Data show that these policies are unpopular among U.S. adults and harmful to trans youth’s mental health.
April 8, 2022 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, condemned the signage of multiple anti-transgender bills in law by the governor of Alabama, including: SB 184 – a bill that would criminalize doctors for providing best-practice, gender-affirming care to transgender and nonbinary youth, and HB 322 – which would restrict transgender students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity, and an amendment that would ban classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, erasing LGBTQ identity, history, culture, and LGBTQ students themselves.
“At the eleventh hour, the governor of Alabama signed into law a slate of arguably the most extreme anti-trans bills we have ever seen. These policies attempt to make providing gender-affirming care a felony, and cut off access to nearly every support system transgender and nonbinary youth have – support systems we know are critical for reducing their suicide risk and for advancing their positive mental health,” said Sam Ames (they/them), Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “But they will not succeed. To trans and nonbinary youth in Alabama and across the country watching on this dark day: This is not over. We will fight as far as it takes, until the day every young person knows they are loved, supported, and worthy just as they are. We’re here with you today, we’re here for you every day, and we’re not going anywhere.”
New polling data from The Trevor Project and Morning Consult find:
- A majority of U.S. adults oppose blocking students from accessing LGBTQ resources and educational content on the internet at school (57%), banning books on LGBTQ topics from school libraries (56%), and banning classroom discussions about LGBTQ topics — including sexual orientation and gender identity — in school (52%).
- Further, a majority of adults agree that transgender minors should have access to gender-affirming hormone therapy (55%) and puberty blockers (52%) if it’s recommended by their doctor and supported by their parents. And only 1 in 3 adults say lawmakers should have the ability to outlaw gender-affirming medical care for minors even if such a ban is against the recommendation of doctors and major medical associations.
Another poll released earlier this year found that found that 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth —and two-thirds of all LGBTQ youth (66%) — say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health.
According to The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, more than half (52%) of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, and 1 in 5 attempted suicide. However, research has also consistently found that gender-affirming medical care is associated with improved mental health outcomes and reduced risk for suicide. A 2021 peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy was associated with nearly 40% lower odds of recent depression and of a past-year suicide attempt among transgender and nonbinary young people under age 18.
Research also makes clear that LGBTQ-inclusive policies and curriculums promote well-being among LGBTQ students, while discrimination is harmful. For example, LGBTQ youth who learned about LGBTQ issues or people in classes at school had 23% lower odds of reporting a suicide attempt in the past year, while another study found that transgender and nonbinary youth who experienced bathroom discrimination had more than 1.5 times the odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not.
If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Help, or by texting START to 678678.
About The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health 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.