Defending What We’ve Won: The Trevor Project Files an Amicus in the 11th Circuit Defending Boca Raton’s Anti-conversion Therapy Law

Following a successful lower court ruling defending the anti-conversion therapy ordinance in Boca Raton, FL, The Trevor Project filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in the case of Otto v. Boca Raton. The new amicus brief provides the Court and the public with The Trevor Project’s unique insights collected from our inaugural National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health revealing the devastating impact this dangerous and discredited practice has on LGBTQ youth.

The Trevor Project survey of 34,000 LGBTQ youth found that of the 5% of LGBTQ youth who reported undergoing conversion therapy, 42% reported a suicide attempt in the past year. LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide in the past 12 months compared to their LGBTQ peers who did not report undergoing conversion therapy.

As argued in our amicus brief, The Trevor Project has a special interest in supporting the enforcement of ordinances prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy because many of the young people that The Trevor Project serves are survivors of conversion therapy or have a credible fear that their family members will compel them to receive conversion therapy.  

The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign works to introduce and defend legislation to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy in every state in the country. Through our research, we can provide a unique and important perspective for the court regarding the potential harm of granting a preliminary injunction stopping enforcement of Boca Raton’s anti-conversion therapy ordinance. Once legislation is passed protecting youth from conversion therapy, it is just as important to defend these laws in court.

The Trevor Project was represented in this matter by pro bono counsel from Gibson Dunn, including Stuart Delery, Lora MacDonald, Corey Singer, and Dione Garlick.


Beto O’Rourke’s Platform Includes Protecting LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy

By John Paul Brammer

On the heels of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) unveiling her LGBTQ platform, fellow presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke announced Wednesday that his plan also includes protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.

The plan details executive actions O’Rourke would pursue in support of the LGBTQ community. “We must ensure all Americans are treated equally no matter who they are or who they love,” O’Rourke said in a statement on the proposal.

In addition to overturning the ban on transgender troops in the military and supporting the Equality Act, O’Rourke said he would task the FTC with cracking down on conversion therapy as a form of fraud, in an approach similar to that proposed by Congressman Ted Lieu’s “Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act.”

Conversion therapy refers to the dangerous and discredited practice of attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ people. At The Trevor Project, the world’s largest organization dedicated to LGBTQ youth in crisis, we know all too well how rejection can negatively impact vulnerable young people. In fact, in The Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 42 percent of LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy reported a suicide attempt in the last year.

“Politicians across the country are recognizing that conversion therapy has no place in our modern health care system because there is nothing wrong with being LGBTQ. In fact, the conversion therapy itself is what causes the harms,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “At The Trevor Project, we hear from youth harmed by conversion therapy every week and appreciate candidates like former Congressman O’Rourke using their voice to protect our vulnerable youth.”

Statements like O’Rourke’s and Gillibrand’s help bring national attention to the crucial issue of conversion therapy practiced by licensed professionals, which is still a threat to minors in 32 states. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have the opportunity to protect LGBTQ youth and to affirm a future where they can be exactly who they are.


The Trevor Project Raises Over $2 Million at Star-studded 2019 TrevorLIVE New York Gala

Honorees included Cara Delevingne, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, and EY Daya, Cara Delevingne, Will Heard, and the cast of Broadway’s The Prom Performed Live

New York (June 18, 2019) – Last night, The Trevor Project hosted its 2019 TrevorLIVE New York gala at Cipriani Wall Street. Actress and model Cara Delevingne received the Hero Award which recognizes individuals who inspire LGBTQ youth or increase visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community. Talk show host, actress and producer Kelly Ripa and actor and producer Mark Consuelos were honored with the Champions Award and EY with the 20/20 Visionary Award. Co-hosted by actress, comedian and writer Nicole Byer and actor, director and digital producer Eugene Lee Yang, the event helped raise more than $2 million.

The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. TrevorLIVE New York, the annual signature fundraiser, brings together top entertainers and corporate leaders to support the organization’s life-saving initiatives.

As part of the celebration, GRAMMY Award-winning multi-platinum singer/songwriter Daya and the cast of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, The Prom, performed. The star-studded gala also featured appearances by Antoni Porowski (Queer Eye), Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye), Jonathan Tucker (actor), Miss J Alexander (TV personality), Jake Shears (singer), Ashley Benson (actress), Samira Wiley (actress), Christian Siriano (fashion designer), Geena Rocero (model), Milk (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Tyler Oakley (digital creator), Aaron Philip (model), and more.

