Trans Actress Alexandra Billings to LGBT Teens: ‘Stick Around, It Does Get Better’

In a PSA for The Trevor Project, transgender actress, singer and teacher Alexandra Billings confides that, aged 16, bullying led her to attempt suicide. Billings also stresses that, while things won’t magically get better, it is so important that LGBT teens know there is a wealth of people out there ready and waiting to support them.

This video was originally posted in October of last year when the It Gets Better project was firmly in the spotlight, but I unfortunately failed to find it among the deluge of videos being offered back then. Hat-tip to On Top Magazine and others for highlighting it now, because this realistic and hopeful message is simply inspiring.

Watch the PSA below:

Transcript:

[Alexandra Billings speaks directly to camera:]

Hi, I’m Alexandra Billings. When I was in 6th Grade I was in the cafeteria having lunch and there was a bunch of boys over in the corner, and they began to throw food at me, and most everyone in the cafeteria started to laugh and applaud. A lot of my teenage years were spent hiding because I was pushed down the stairs or I was hit, or I was tripped, or I was called awful, awful names. I didn’t think that there was really anything left to do. At 16-years-old I took a handful of pills and I tried to kill myself. Luckily, someone found me and I survived.

Look, I know you think you’re the only one. You’re not. You’re not. For the longest time I thought I was nuts, and I know what that feeling is like and it’s awful. There’s something you can do: find an LGBT group in your high school or your junior high. Talk to a couple of friends of yours. Talk to your parents. I know that it’s frightening. If that’s too hard, write them a letter and read it to them. You can go online. There’s a lot of LGBT groups online as well. You can also call the people at The Trevor Project. There is someone waiting right now to talk to you and to listen, and who understands.

And, can I just talk for a second to the people who have a religious belief? Look, if you believe in a deity that doesn’t make mistakes then how could there possibly be anything wrong with you? You’re fantastic. And to those friends who have other friends who are transitioning, do me a favor: listen to them, hang out with them, tell them that they’re OK, play Monopoly with them, get a game of Parcheesi going. Be a friend. Show them that there’s some hope. That’s the big deal. Hope.

Look I can’t promise you that everything is going to magically change. It doesn’t. It doesn’t work like that. Everybody transitions. You just happen to be transitioning into the real you. But you’ve got to find your voice and you cannot leave the planet. Who knows who you might be. You might be Michaelangelo. You might be Maria Callas. You might be Britney Spears—don’t be Britney Spears. Well, okay Britney Spears. I don’t care who you are. Your voice is important.

So stick around because I’d like to hear from you. I stuck around and I got really lucky. I worked very hard, now I’m an actress in television and film. I’m also a teacher, and I’m married. I found the love of my life because I hung around, and she loves me for who I am.

Call the people at The Trevor Project. They’ll listen to you and they will help you find your voice. Stick around. I promise you: it does get better.

Don’t Suffer in Silence, Get Help!

The Trevor Project runs a 24/7 helpline with trained counselors ready to listen if you or someone you know would like to talk about the issues dealt with in this post.

The Trevor Project Helpline number is 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386).

Trevor Project Links:

70 comments

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle8 years ago

Thank you, Alexandra Trevor. Your honest sincere words are the best medicine. I'm sure any LGBT youth who has watched this sincere video, now has hope for their future. And any adult out there, who knows an LGBT youth, unhappy and struggling, HELP them. You could be the ONE person who sees the problem and saves a life. It would be so helpful if each youth, LGBT and straight, watched this video, -- heck, if everyone, child and adult, watched it, because it is the majority community that is hurting them.

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Gloria W.
Gloria W.8 years ago

As a parent is no way I will reject my son or daughter..I'll love him/her the same, gay or not...

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Manuela C.
Manuela C8 years ago

It will get better!

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Khathrinah Bliss
Past Member 8 years ago

My daugher supports the LGBT community through her website cyberstics.com. Our affiliates are wonderful and this is a wonderful message!

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Dorothy K.
Dorothy K8 years ago

Parents often reject their children for various reason, not just for being gay. I don't understand it as my folks pretty much disowned me when I changed religions and entered the convent , they felt I was somehow rebelling, rejecting their beliefs. I was in shock, as I'd always been a good kid,top student, college grad, and I was a 25 year old adult! After I left the convent, we slowly healed our relationship. I don't know why or how parents can reject their kids for being gay. someone here, said it "offends many people" well, so do a lot of things, but being gay or trangender is not about choice, it's about ones internal feelings about who and what we are. Rather than being rejected, GBLT perople (kids especially) need the care, concern and love of parents, heaven knows, they are getting enough rejection from the world! It is a burden for kids to be different, they want to be like everyone else, and sometimes the burden becomes too much and they can't take it anymore.Being bullied is hard enough, but add parental or familial rejection. People must realize being Gay is only part of who a person is, it is not their whole being, to be rejected and bullied for just a part of who you are is so painful Practice love and acceptance, not bullying and rejection, you may just be saving a life!!

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Kris J.
Kristina J8 years ago

Thanks for the article. It is the first one I have seen from a trans person, and I am grateful to see the wide variety of people who have contributed to this project.

Its just a shame to see such ignorant and bigoted people on Care2. Hiding in shame and in the shadows only serves to isolate these people, which is what leads to the bullying, depression, suicide, and despair, brought on by the ignorant masses who do not understand what it is like growing up in a society, and often even a family, that does not attempt to understand or accept you for who you really are.

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Marena Chen
Marena Chen8 years ago

Newest American status symbol...??? Having a gay kid to brag about...Latest American heartache...??? Having a gay kid who is being encouraged by others to "come out" forcing distraught parents to have to make a choice ( to disown their child) You complain about others interfering in your chosen life style, but you also have the unmitigated gall to tell parents, who can not accept their gay kids, what to do about and how to treat their OWN kids....It cuts both ways...If everybody minded their own business, there would be much fewer problems in this world... Homosexuality offends many people - and not only religious people...

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Jeffrey Clark
Jeffrey Clark8 years ago

John Miller needs to find himself a new soapbox for selling his snake oil!

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Dan(iel) M.
Dan(iel) M8 years ago

Thanks for posting Steve.

Also lets remind people to join the "It Gets Better" and donate to help keep this important project going and in the limelight.

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John Miller
Past Member 8 years ago

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