Anime News Network is raising money for The Trevor Project in memory of Zac Bertschy.
The most sophisticated people I know – inside they are all children. – Jim Henson
Zac’s greatest passion was sharing the things he loved with people, and through his writing and podcasts he shared his love of anime with millions of people over the span of his 20 plus years as an anime journalist, critic, and advocate.
Sadly his voice was silenced on May 21, 2020. His passing was a tremendous loss for his friends, his family, his co-workers at Anime News Network, and the entire anime community.
Contrary to speculation, Zac Bertschy did not commit suicide, however depression was a huge contributor to the circumstances that lead to his death.
Suicide is the second leading cause of teenage death worldwide. Every year thousands of voices are silenced prematurely, voices that might have been the next Zac Bertschy or Roger Ebert. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. One out of six students in the USA have seriously considered suicide in the past year.
Among LGBTQ youth, the numbers are even more depressing. Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are almost three times as likely to consider suicide and five times as likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth. In the past year alone, over 40% of LGBTQ teens have seriously considered suicide. 40% of transgender adults report having made a suicide attempt, the vast majority of whom did so before the age of 25.
The Trevor Project, a charity that Zac himself supported, is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people. The organization works to save young lives by providing support through free and confidential suicide prevention and crisis intervention programs on platforms where young people spend their time: a 24/7 phone lifeline, chat, text, and soon-to-come integrations with social media platforms. The organization also runs TrevorSpace, the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, and operates innovative education, research, and advocacy programs.
Last year we raised thousands of dollars in Zac’s name for The Trevor Project, but we can do more. Our goal this year is to raise at least $5,000 for The Trevor Project, and you can help us. It doesn’t need to be much, even $1 can help save a life. If today isn’t the right time for you to make a donation, you can also support The Trevor Project by sharing this on social media and encouraging other people you know to support The Trevor Project.
The next life The Trevor Project saves might be a future Zac Bertschy, a future Satoshi Kon, or someone in your family.
And remember, if you need help, call the TrevorLifeline now at 1-866-488-7386.