“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.”
– Henry David Thoreau
I started my review with this quote from Henry David Thoreau because it describes the essence of “Trevor” written by James Lecesne.
This novella (96 pages in length) is the story of Trevor and his experience with trying to live in a world where he receives contradicting messages every single day. What do I mean by that? Trevor is fascinated by Lady Gaga, because her message to society (and specifically to young Trevor) has always been be who you are, be proud of who you are, because you were “born this way”. Sadly, there are people in this world who don’t want you to be yourself and they take joy in making people feel small, inadequate and worthless.
This novella starts off with Trevor constantly faking his suicide. His ability to play dead is a mastered art, rather than seeing this as a cry for help, his parents disregard it and brush it off as “boys will be boys”. What they don’t know is that when his friendship with a young boy turns sour, it results in derogatory and hateful comments at school and it’s enough to push Trevor over the edge.
James Lecesne wrote the Academy Award winning film “Trevor” in 1994. When the film was set to air on HBO in 1998, the makers of the film wanted to splash a toll free help line at the end of the movie, encouraging others to reach out for help. Surprisingly in 1998, there was no toll free line for the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning) community. Thus, “The Trevor Lifeline” was born. It provides a 24/7 hour toll free hotline for people with thoughts of suicide, a place to provide information for those in question and guidance for friends and family. They also worked in conjunction with the recent “It Gets Better” campaign in lending support to the LGBTQ youth of the world.
Many celebrities have got behind this project. Here is a quote from Daniel Radcliffe,
I am very pleased to begin my support of the Trevor Project, which saves lives every day through its critical work. It’s extremely distressing to consider that in 2009 suicide is a top-three killer of young people, and it’s truly devastating to learn that LGBTQ youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
This novella, simply and appropriately named “Trevor” is packed with a powerful punch, in a sense getting right to the core issue of James Lecesne’s message. I found the afterward as gratifying as the novella because it explains the back story in great detail. It’s liberating to know that LGBTQ youth have a toll free line that offers support, guidance and help you learn that you’re allowed to be who you are and that it actually does get better.
This brings me back to my earlier quote from Henry David Thoreau, I am a better person having read this story, I learned something new and I gained perspective on a community that I support. I can promise you that you will take something with you too after reading “Trevor”.