Derrick Martin | Gay Youth | News

Gay Georgia Teen Derrick Martin Launches 'Project LifeVest' to Assist LGBTQ Teens Facing Abandonment and Discrimination


Gay Georgia teen Derrick Martin (above, right), who attracted national attention after he attended his Cochran, Georgia high school prom with his boyfriend and was subsequently kicked out of his home by his parents, is launching a new organization and website today — Project LifeVest — meant to assist LGBTQ teens who are in situations similar to his, facing abandonment, abuse, or discrimination.

According to Arturo Beeche with Project LifeVest, "That help may range from making sure a closeted youngster has somebody to talk with confidentially to get through a lonely night or an intimidating social situation, to re-locating someone who can’t stay where they’ve been living any longer because they face physical or psychological abuse, to making sure that kids have access to information about HIV or drug abuse prevention."

Says Martin: “Thanks to the kindness of strangers I survived abandonment for the ‘crime’ of being gay and young. If I have anything to say about it, no one else will ever have to go through what I did. Project LifeVest is my ‘give back’ for the critical help caring people around the country extended to me when I needed it."

Visit Project LifeVest's site HERE.

Several organizations have aligned with Martin in the project — Sean's Last Wish, The Trevor Project, and GLUAD.


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  1. Way to go, Derrick!

    Posted by: Dave Higdon | Jul 12, 2010 3:28:00 PM

  2. That kid is just fantastic. Way to rise above it!

    Posted by: MT | Jul 12, 2010 3:31:23 PM

  3. Parents who abandon their teenage children should be arrested, tried and put in prison. Any children remaining in the home should be removed and placed into loving, secure homes. What great family values these right wing, religious fanatics practice when challenges come their way...

    Posted by: Boone68 | Jul 12, 2010 3:42:36 PM

  4. What does LifeVest mean?

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 12, 2010 3:57:45 PM

  5. Visit the website at to read Derrick's mission statement.

    Posted by: Arturo Beeche | Jul 12, 2010 4:22:20 PM

  6. it sounds/seems as tho Derrick's folks have yet to make ammends yet with him? How they can lok themselves in the mirror....? wow..I just can't relate at folks always supported me and my lesbian sister as well as my other 6 str8 brothers and sisters..and always loved us all equally!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jul 12, 2010 4:43:29 PM

  7. It's nice to see Aaron Fricke on the Board of Directors!

    Posted by: Jubal Harshaw | Jul 12, 2010 4:58:55 PM

  8. Derrick, I used to think that LOVE, was the strongest emotion in the world. I know that HATE is extremely powerful, and it is proven so everyday, EVERYDAY! People who call themselves Christians, are THE most hateful of all. Jesus would never show hate to another person, and if your parents can do something that DESPICABLE to you...they do not love you! They are not Christians, they are full of hate. Such is our country. Derrick, I hope that you will come through this, and always be very STRONG. You seem to be doing fine. I love and respect you so much. God bless you and carry on boy.

    Posted by: SONNIE | Jul 12, 2010 6:23:59 PM

  9. I have attached an iReport concerning Derrick's plans, hopes and goals for Project LifeVest!

    Posted by: Arturo Beeche | Jul 12, 2010 9:33:44 PM

  10. ooops...forgot to attach the links:!/group.php?gid=134842089881037&ref=ts

    Thanks to everyone, but particularly Andy Towle, for your support and interest in this meritorious young man's quest!

    Posted by: Arturo Beeche | Jul 12, 2010 9:40:49 PM

  11. This post put a happy smile on my face and brought tears to my eyes at the same time.

    My best wishes to Derrick, Richard and the entire LifeVest organization. You are brave and wise beyond your years.

    Keep fighting the GOOD fight!

    Posted by: Elroy | Jul 13, 2010 12:54:26 AM

  12. nice,i hope they make it a respectable life changing institution

    Posted by: sal | Jul 13, 2010 12:59:03 AM

  13. Kudos to Derrick!!

    Onward to full civil and marriage eqwuality rights,
    Joe Mustich & Ken Cornet,
    Justices of the Peace,
    Washington, Connecticut, USA.

    And if parents can't acccept and protect their LBGT youngsters then we (elders or almost elders) must do it!!

    We must protect our young people!

    Posted by: Joe Mustich | Jul 13, 2010 4:23:56 PM

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