Highlights from the event included:

  • Hosts Nicole Byer and Eugene Lee Yang (who recently came out in his original, deeply personal music video, featuring music by ODESZA) hilariously carried the show.
  • The Trevor Project’s CEO & Executive Director Amit Paley took to the stage to thank the guests for coming and their support. He stressed how important supporting the LGBTQ youth is and spoke of all the lives The Trevor Project saves.
  • Cara Delevingne accepted the Hero Award from Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, stars of the Netflix’s Queer Eye, and shared the following poem she wrote when she was 15, before surprising the audience with a special duet performance of Sonnentanz (Sun Don’t Shine) with Will Heard. Cara’s poem can be found below:

Who am I?
Who am I trying to be?
Not myself
Anyone but myself
Living in a fantasy to bury the reality
Making myself the mystery
A strong facade disguising the misery
Empty beyond the point of emptiness
Full to the brim of fake confidence
A guard that will never be broken
Because I broke a long time ago
I am hurting but don’t tell anyone
No one needs to know
Don’t show or you’ve failed
Always okay, always fine
Always on show
The show must go on
It will never stop
The show must not go on
But I know It will
I give up
I give up giving up
I am lost
I am raw
I don’t need to be saved, I need to be found.

  • While accepting the award, Cara called out a special someone in her life, saying she taught her how to love herself and accept love. She didn’t name her but said, “I love you, Sprinkles.”
  • Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos accepted the Champions Award from friend and actor Jonathan Tucker. After hilariously playing off of each other and humbly accepting the honor, Kelly and mark surprised Sam Brinton (they/them) by calling them up to the stage to share the award.
  • Richard Jeanneret and his family accepted the 20/20 Visionary Award for EY. Before calling the family to the stage, the event played a touching video about their son Henry, who came out as transgender. The love seen in the video and on stage was truly something remarkable.
  • To celebrate PRIDE, a group of New York City dancers took to the stage for a high energy dance. Following their routine, Miss J Alexander joined them on stage along with Aaron Philip who paid homage to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
  • Daya closed the show with powerhouse performances of hits “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Insomnia.”
  • The cast of The Prom performed “Dance With You” live to a standing ovation.

Proud presenting sponsors of this year’s TrevorLIVE New York included EY, Macy’s and McKinsey & Company. In addition, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants served as the official hotel partner, and United Airlines was the official airline sponsor.

Use the following links to access photos and video from the event

PHOTO

Credit: Getty on behalf of The Trevor Project

  • See link for top selects here
  • See full link here

VIDEO

For more information on TrevorLIVE New York, please visit https://ny.trevorlive.org

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About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

Press Contacts

Michael Samonte | Charlie Guadano | Jenna Satnick | Andrea Higgins
Sunshine Sachs
212-691-2800
[email protected]

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
212.695.8650 x407
[email protected]


Maloney Introduces LGBTQ Essential Data Act to Combat Deadly Violence Against LGBTQ Community

The bill, which strengthens the National Violent Death Reporting System, is introduced on third anniversary of Pulse Nightclub shooting.

WASHINGTON — In observance of the third anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando that killed 49 Americans, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) introduced the LGBTQ Essential Data Act, which will strengthen the Center for Disease Control’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) by improving data collection regarding sexual orientation and gender identity in violent deaths.

“Victims of violence targeted at the LGBTQ community are often invisible to the rest of the world just because of who they are or who they love. We need quality data showing where, how, why, and to whom this violence is happening to get in action and save LGBTQ lives,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

Various barriers exist to the collection of data on sexual orientation and gender identity, and the National Violent Death Reporting System faces a backlog of data in several states. At the time of the Pulse Nightclub shooting Florida did not utilize the NVDRS, meaning the lives lost in the Orlando attack were not recorded as anti-LGBT murders in any data collection.

