Amit Paley ’00 on Supporting LGBTQ Youth in Sports

Alumnus Amit Paley ’00, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project—which provides support and crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth—recently wrote an opinion piece that was featured as a Guest Essay in the New York Times, in response to NFL player Carl Nassib coming out as gay and Nassib’s subsequent $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project. The essay focuses on the fear and psychological hurdles that many LGBTQ youth feel in regards to participating in sports, and the critical role that coaches, managers, and teammates have in combating those hurdles and creating a safe, inclusive atmosphere for all athletes.

Amit has been at the helm of The Trevor Project since 2017. He began as a counselor on the organization’s 24/7 TrevorLifeline in 2011. Since then he has answered hundreds of calls from LGBTQ youth in crisis. He is the first volunteer counselor to become the CEO of the organization in its 23-year history, and he still continues to answer calls on the TrevorLifeline.

Under his leadership, the organization has dramatically expanded the number of LGBTQ youth that it serves and the breadth of programming that it offers. During his tenure, The Trevor Project built and launched a new, integrated crisis services platform; expanded its chat and text services to 24/7; and more than doubled the number of youth served each month. The organization has also transformed its TrevorSpace platform into the largest safe-space social networking site for LGBTQ+ youth and expanded The Trevor Project’s research initiatives. The Trevor Project also now operates the largest grassroots campaign in the world to end conversion therapy.

Before becoming CEO of The Trevor Project, Amit was an associate partner at the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he served numerous non-profit organizations, Fortune 500 companies, and governments. He served as a leader of McKinsey’s LGBTQ group and spearheaded the firm’s global efforts on inclusion for transgender and non-binary people. Prior to joining McKinsey, Amit was a reporter at The Washington Post, where his work was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He is a renowned expert on the mental health of LGBTQ young people and suicide prevention, and he has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS, ABC, NBC, Reuters, Fortune and more. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College; an MBA from Columbia Business School; and a master’s degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. The Trevor Project offers accredited life-saving, life-affirming programs and services to LGBTQ youth that create safe, accepting and inclusive environments over the phone, online and through text.