Scroll To Top

The Trevor Project, the LGBTQ+ suicide prevention org, announces Jaymes Black as its new CEO

Jaymes Black
Courtesy of Jaymes Black

Black previously led the nonprofit group Family Equality.


The Trevor Project has named Jaymes Black as its new CEO.

In a release on Wednesday, the organization — which seeks to prevent suicide in LGBTQ+ young people — said Black is an "accomplished leader" with decades of experience, noting their experience in coalition building, fundraising, and crossing the nonprofit/for-profit divide. Black, who uses they/she/he pronouns and identifies as a nonbinary lesbian, will be the group's first Black and nonbinary CEO.

“Stepping into the role of CEO at The Trevor Project is an honor of a lifetime. I am beyond excited to continue working within the LGBTQ+ movement in this new capacity, and at the same time, I know this work is not easy," Black said in a statement to The Advocate. "Right now, The Trevor Project – and the LGBTQ+ young people we serve – face historic challenges. Each year seems to bring a new, record-setting volume of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the U.S., and queer and trans peoples’ very identities continue to be used as political talking points. Despite these challenges, I remain optimistic about the journey ahead, and the future for LGBTQ+ young people."

Black will take on the role on July 15. Co-founder and board member Peggy Rajski has served as interim CEO since 2022 when the Trevor Project's board of directors removed Amit Paley as CEO. Rajski will serve as the special advisor to the CEO during the leadership transition.

“For more than 26 years, The Trevor Project has been providing high-quality, life-saving crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to our beloved LGBTQ+ young people," Rajski said in the release. "When I founded the organization back in 1998, I never imagined it would grow to such heights. I know that Jaymes – and their decorated background – will usher the organization through its next phase, continuing our critical work supporting LGBTQ+ young people for generations to come.”

The leadership change comes after some recent turmoil at the Trevor Project. Last year, the organization laid off a number of workers and contractors. It was also accused of unionbusting.

It also comes at a time of unprecedented attacks on queer youth. Between bans on gender-affirming care for minors and laws allowing for queer students to be misgendered, outed, or excluded, 90 percent of LGBTQ+ youth said their well-being has been negatively impacted by recent politics, according to The Trevor Project's 2024 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People.

The American Civil Liberties Union has tracked more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ laws this year alone.

Other LGBTQ+ nonprofit leaders welcomed the announcement of Black joining the Trevor Project.

"Our movement is facing an urgent moment where we must both meet the needs of our people today and fight for a future where there are laws, policy, and the type of representation for us to get free," Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign said in a statement. "This is also a defining moment as movement leaders seek to meet the demands and build organizations that can create the kind of impact our communities deserve. Jaymes uniquely gets this."

"With a deep understanding of our community’s needs and a strong commitment to innovative problem-solving, Jaymes will guide the Trevor Project in meeting current challenges and building a stronger, and more resilient organization,” co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida, Nadine Smith, said.

In their statement, Black said she's optimistic going forward.

"So many members of our community continue fighting tirelessly for what we deserve; acceptance, equality, and the ability to live our lives freely as our true selves," Black said. "From the LGBTQ+ young people speaking up in statehouse hearings against harmful policies in their communities, to The Trevor Project staff members who work around the clock to be the support system for LGBTQ+ youth they wish they had growing up, it’s our community that gives me hope. I am eager to dive in, and lead Trevor into its next chapter of supporting LGBTQ+ young people everywhere.”

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories