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Arkansas Senate Passes Bill Banning Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Youth

BY: Josh Weaver
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Research indicates that denying trans patients best-practice care would be life-threatening.

WASHINGTON, DC — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, condemned the Arkansas Senate for passing HB 1570, which would criminalize the provision of best-practice, gender-affirming care for transgender and nonbinary youth. Passed by the Arkansas House of Representatives on March 10, the bill is now headed to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk.

“The evidence is clear: gender-affirming care produces positive mental health outcomes and reduces suicide risk. That’s why it’s considered best-practice, embraced by doctors across the country, and endorsed by every major medical association. Governor Hutchinson should listen to the experts — and transgender young people in Arkansas — and veto this cruel bill. It’s a matter of life and death,” said Sam Brinton (they/them pronouns), Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project.

Over the last year, The Trevor Project has supported over 850 crisis contacts in Arkansas. As troubling as that is, that’s less than 6% of the number of Arkansas’s LGBTQ youth who we estimate to be in crisis and could benefit from our services.

According to The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, more than half (52%) of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, compared to 40% of all LGBTQ youth respondents. Research demonstrates that gender-affirming social, medical, and legal interventions for transgender and nonbinary youth have positive effects on mental health and overall well-being while decreasing depressive symptoms and suicidality.

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 START to 678-678.

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.

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