The Trevor Project, in need of volunteers for their 24/7 hotline for LGBTQ youth, teamed up with out YouTuber Eugene Lee Yang to raise awareness.
Lee Yang — known by many as one of Buzzfeed's "Try Guys" (the guys are no longer affiliated with the website though) — hosted the Trevor Live event this past Saturday in Los Angeles. Yang added to his involvement with Trevor by uploading his video, "Eugene Volunteers at the Trevor Project," to the Try Guys YouTube channel, which boasts nearly five million subscribers.
By uploading this video, Lee Yang brought attention to an organization that the channel's massive audience may not be aware of — and he did it all with three impressive wardrobe changes through the duration of the 12-minute video.
In "Eugene Volunteers at the Trevor Project," employees of The Trevor Project walk Lee Yang through a shortened version of their 40-hour process of selecting and training lifeline counselors for the crisis hotlines.
Calvin Stowell, chief growth officer of The Trevor Project, Kevin Wong, head of communications at Trevor, and Joie Deritis, the senior trainer for the volunteers at the organization, emphasize the qualities they look for most in a lifeline counselor.
Stowell says counselors should expect to talk people through anything from coming out, to bullying at school, to suicidal ideation. These volunteers must possess the ability to handle the situation as an active, empathetic, and non-judgemental listener.
Deritis asks Lee Yang questions during the interview screening such as, "tell me about a time you supported a friend through a crisis" and "how would you define empathy."
When asked what are some of the subjects that Lee Yang would be able to empathize with on a personal level, he gave her an answer that a lot of LGBTQ people could see themselves in:
"I would be able to speak personally about being able to overcome my own self-loathing and my own bouts of depression growing up," Lee Yang confessed. "I really did hate who I was. I really could not imagine I would be wearing a suit like this. Everything I am today, that people know, was born from that struggle and getting over that struggle was probably the most poignant and hardest thing I ever had to do in my life, so I guess to be able to talk to other kids about it is probably one of the most important things I can do."