Statement from Sam Brinton (they/them pronouns), Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project:
“It is incredible to see hundreds of religious leaders from all different backgrounds and denominations join together and come out against the discredited practice of conversion therapy. We hope this bold effort will send a message to LGBTQ youth in diverse communities of faith that they are deserving of love and respect and should be proud of exactly who they are.
“The evidence is clear — conversion therapy has only ever proven to produce negative mental health outcomes and increase suicide risk. We must all come together to protect LGBTQ youth in every city, state, and country around the globe from these dangerous conversion efforts and all forms of anti-LGBTQ violence.”
In the United States, 20 states and more than 80 municipalities have successfully passed legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy by licensed health care professionals. However, these laws do not address most conversion therapy that is done by unlicensed religious ministries. In The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey of over 40,000 LGBTQ youth in the U.S., 14% of respondents reported that a religious leader attempted to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Research demonstrates that conversion therapy is strongly associated with an increased risk for suicide. According to a peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project, LGBTQ youth who had undergone conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide as those who did not.
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 TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, 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 678-678.