The Trevor Project, a national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, is hosting the Lifeline Event Series, which will take place on September 20, 2009 from 7:00pm-10:00pm, at Halo Lounge, 1625 Michigan Avenue in Miami Beach. The Trevor Project operates the only accredited, nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth.
I am honored to be on the host committee with my husband, Commissioner Anthony Niedwiecki of Oakland Park, as well as other South Florida supporters of the important work that the Trevor Project does. It's sure to be an amazing event for a great cause. The organization does such important and vital work for LGBTQ youth who might not have anywhere else to turn and I encourage everyone to attend.
The event has also gotten another, quite surprising, supporter: The Tim Hardaway Foundation, founded by Former Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway, who in 2007 wrecked his post-basketball career by declaring on radio ``I hate gay people.'' Here's the interview:
Much more after the jump...
Hardaway caused shockwaves with his comment, losing endorsement deals and gaining the wrath of LGBT groups across the country. He's now singing a different tune. In a press release about the Lifeline Event, Hardaway says:
The Tim Hardaway Foundation and I are committed to understanding and motivating our youth. The Trevor Project captured my attention and support because it is an organization working to save lives through motivation and acceptance.
Hardaway will attend the event and meet with Charles Robbins, the Executive Director of the Trevor Project, as well as some of the other hosts and guests to hear learn about the difficulties some have in coming out and other LGBTQ issues.
It's a good teachable moment, perhaps. And goodness knows he needs more education on the subject. In a recent interview with the Miami Herald, Hardaway had this to say, even after he apologized for his "I hate gay people" comment:
Gays and lesbians, we don't have to accept the act, but we have to accept them as people. Especially children, we don't want them to kill themselves.
A tepid endorsement indeed. He also expressed continued concern about gays in the locker room:
We have a right to know. We'd say, `How do you want to do this? Do you want to go into the shower first, or do you want me to go into the shower first?
Because showering with a teammate who is gay would be out of the question, apparently.
I'm hoping this will be a chance to talk to Hardaway and explain to him how his comments hurt the entire LGBT community, including young people.
Come to the event, show your support, and tell your story!