October 14, 2010 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. fundraiser nets $10,000 for Trevor Project
Attendees listen to gay sex columnist Dan Savage give a satellite speech at Duplex Diner for the Trevor Project. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Attendees listen to gay sex columnist Dan Savage give a satellite speech at Duplex Diner for the Trevor Project. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

More than 500 people turned out for an Oct. 8 fundraiser at D.C.’s Duplex Diner for the Trevor Project, a national group and telephone hotline that works to prevent LGBT teen suicide. Organizers said the event, which lasted several hours, raised $10,678 from mostly small to modest donations.

Jason Rahlan, one of six D.C. area gay men who organized the event, said he and his collaborators, including local activist Trevor Thomas, managed to put the event together with less than a week’s notice. The group decided they wanted to do something, he said, in response to a rash of gay teen suicides that occurred within a three-week period last month.

“I feel very lucky that I made it,” he told an overflowing crowd at the Duplex Diner, which agreed to make its entire space available for the event.

Recounting his own struggle to cope during his years as a teenager, Rahlan said he wants to help groups like Trevor Project guide LGBT teens through hardship caused by an epidemic of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in the nation’s public schools.

“It does get better,” he said, repeating a slogan adopted by gay columnist Dan Savage, who has joined efforts to combat teen suicide within the LGBT community.

The Trevor Project’s 24-hour help line can be accessed at 1-866-488-7386; its online chat rooms for LGBT youth can be reached here.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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