The LGBTQ Essential Data Act is endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, The Trevor Project, PFLAG National, and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

  • “In an era where the Trump-Pence administration is attempting to erase LGBTQ people from government websites and data collection, legislation like the LGBTQ Essential Data Act is all the more crucial. LGBTQ people, particularly transgender women of color, are too often victims of violence and even death. The LGBTQ Essential Data Act will give lawmakers and law enforcement the necessary tools to work toward justice and develop comprehensive legislative solutions to fight this epidemic. We thank Rep. Maloney for his leadership and for helping us create a safer LGBTQ community,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy.
  • “The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System is a critical tool in the mission of ending LGBTQ youth suicide across the country. Unfortunately, The Trevor Project research has found that despite good intention and the optional collection of sexual orientation and gender identity, many states simply don’t know how best to collect this vital information. The LGBTQ Essential Data Act will provide direction and funding to improve the process of capturing sexual orientation and gender identity at the time of death, thereby providing life-saving data to prevent future violent deaths. Who we are must not be erased when we die,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project.
  • “Given the ever-increasing number of transgender women of color brutally murdered each year—and the added incidence of harmful risk for LGBTQ+ people—the CDC collecting data and funding the program appropriately will save lives. Thanks to the brave and mindful leadership of Rep. Maloney introducing this bill, we can hold hope that our LGBTQ+ loved-ones’ lives won’t be erased, and PFLAGers across the country will work passionately and diligently to move this bill forward to passage,” said Diego M. Sanchez, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Partnerships for PFLAG National, the first and largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents and families, and allies.
  • “GLSEN is proud to support the LGBTQ Essential Data Act again this Congress. Data collection is imperative to ensuring that policies are implemented effectively and that programs are funded adequately to have an impact on the communities they are meant to serve; however, too often LGBTQ people are left out of critical data collection measures and subsequently left behind. Improving the CDC’s data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity, and providing the funds necessary to get that done, is a hugely important step,” said Brenda Baron, Director of Public Policy at GLSEN.

The LGBTQ Essential Data Act would authorize $25 million to fully fund the NVDRS, operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While all 50 states now collect this data, 10 states face a 2-year backlog and have not yet released data on LGBT violence. The NVDRS aggregates data from a variety of local sources including death certificates, coroner/medical examiner reports, police reports, and crime labs, which is then used to inform policy and regulatory decisions aimed at responding to public health crises such as suicide and homicide at the local, federal, and state level.

The LGBTQ Essential Data Act was first introduced by Rep. Maloney in 2016, a month after the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

Representative Sean Patrick Maloney is the first openly gay member of Congress from New York. After 22 years together, he married his husband Randy Florke in June 2014 in Cold Spring, NY where they live with their three children. He is a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.


Daya and the Cast of Broadway’s “The Prom” to Perform at The Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE New York on June 17

Presentations and Appearances by Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Jonathan Tucker, Miss J Alexander, Geena Rocero, Phillip Picardi, Debi Mazar, and More

New York — Today, The Trevor Project announced that GRAMMY-Award winning multi-platinum singer/songwriter Daya and the cast of the Broadway musical, The Prom, will perform at the organization’s TrevorLIVE New York gala in New York City on Monday, June 17 at Cipriani Wall Street. The organization also announced that Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness will present Cara Delevingne with the 2019 Hero Award, and actor Jonathan Tucker will present Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos with the Champions Award.

Co-hosted by actress, comedian and writer Nicole Byer and actor, director and digital producer Eugene Lee Yang, this year’s star-studded gala will feature appearances by Miss J Alexander, Geena Rocero, Phillip Picardi, Milk, Debi Mazar, and more. As previously announced, The Trevor Project will honor EY with the 20/20 Visionary Award.

“We’re so excited to have live performances by Daya and the cast of The Prom at this year’s TrevorLIVE New York,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “They continue to use their voices to uplift and affirm LGBTQ young people around the world, and we’re grateful for their support of our mission to end suicide among LGBTQ youth.”

Since making her debut with 2016’s double-platinum “Hide Away”, 20-year-old singer/songwriter Daya won her first ever Grammy Award for her smash collaboration with The Chainsmokers “Don’t Let Me Down” (6x platinum), released a gold-certified album, and headlined a national tour. Just months after debuting at #5 on Billboard’s 21 Under 21 list in 2016, the Pittsburgh-born artist emerged as the youngest honoree on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 music list in 2017. Since then, in addition to signing with Interscope and releasing three of her own singles (“New”, “Safe”, and “Insomnia”), Daya has collaborated with Gryffin/Illenium (‘Feel Good”) and RL Grime (“I Wanna Know”). Currently finishing up a sophomore album which will showcase the full depth of her talent and artistry, Daya hopes to continue the conversation on love, life, and the current state of our world with her fans. “Insomnia” is just the first of several singles from her upcoming album set to release in 2019.

