Over the last few years, online services and social media outlets has helped LGBTQ youth find connections as the Internet has become a powerful tool in helping those who feel alone find a common ground with individuals who may be struggling with the same challenges. In recognition of this, “Hunger Games” star Josh Hutcherson has joined forces with Straight But Not Narrow, The Trevor Project, and human I-T in launching the Power On campaign, aimed at providing LGBTQ youth with the tools they need to find community.
According to Gay Star News Monday, the initiative will be aimed towards youth living in rural areas and low-income households. It will run now through Spirit Day on October 17. Organizations will be working in conjunction to encourage teens to donate their old and unused laptops, tablets, and smartphones to be refurbished and distributed to LGBTQ resource centers across the United States.
This is important because many LGBTQ youth use the Internet to connect and find the communication they need from other like-minded individuals. Abbe Land, executive director and CEO of The Trevor Project feels it’s a necessary option. She said, “…For young LGBTQ people, it may not be easy to find others like them nearby. At The Trevor Project, we know that connecting to a community can lead to support and friendships, as well as reduce the risk for suicide attempts and other high-risk behaviors.”
Hutcherson set off the campaign by donating his own unused computers. The actor described the feeling of being able to help a young person as “awesome” and is also enthusiastic about working with these great organizations. He said, “I’ve always respected the work that The Trevor Project does, and to have an opportunity for Straight But Not Narrow to collaborate with them on a campaign like Power On is exciting.”
GLSN’s “Out Online” study shows that more than half (52%) of LGBTQ youth, who are not out in person, had used the Internet to connect with other LGBTQ people. Through social networks like TrevorSpace.org, approximately 1000,000 young people find community and are able to reach out and find the support they need. The Power On campaign will assure that they have the devices they need to connect.