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AT&T Live Proud Winner Mark Gilbert Shares His Out100 Story

AT&T Live Proud celebrates LGBT community awareness, empowerment, and pride at this year’s Out100 Gala.

Over the summer, AT&T relaunched their annual Live Proud campaign, a program that celebrates awareness, empowerment and pride for the LGBT community. AT&T asked people to enter the AT&T "This Is Me" sweepstakes by creating a 15-second-or-less video that tells the world how they live proud every day. Four winners were selected and won two tickets each to the Out100 Gala in New York City. These are their stories.

Meet Mark Gilbert:

What was the inspiration behind your video?

Since you could enter more than once, I spoke about living out and proud, growing up in a rural Minnesota community that was not LGBT friendly, as well as my work with a local AIDS Service Organizations.

How did you find out about the contest?

I don't remember exactly where I saw the contest on the internet...

Where do you live and what do you do for work?

I have worked at the Minnesota AIDS Project the past 6 years, mainly providing support to employees who work directly with our clients.

What were your first reactions when you learned you won the contest?

I was shocked and super excited. I did not really think I would actually win (because who actually wins these things?), but figured it could happen.

What did you wear to the Out100? Describe your feelings the night of the party.

I bought a blue new suit for the occasion. I was excited and nervous. We knew that we were going the walking the red carpet, be interviewed and photographed by various media outlets, and meet executives from the various sponsors. AT&T wanted us to have a real live red carpet experience and it definitely was that and much more.

Do you think this year was especially important for the LGBT community? Why?

This was an incredibly important year for our community. We attained marriage equality in all 50 states, awareness was raised for our trans brothers sisters and their continued struggle for equality, and HIV is again being talked about in the mainstream media. Even with these incredible accomplishments it only highlights how much work we still have to do to eradicate stigma, continue to educate the public on disparities/inequalities that still exists in laws and treatment of our communities, and getting to zero new infections, zero Discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths

If you could choose three words to describe the night, what would they be?

Celebration, empowerment, pride.

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Watch Tyler Oakley & Kalen Allen in New Video Series for LGBTQ+ Youth

Watch the new series Anytime, Anywhere and exclusive BTS clips featuring Tyler Oakley and Kalen Allen. The series encourages LGBTQ+ youth to use the organization’s text and chat services powered by AT&T.

AT&T is celebrating their second year of a groundbreaking partnership with The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people. Since 1975, when they became one of the very first major American corporations to adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation, AT&T has endured a commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. This year they look to Turn Up the Lovewith a campaign that celebrates LGBTQ+ people and promotes acceptance and allyship. Providing financial support, marketing support, and working to raise visibility of The Trevor Project at LGBTQ+ community events, AT&T's employees, proudcts and services listerally power The Trevor Project's life-saving mission.

The latest result of the dynamic partnership is an exclusive digital series, Anytime, Anywhere, starring none other than content creators and LGBTQ+ Advocates, Tyler Oakley and Kalen Allen. In this series, these advocates share their personal stories with feeling hopeless or alone during their youth.

Their stories give life to The Trevor Project's new TrevorText and TrevorChat services, powered by AT&T, which provide support for LGBTQ youth in crisis, and counselors who can tell them that they are loved, valued, and never alone. For the first time ever in the organization's 21-year history of saving young LGBTQ lives, these services are now available 24/7.

In April 2019, Tyley Oakley helped launch the partnership between AT&T and The Trevor Project with a special video announcement:

Tyler Oakley, who has a massive social media following of more than 23 million fans and over 7.5 million YouTube subscribers, connects directly with young people daily through content that resonates uniquely with them. "Moments of crisis are different for everyone, and I hope that by sharing mine, LGBTQ youth know there's no reason too big or small to reach out to The Trevor Project," shares Oakley in his video. "Asking for support isn't always easy -- it's important to meet LGBTQ young people where they are, with counselors who are trained to meet their unique needs, and on platforms they're comfortable using."

This Summer, Kalen Allen helps extend the impact of Anytime, Anywhere with a message of his own.

"There were times and places in my life where I didn't feel safe anywhere," says Kalen Allen, who works as a talent correspondent for The Ellen Degeneres Show. "Sometimes I felt like I was out of options. I wish the younger me would have had someone to talk to." He hopes that TrevorText and TrevorChat will save so many lives by reaching LGBTQ+ youth in rural areas where people in need of 24/7 support may not have the same resources or access as those in urban areas. With a simple text or chat message, a person in need of help will immediately be connected with a Trevor counselor who can provide confidential and safe support.

"Our work with The Trevor Project is especially meaningful to AT&T," says Valerie Vargas, SVP of advertising and creative services at AT&T. "We're proud to make millions of connections every day and those connections are never more important than in a time of need or crisis. As one of the first corporate allies of the LGBTQ community, providing resources and support -- whether it's through our technology or our dedicated employees -- to help save lives of LGBTQ young people is a crucial part of our mission."

AT&T also has provided major exposure around the fantastic work that The Trevor Project does through financial and marketing support and through visibility of The Trevor Project at LGBTQ+ community events such as their LOVELOUD Festival. Their employees are volunteers, and their products and services literally power The Trevor Project's TrevorText and TrevorChat. Usage of TrevorText and TrevorChat has increased three-fold since the launch of the campaign and the majority of youth (63%) who have used its services reported doing so because they felt like it was easier for them to communicate how they feel.

Click here to watch the full Anytime, Anywhere series, and find out more about AT&T and The Trevor Project's life-saving partnership at

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