“I am looking forward to performing and being a part of this year’s TrevorLIVE New York,” said Daya, “As a member of the LGBTQ community, I‘m excited to stand with my fellow queers and show support to all members of the community to let them know that they are valid and they are loved.”

The Prom is a new musical comedy about Broadway stars on a mission to change the world, a girl who wants to change her small town, and a love that brings them all together. It received accolades from  New York Magazine and The New York Times declares a Critic’s Pick and was nominated for 7 Tony Awards.

Previous TrevorLIVE honorees and performers include Ryan Murphy, Rita Ora, Deborah Cox, Lauren Jauregui, Lena Waithe, Greg Berlanti, Dominic Barton, Tom Ford, Kristin Chenoweth, Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Shoshana Bean, Edie Windsor, Ingrid Nilsen, Tyler Oakley, Arianna Huffington, Sir Ian McKellen, Jazz Jennings, Queen Latifah, Amy Poehler, Darren Criss, Mary J. Blige, Cheyenne Jackson, and others.

Proud presenting sponsors of this year’s TrevorLIVE New York include Macy’s and McKinsey & Company. In addition, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants will serve as the official hotel partner, and United Airlines as the official airline sponsor.

Viewers can tune into this year’s TrevorLIVE New York by visiting Revry’s livestream: https://www.facebook.com/events/2306724776249225/

For more information on TrevorLIVE New York, please visit https://ny.trevorlive.org

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About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

Press Contacts

Michael Samonte | Charlie Guadano | Jenna Satnick | Andrea Higgins
Sunshine Sachs
212-691-2800
[email protected]

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
212.695.8650 x407
[email protected]


Landmark Study Finds 39 Percent of LGBTQ Youth and More Than Half of Transgender and Non-Binary Youth Report Having Seriously Considered Suicide in the Past Twelve Months

New Research from The Trevor Project Represents Largest LGBTQ Youth Survey Sample Ever and Signals Immediate Call-to-Action for More LGBTQ Inclusive Policies

  • Two-thirds of LGBTQ youth reported that someone attempted to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity
  • 42 percent of LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy reported a suicide attempt in the last year
  • LGBTQ youth who experienced discrimination related to their sexual orientation or gender identity were twice as likely to attempt suicide

 

NEW YORK — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, today released the results of its inaugural National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. The survey found that 39 percent of LGBTQ youth surveyed have seriously considered suicide in the past twelve months, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered suicide. Nearly 1 in 5 LGBTQ youth in this study attempted suicide in the past twelve months, with nearly 1 in 3 transgender and non-binary youth having attempted.

The study also found that conversion therapy is impacting LGBTQ youth across the country and putting them at higher risk of negative mental health outcomes. Two out of every three LGBTQ youth report that someone attempted to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, with youth who have undergone conversion therapy more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as those who did not. 42 percent of LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy reported a suicide attempt in the last year, with 57 percent of transgender and non-binary youth who have undergone conversion therapy reporting a suicide attempt over the past 12 months. Conversion therapy is the dangerous and discredited practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity and is still legal in 33 states across the country.

“Suicide is an ongoing public health crisis for young people in the U.S., especially among LGBTQ youth. Better understanding the mental health experiences of LGBTQ young people is a major step in addressing their significantly higher risk for attempting suicide,” said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “The Trevor Project’s new data underscores the need for LGBTQ inclusive and life affirming policies, environments, families, and communities — especially in support of transgender and non-binary youth. Together, we can ensure that LGBTQ young people know their lives have value, and that they are heard, loved, and never alone.”

The Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health is the largest survey ever conducted on the mental health of LGBTQ youth. The survey included nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth respondents between the ages of 13 and 24 from every state in the United States.

The study found that rates of suicide attempts were twice as high among respondents who reported being discriminated against or physically threatened due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, compared to those who did not. Further, 76 percent of the respondents felt that recent politics impacted their mental health or sense of self.

