Happy Pride, Explorers - it’s Cason here! During Pride Month, we celebrate the LGBTQ community and honor the many heroes who fought hard to win us the rights and acceptance that many now enjoy. It’s a time of year that’s personally important to me. I’ve been openly gay since I was 14, and have always felt so lucky that I ‘had it easy’ compared to so many others. In fact, suicide rates among LGBTQ youth are shockingly high - much higher than their straight peers. So in honor of Pride Month, we’ll be donating $1 for every Explorer order to the lifesaving work of The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project focuses on suicide prevention in LGBTQ youth, running the nation’s only 24/7 free and confidential suicide lifeline geared towards our community, the Trevor Lifeline.
I have been personally committed to The Trevor Project ever since I lost a close friend and classmate to suicide in high school, and have tried my best to support them in lots of different ways ever since. First as a volunteer, and then through my Rainbow Summits Project, during which I climbed the highest mountain on each continent - including Mt. Everest - to raise money and awareness for their life saving work. In the process, I became the first openly LGBTQ person to climb the Seven Summits and raised over $135,000 for The Trevor Project. But the work never ends, and during this Pride Month, I’m so excited to once again be supporting The Trevor Project and their incredible efforts to make sure no young person attempts suicide.
One of the most amazing things about being a member of the LGBTQ community is that it challenges us - from an early age - to more deeply explore ourselves in a way that can cut to the core of our identity. So in a way, every member of the LGBTQ community is an Explorer! During this Pride Month, to honor the courageous spirit of all the folks who overcame obstacles (big and small!) to discover and celebrate their true identity, let’s all strive to be even more open, adventurous, and loving in all facets of our lives.
Cheers to reaching new heights, and happy Pride!