Being part of the team is a game-changer for LGBTQ athletes. Self-esteem, health benefits, community; these are just some of the benefits young people get from sports. Yet, many LGBTQ young people are being sidelined — intentionally excluded from those rewarding experiences.
68% of LGBTQ young people have never participated in sports, with many citing fear of bullying and discrimination. These young people are missing out on more than just exercise; they also miss out on accomplishment, friendship, and acceptance, things that all young people deserve to experience. Schools and state and local governments across the United States have made it especially difficult for trans and nonbinary young people to play the sports they love. More than 600 anti-LGBTQ bills have been filed in 2023, more than 60 of which seek to ban transgender and nonbinary young people from participating in school sports.
At The Trevor Project, we are on the ground fighting these harmful policies and bills. We also want to prepare the adults around LGBTQ young people to be the best allies possible, and to give them the knowledge and skills to facilitate positive change; that is, to reform the locker room. In partnership with PUMA, we have developed a comprehensive training for youth-serving adults to help young LGBTQ athletes in crisis, support equity in sports, promote gender inclusivity, and use respectful language.
Athlete and student-athlete coordinator Jaide Hinds-Clarke says coaches and administrators who made an effort to be inclusive changed her life: “It created space for me to feel supported, empowered, and loved. It’s really important for coaches to understand the power they have to create positive change in someone’s life.”
LGBTQ young people report lower rates of attempting suicide when they have access to affirming spaces — and they want the people in their lives to learn more about how to support them. We urge you to reform the locker room in your community.
To get started, visit TheTrevorProject.org/reformthelockerroom/