“It’s important to note that LGBTQ youth are not at higher risk of suicide because of their sexual orientation or gender identity–they are at a higher risk because they face harmful rejection and discrimination from friends, families and communities that can make them feel their lives are worth less than their straight or cisgender peers,” added Paley. “That is why it is so important that we work tirelessly to let LGBTQ youth know that they are beautiful as they are, that they are deserving of respect, and that they are not alone.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

Conversion Therapy and Change Attempts

Two-thirds of LGBTQ youth report that someone attempted to convince them to change their gender identity or sexual orientation.

  • Fifty-seven percent of transgender and non-binary youth who have undergone conversion therapy report a suicide attempt in the last twelve months.
  • Thirty-two percent of cisgender LGBQ youth who have experienced conversion therapy report a suicide attempt in the past year.

In developing and releasing this report, The Trevor Project hopes to elevate the voices and experiences of LGBTQ youth while providing insights that can be used to end conversion therapy, including through The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign and by the many organizations working to support LGBTQ youth around the world.

Discrimination and Victimization

71% of LGBTQ youth reported being discriminated against due to their sexual orientation or gender identity and 20% reported being physically threatened or abused. Those same LGBTQ youth reported more than double the rate of suicide attempts.

  • Twenty-three percent of youth who experienced discrimination due to their sexual orientation reported a suicide attempt in the past year, compared to 11 percent who did not, and 33 percent of transgender and non-binary youth who experienced discrimination due to their gender identity reported a suicide attempt in the past year, compared to 17 percent who did not.
  • Forty-seven percent of transgender and non-binary youth who were physically threatened or abused in the past year due to their sexual orientation or gender identity reported a suicide attempt in the past 12 months, compared to 20 percent who did not.  For cisgender LGBQ youth, the rate was 27 percent among those who were physically threatened or abused compared to 11 percent among those who were not.
  • 58% percent of transgender and non-binary youth reported being discouraged from using a bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.
  • More than one in three transgender and non-binary youth who were prevented from using a bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity reported a suicide attempt in the past year, compared to one in five who did not experience this type of discrimination.

Disclosure and Acceptance

LGBTQ youth share their sexual orientation more often than their gender identity. Both sexual orientation and gender identity are disclosed most often with peers, particularly LGBTQ friends.

  • LGBTQ youth disclosed their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) status to their friends at the highest rates, but they are also disclosing to adults in their lives, including parents, teachers, doctors, and more.
  • Less than half of LGBTQ respondents, however, were out to an adult at school, with youth much less likely to disclose their gender identity than sexual orientation.
  • LGBTQ youth are finding acceptance most from their friends, but overall acceptance is lower for gender identity than sexual orientation.

“We believe this research can save lives,” said Dr. Amy Green, Director of Research, The Trevor Project. “This data will help The Trevor Project to continue to improve and expand our life-saving services for LGBTQ youth. It will also provide our team on the ground in legislatures across the country data they need to support what we know to be dangers associated with conversion therapy and other forms of discrimination and victimization. This report also highlights the need for increased education and training to prepare support networks to best help LGBTQ who experience thoughts of suicide. We plan to leverage these findings to help advocate for LGBTQ youth for years to come.”

The Trevor Project launched the first ever National LGBTQ Youth Mental Health Survey as part of its commitment to use research and data to continually improve its life-saving services for LGBTQ youth and expand the knowledge base for organizations around the globe. This survey builds upon critical research done by many partner organizations over the years and is inclusive of youth of more than one hundred sexual orientations and more than one hundred gender identities from all fifty states across the country.

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, trained crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386 and www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help

METHODOLOGY

This survey was conducted through an online platform between February 2, 2018 and September 30, 2018 among 34,808 respondents ages 13–24 who resided in the United States. Respondents were defined as being LGBTQ if they identified with a sexual orientation other than straight/heterosexual, a gender identity other than cisgender, or both. The study uses “transgender and non-binary” as an umbrella term to encompass a wide variety of gender identities. The survey is not based on a probability sample. For additional information on methodology such as sample description and comparability, filters and exclusions, question development, and more please visit https://www.thetrevorproject.org/LGBTQYouthMentalHealth.

# # #

ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

MEDIA CONTACT

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


The OA’s Ian Alexander Speaks Out About Mental Health and Trans Youth

By John Paul Brammer

Ian Alexander is best known for his role of Buck Vu on The OA, a drama with science fiction and fantasy elements streaming on Netflix. With 90k followers on Instagram and an appearance on Ellen already under his belt at the age of 18, it’s safe to say that Alexander is a public figure, especially for LGBTQ young people who avidly watch his adventures on social media.

