BE TRUE by Jeremy Hess

Nike Day started in 2003 with about 100 students.

Nike held the forum for LGBTQA youth (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning and Allied) again this year at Nike headquarters in Beaverton on the April 25. Over 500 students attended—it’s expected to grow every year.

Over 500 kids from all around the area came together to celebrate the #betrue model. Students came from schools as far as Springfield, OR.
It was a major support group, and major party.


The day started with the check in were we got our own shirts that read #betrue, a celebration to their “Be True” rainbow sneakers.

Then we had breakfast and they showed various inspirational videos, including one with Michael Jordan saying to be yourself, and not to let other people mold you.

After breakfast, there was a fashion show, but not like typical America’s Next Top Model shows. Participants walked the catwalk, and Daria, Mitch, and Ted from 105.1 the Buzz were there to help moderate the fashion show. They read from cards that had your name, your nick name, your life and something that makes you special. Everyone’s inner beauty shined on that catwalk.

After the show guest speaker James Lecesne, founder of the Trevor Project, talked about the project and its history—he even showed the original short film that started it all way back in 1994. The Trevor Project has launched many outlets for members of the LGBT community to find support, such as the Trevor Hotline, Trevor Space, Trevor Chat, and the upcoming Trevor Text.

After the speaker we went upstairs for lunch. Then after that the first afternoon group upstairs started. It was a panel of 5 different people ranging from the first “out” soccer player to a lesbian worker at Nike. Also in attendance was the creator of the first and only youth-ran and youth-oriented support group in Portland.

The panel was asked pre-arranged questions, and then the floor opened to questions from the audience. Mostly, the stories and questions comprised of their coming-out story, and how they got through their life to this point.

After that we went downstairs and we designed their own T-shirt and each table submitted their design. The winning table group comprised of two Heritage students and two Battle Ground students, and as a prize they got free t-shirts with their design on them. Washington State School for the Deaf took second.

After that, they had a bunch of students come up from all over telling why they came and what they learned and what they liked about it they all talked about how it felt so good to be in such an amazing understanding environment and being in accepting environment. It was overall a great experience and if you can go next year I strongly recommend it. It was amazing and helped so many people.

If you need or want any of the resources here they are.

Trevor Project Hotline 1 866 488 7386