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New Data Illuminates Mental Health Concerns Among Texas’ Transgender Youth Amid Record Number of Anti-Trans Bills

BY: Josh Weaver
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The Trevor Project received nearly 4,000 crisis contacts from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas this year, with many directly stating that they are feeling stressed and considering suicide due to anti-trans laws being debated in their state.

September 24, 2021 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, released new data today that provides insights into the needs and concerns of LGBTQ youth in Texas who have reached out to the organization’s crisis services for support. The new data are shared below.

  • Between January 1 and August 30, 2021, The Trevor Project received more than 10,800 crisis contacts (calls, texts, and chats) from LGBTQ young people in Texas looking for support. More than 3,900 of those crisis contacts (36%) came from transgender or nonbinary youth.
  • Crisis contacts from LGBTQ young people in Texas seeking support have grown over 150% when compared to the same time period in 2020.
  • While this volume of crisis contacts can not be attributed to any one factor (or bill), a qualitative analysis of the crisis contacts found that:
    • Transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas have directly stated that they are feeling stressed, using self-harm, and considering suicide due to anti-LGBTQ laws being debated in their state.
    • Some transgender and nonbinary youth have expressed fear over losing access to sports that provide important acceptance in their lives.

“The Trevor Project’s crisis counselors have been hearing from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas who are scared and worried about anti-trans laws being debated in their state — and some have even expressed suicidal thoughts. This is a crisis. We urge Texas lawmakers to consider the weight of their words and actions — and to reject HB10/SB3,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “Trans students already face increased risk for poor mental health and suicide, and banning them from sports will only contribute to feelings of isolation and stigma. In the interest of public health, Texas government officials must send a message to trans young people that they deserve the same opportunities as their peers and to live their lives without fear of being treated differently for who they are.”

This new data comes during a year when Texas lawmakers have proposed nearly 70 anti-LGBTQ bills, including more than 40 bills that specifically target transgender and nonbinary youth — far more than any other state. Texas Governor Abbott has prioritized SB 3 and called for a third consecutive special session of the legislature to consider this bill, which would ban transgender student-athletes from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. In response, national mental health organizations like The Trevor Project and state LGBTQ equality groups including Equality Texas and Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) are raising concerns about the impact of such legislation on the mental health and wellbeing of transgender and nonbinary youth.

The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that more than half (52%) of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year and 1 in 5 attempted suicide. Further, Trevor released a new research brief earlier this month on LGBTQ youth participation in sports, which found that a majority of LGBTQ young people (nearly 66%) do not actively participate in sports — with many citing fear of bullying and discrimination as a key factor for not participating.

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/Help, or by texting START to 678678. 

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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. 

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