It was on social media that Alexander first began to question his gender identity. “I was watching this video on YouTube about starting testosterone and top surgery and all this stuff, and I didn’t really make the connection about why I was so intrigued about these videos,” he said on Ellen. “It wasn’t until I was 13 and met trans people for the first time and I thought, wait, you’re allowed to do that? You’re allowed to change your pronouns and your name?”

Alexander’s background is in acting. It was on The OA, he said, that he first heard his correct pronouns regularly used, something he hadn’t experienced before. But while acting was a unique path, Alexander’s road to finding himself looks a lot like many other LGBTQ young people’s journeys, with highs, lows, and struggles with identity that have shaped how he sees himself and his relationship with the world around him. “I’m an actor, so my life is always sort of spontaneous,” he told me. “I graduated high school last year, and now I’m kind of all over the place.”

Alexander was born in Salt Lake City to a Mormon family. His mother is Vietnamese American, and she met Alexander’s father in Salt Lake City. Alexander’s father’s job took the family to Hawaii six weeks after Alexander was born. “I lived on Oahu for the first six years of my life, and then we moved to the greater Tokyo area in Japan,” he said. “It was great to have a lot of different cultural experiences growing up.”

These experiences, though, weren’t always easy to reconcile, as Alexander shared in a recent conversation on MTV’s Sound On series. “Being biracial is a huge part of my identity that I don’t want to erase,” he said. “I’ve gotten a lot of DMs saying, ‘I’m half Vietnamese too!’ People just get really excited to see themselves represented in the media.”

Representing people in media and being so visible has drawbacks, however. “It’s nerve-wracking to be so publicly vulnerable,” he said. “I think it’s important to be honest about my past and what I’m going through so people in similar situations can feel less alone. It’s definitely scary though, putting myself out there and not knowing what people will say to me. Some people are just ruthless online.”

Alexander also said that he has gone through struggles with his mental health, something many LGBTQ youth also report at disproportionate rates. The Trevor Project gets calls, chats, and texts from young people in crisis every day, many of them who have a similar story to Alexander’s.

“I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for many years and I’ve struggled with suicidal ideation in the past,” he said. “Trans youth are particularly at risk for suicide when adults in their lives are unaccepting of who they are, which was something I had to endure after coming out as trans at 13.”

But he did endure it, and today he has an important message for LGBTQ youth everywhere. He recently marked one month on testosterone, putting him on a similar path to the visible social media figures who once guided him to his identity. “I hope that I can be an example to other people going through a really difficult time that you can push through it and reach a place where you are thriving and succeeding in life,” he said.

He’s also familiar with The Trevor Project. “I actually used the online chat feature to receive counseling at a few points throughout my high school career,” he said. “I think it’s crucial to provide support and mental health resources to LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Project is saving lives and protecting the livelihood of our community.”

Asked what he would say to an LGBTQ young person who wasn’t in a great place, Ian spoke about coming together. “No matter what anyone says or does to you, there will always be a whole community of us who are here to love, accept, and support you,” he said. “There’s a whole bright future ahead of us, and we’re gonna work together to fight for the happiness we deserve.”

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, contact The Trevor Project’s TrevorLifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. Counseling is also available 24/7 via chat every day at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting 678-678.

Photo of Ian by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix


The Trevor Project Applauds the Introduction of the “Every Child Deserves a Family Act”

Washington, DC — The “Every Child Deserves a Family Act” was introduced today with bipartisan support. This legislation would prohibit federally funded child welfare service providers from discriminating against children, families, and individuals based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status, and would protect LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.

“Given the undeniable crisis in our foster care system today, where too many children age out without finding their forever home and LGBTQ youth are subject to harm from discrimination, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act is vital to the well-being of America’s most vulnerable youth,” said Casey Pick, Senior Fellow for Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. “We are especially grateful that this legislation would protect LGBTQ youth in foster care from being subjected to attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through the pseudo-scientific practice of conversion therapy.”

The Trevor Project is a member of the Every Child Deserves a Family Coalition, led by the Family Equality Council. Learn more about the campaign supporting this legislation at www.everychilddeservesafamily.com.

