able to climb back up. So far, he has resisted calling, but he has also seemed to have improved when his Dr finally diagnosed him correctly and has him on meds that do help. But even taking the meds, sometimes he goes down the rabbit hole, so to speak and I’m the one who has to drag him back up, kicking and screaming.
    I know, in my heart, if he would just call and talk to them one time, he’d see that someone besides me, cares about what happens to him. When I first talked to him about it, he thought he was too old, but I told him that he wasn’t. Hopefully, one day, he’ll take the chance and call. I know it would make such a difference in his quality of life.

    • I hope he calls, too. My friend is outside of their age statement, and it didn’t matter at all. They were still loving and receptive, and they helped him. I’ll keep good thoughts for your friend.

  3. Thank you for this touching story. I’m so glad your friend called and got help. I have donated to The Trevor Project before and will be doing so this month, inspired by your lovely words.

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