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Anchorage Becomes First City in Alaska to Protect LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy

BY: Kinzi Sparks

Yesterday, August 26th, the Anchorage Assembly passed an ordinance that prohibits licensed medical professionals from subjecting minors to conversion therapy, becoming the first city in Alaska to do so. With this victory, Alaska also becomes the 40th state to take action against conversion therapy — only 10 states have not introduced similar legislation or enacted any protections at the state or municipal level. The Trevor Project is proud to have worked with Anchorage Assembly Members Felix Rivera and Christopher Constant to support this ordinance. 

“The Trevor Project applauds the Anchorage Assembly for taking this historic action to end conversion therapy in Alaska’s largest city. According to data from The Trevor Project’s new national survey, LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not. From Alaska to Maine, The Trevor Project is working in cities and counties across the country to protect LGBTQ young people from this dangerous and discredited practice,” said Sam Brinton (they/them pronouns), Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs.

The Trevor Project’s new Protecting with Pride campaign is elevating the ongoing municipal-level fight against conversion therapy through legislation and public education in cities and counties across the United States. 

Research: 

  • According to The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 10% of LGBTQ youth reported undergoing conversion therapy, with 78% reporting it occurred when they were under age 18. Youth who reported undergoing conversion therapy reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not.
  • According to a new, peer-reviewed journal article by The Trevor Project published in the American Journal of Public Health, LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide and more than 2.5 times as likely to report multiple suicide attempts in the past year.

Conversion therapy is widely opposed by prominent professional medical associations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. For journalists looking to learn more about how to cover the issue of conversion therapy, here is a guide on best practices.

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