Studies have shown LGBTQ foster youth suffer worse outcomes in foster care, including longer stays in residential group homes rather than with families, higher rates of multiple placements, homelessness, hospitalization for emotional or mental health reasons, and elevated rates of suicide attempts.

The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state. A 2018 study found that the rate of attempted suicide by LGBTQ youth whose parents tried to change their sexual orientation was more than double the rate of LGBTQ youth who reported no such attempts. For LGBTQ young people who reported both home-based efforts to change their sexual orientation by parents and efforts by therapists or religious leaders, the rate was three times higher.

Learn more about reporting on conversion therapy.

ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

MEDIA CONTACT

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


The Importance of Stories

By John Paul Brammer

Last week, it was announced that New York City will commemorate Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two icons of the LGBTQ civil rights movement, with monuments. The proposed location will be just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn, the site of the uprising that shaped modern LGBTQ history as we know it.

New York City’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, told The New York Times that the monument will give a “name and a face” to the overlooked activists, noting that LGBTQ rights is often “portrayed very much as a white, gay, male movement.” Public acknowledgment of Johnson and Rivera “counters that trend of whitewashing the history,” she said.

This monument to our transgender leaders is important for many reasons. In a world where trans people of color and their contributions are all too often erased, celebrating Johnson and Rivera in this way provides a welcome reminder of the pivotal role trans people have played in creating a better world for our community. It also is a reminder that, beyond the LGBTQ community, our history matters, and we have always been a part of the American story.

What does this have to do with LGBTQ youth? Well, everything. Here at The Trevor Project, we hear from young people who express feelings of isolation, young people who may not know there are other people like them in the world, or that there are people out there who will accept them for who they are. When we tell the stories of our shared history, stories about the marginalized people who fought tooth and nail to get us where we are, we affirm the next generation of LGBTQ people. We let them know they have a past and a future.

History is a living document. In the grand scheme of things, the Stonewall Uprising wasn’t that long ago. This year, we commemorate its 50th anniversary. Many who were there are with us today. On the other hand, the systemic issues that led to the uprising still exist in the present: discrimination, rejection, and inequality all contribute to disproportionate struggles with mental health for LGBTQ youth today.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers, and up to 50 percent of all trans people have made a suicide attempt, many before the age of 25.

It’s clear there’s still a long way to go. With World Pride on the horizon, along with the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, we have much to reflect on. In that process, let’s remember the importance of stories, both from our past and from our present, from our iconic civil rights leaders to the LGBTQ youth who don’t feel safe enough to come out. When we tell our stories, and we are heard, we win.

The legacies of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera have become bigger than two individuals. This monument will offer people, LGBTQ and not, both in the present and in the future, the opportunity to learn about who we are and where we come from. That’s worth celebrating.


Sen. Gillibrand’s Proposed Platform Includes Protecting LGBTQ Youth from Conversion Therapy

By John Paul Brammer

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) unveiled her LGBTQ rights agenda on Saturday, which included a plan to ban conversion therapy nationwide. In the Medium post, Gillibrand said she would enact a ban “finally outlawing this despicable, torturous practice in the 32 states that have yet to do so.”

“The LGBTQ community is not a monolith with a finite set of needs, and equal rights and freedom from discrimination should be the bare minimum we accept,” Gillibrand wrote.

Conversion therapy refers to the dangerous and discredited practice of attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ people. At The Trevor Project, the world’s largest organization dedicated to LGBTQ youth in crisis, we know all too well how rejection can negatively impact vulnerable young people.

“Ending the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy is vital to protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of this pseudo-scientific ‘therapy,’ which include dramatically increased risk of suicide attempt. The Trevor Project regularly hears from youth who have been subjected to conversion therapy on our crisis services,” said Casey Pick, Senior Fellow for Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project.

“Research from the UCLA Williams Institute found in 2018 that an estimated 20,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 17 will undergo conversion therapy from a licensed health care professional before the age of 18,” Pick continued. “Legislation can reduce that number, saving youth from unnecessary trauma and ultimately saving lives.”

Statements like Gillibrand’s help bring national attention to the crucial issue of conversion therapy, which, as Gillibrand noted, is still a threat to minors in 32 states. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have the opportunity to protect LGBTQ youth and to affirm a future where they can be exactly who they are.