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Oklahoma Governor Signs Anti-Trans Sports Ban Into Law, Marking it the 13th Anti-Trans Sports Ban Enacted

BY: Kinzi Sparks
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85% of transgender and nonbinary youth say that recent debates around anti-trans bills have negatively impacted their mental health.

March 30, 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 SB 2 into law by the governor of Oklahoma, which would restrict transgender women and girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity. With the signage of SB 2, Oklahoma is now the country’s 13th state to enact an anti-trans sports ban. This also comes the day before Transgender Day of Visibility, an annual day meant to celebrate the transgender community.

“This legislation offers a solution to a problem that simply does not exist in Oklahoma, but the harm it will cause transgender and nonbinary youth is very real,” said Casey Pick (she/her), Senior Fellow for Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “Our polling has found that 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth say their mental health has been negatively impacted by debates around anti-trans laws — and 57% feel sad, 43% feel stressed, & nearly 1 in 3 feel scared specifically in regards to these unfair sports bans. All students should have access to the character-building and camaraderie that sports provide.”

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, a 2020 peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project’s researchers, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that transgender and nonbinary youth who report experiencing discrimination based on their gender identity had more than double the odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not experience discrimination based on their gender identity.

However, research also shows that transgender and nonbinary youth who have access to gender-affirming spaces report lower rates of attempting suicide. A 2021 peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project’s researchers, published in Transgender Health, also found that transgender and nonbinary youth who reported gender identity acceptance from adults and peers had significantly lower odds of attempting suicide in the past year.

The Trevor Project’s research has also found that a majority of LGBTQ young people (68%) have never participated in sports for a school or community league or club — 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/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.

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