Sir Ian McKellen, Victoria Justice, Rosie Perez, Raven-Symone Celebrate The Trevor Project

All in support of The Trevor Project!

Last night, Susan SarandonRosie PerezRaven-Symoné, Victoria Justice, T.R. Knight, Brad Goreski, Alex Sharp (2015 Tony Award-winner), Adam ShankmanAlex NewellJeanine Tesori (2015 Tony Award-winner), Carmen EjogoJordan Roth,Bridget EverettCelisse HendersonKyle Dean MasseyMarc ShaimanMichael WartellaLauren Patten, Adrienne Eller,Harmony SantanaMax von EssenWell-StrungPaul Dobie, and more came out to support LGBTQ youth and the life-saving work of The Trevor Project at TrevorLIVE New York at the Marriott Marquis, hosted by Beth Behrs and presented by Wells Fargo and Kevin Potter. Sir Ian McKellen was presented with the Trevor Hero Award by longtime friend Susan Sarandon. Check out our exclusive red carpet interviews below:

Ian McKellen

Q:  You are being honored with The Trevor Hero Award so speak about what receiving this award means to you.

A:  Well, I am here supporting The Trevor Project really and these awards just draw attention to what the project does and how necessary it is for it to be done.  And so I am just a supporter—hero, no.  They are the heroes, not me.

Q:  Can you talk about what the overall mission of The Trevor Project means to you and what you have seen from it?

A:  I have seen them on the phones and I have seen the organization here.  We think because the laws change that everything else changes.  No, changing the laws is the easy part, it’s the beginning.  Prejudice dies hard; it’s the ignorance that is still there.  And the darkness in the lives of some people who call this hotline is as intense as it was for me when I was growing up at a time when it was illegal being gay and you couldn’t talk to anybody; there was no helpline.  So, that’s why I support it, because I wish there had been for me.  And it is needed; everything isn’t all right here.

Q:  And what kind of advice would you give to someone questioning their sexuality or someone trying to accept themselves or even come out?

A:  Well, there are lots of stuff you can access online and at your local library, your school library, there will be books and in those books there will be the witness of people who are gay who have had a bad time, had a good time.   There will be books written by their parents explaining what it is like to have a gay child.  There will be the witness of all the gay people in history.  The message is you are not alone and if all else fails call The Trevor Project.  They will help.

Q:  And you are considered a role model to many people so can you speak about being that role model and an inspiration among the LGBTQ community?

A:  Well you do what you can.  The crucial thing is to come out to yourself and then you can share that information with your best friend. And after they have given you a hug you can get on with beginning the long journey, or maybe the short journey of telling everybody.  And eventually you will have told everybody and no one will be very interested and you can get on with your life and your sexuality can become really boring.  So, that’s what I think people should do.  Look after yourself, you know, you have to. You’re your own person and whatever you are is absolutely fine.  If you are gay and you don’t want sex that is absolutely fine.  If you want to try sex out with various sorts of people with their permission that is absolutely fine.  Do what you want, sort it out, enjoy it, get yourself a good job, look after your friends, support The Trevor Project; it’s simple you can send them a check.

Victoria Justice

Q:  So what is it like for you to be here and support The Trevor Project?

A:  It’s great to be here.  I mean, The Trevor Project is an amazing organization.  I think what they do is so phenomenal and important today.  Like, LGBTQ  youth need to know that there is a place where they won’t be judged and where they can talk freely and get the support and love that they need so I think it’s amazing.

Q:  And what kind of advice would you give to someone questioning their sexuality or someone trying to accept themselves or even come out?

A:  The best advice that I would give is to just be kind to yourself.  I think that it is important to – sometimes we can get into a pattern of critiquing and beating ourselves down so much in what we are doing wrong and sometimes we need to shift focus things in our lives and all the positive things we are doing.

Q:  And anything else coming up with you that you would like to share?

A:  Yes, I have a movie premiering at Outfest, which is the biggest LGBTQ film festival on July 17, it’s called ‘Naomi and Eli’s No Kiss List.’  It’s a great coming of age story; I play a girl who is in love with her gay best friend.  And then I have a movie coming out this November 6 called ‘The Outskirts’ and it is a high school coming of age comedy.

Rep. Ryan Fecteau

Q:  You are being recognized tonight as the Youth Innovator Honoree so can you speak about what it is like receiving this award?

A:  It is a really special honor for me.  I was connected to The Trevor Project earlier on in life—it’s funny to say earlier on in life though.  I was in high school when I was coming out and I was connected with The Trevor Space, which is sort of the social media or social network arm of The Trevor Project.  And it was the first time I had the opportunity to interact with other gay people or people who were struggling to come out as well and have a space where you have common experiences coming together was certainly a huge support network for me and allowed me to come out to friends and obviously the wheels kept turning from there and it’s a huge honor to be reconnected to The Trevor Project through this way as we continue to work across the country with state legislatures and Congress to makes sure LGBTQ people are supported and are advancing in equality.

Q:  And you are also the youngest gay representative so can you speak about your journey getting to this point right now?

A:  I think it’s important that we have leaders elected to office that are not only young but are openly gay or LGBTQ.  And being present in a state legislature is important because you are going to change your colleagues who never would have thought that they would be supportive of this issue.  And it is also important for young people to know that they can too aspire to be something as much as there might be a struggle in coming out to family or to friends, and perhaps you aren’t well received immediately, you just have to know that it does get better, it really does get better.  There are so many opportunities for young people to carve out their own little path.

Q:  And what kind of advice would you give to someone questioning their sexuality or someone trying to accept themselves or even come out?

A:  I would say that being true to yourself is one of the most powerful things that a young person can do.  I say that there is a superpower of empathy; when someone comes out, I think it unlocks empathy within someone else, someone that you may have never thought would understand or be able to put themselves in your shoes.  Knowing a loved one or someone close to you is gay really changes the landscape if you will.  And I would say that being true to yourself is so important so don’t shy away from being who you are.

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-Vinesh Vora

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