Abbe Land, one of the major figures in West Hollywood civic life, is stepping down from her position as executive director and CEO of the Trevor Project.
Land announced the move yesterday in an email message to Trevor supporters. “I love Trevor. I adore Trevor,” Land said in an interview with WEHOville. “But I miss some of my public policy and advocacy work.”
The Trevor Project is a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ young people. The suicide rate is four times higher for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people and twice as high among those questioning their sexual identity than it is among heterosexual young people. One quarter of transgender young people have attempted suicide.
Land said she will remain at Trevor until the end of the year and is in the process of organizing her transition from the organization. Land became head of Trevor in March 2012. Previously she had served as co-president of the Saban Community Clinic, which provides health services for poor and disadvantaged people.
In a message to Trevor’s supporters, Land said: “My time at the Trevor Project has been one of the highlights of my life. Its mission is one I truly believe in, and I am proud of the work that the organization does to save young lives – every single day. As the leader of this amazing organization, I know how important our work is, and I know that we have positively impacted so many young people, their families and friends, and countless others.
Land is known for her advocacy for women’s rights, affordable housing and LGBT equality. Her advocacy and public policy work has included serving on the advisory board of Women Against Gun Violence and the board of directors of the California Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, as a member of the L.A. County Department of Health Services’ Women’s Health Policy Council and on the boards of the AIDS Community Action Foundation and of the Planned Parenthood-LA Advocacy Project.
Land also is known in West Hollywood as one of the longest serving members of the City Council. She worked in the early 1980s with the Coalition for Economic Survival, which brought together seniors, renters and LGBT people in an effort to incorporate West Hollywood, a community that then was governed by the L.A. County board of supervisors. West Hollywood was incorporated as a city in 1984 and immediately became known for the fact that a majority of its council members were gay or lesbian. The city also was organized to preserve affordable housing and initiated a rent stabilization program.
Land served on WeHo’s City Council from 1986 to 1997. She stepped down briefly and was re-elected to office in 2003. In 2006, she ran for the 42nd District state Assembly seat, losing to Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Feuer. Land announced in November 2014 that she would not seek re-election because of the time required by her work for Trevor.Land has served as West Hollywood’s mayor, a largely symbolic role, five times.
Land has lived in West Hollywood since 1979. She is married to Martin Gantman, a well-known artist.