83% of transgender and nonbinary youth said that they have worried about transgender people being denied the ability to play sports due to state or local laws
May 17, 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 HB 4608 by the governor of South Carolina, which would restrict transgender women and girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity. South Carolina marks the 17th state to restrict trans youth from playing sports in the U.S.
The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, released earlier this month, found that more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year and nearly 1 in 5 attempted suicide in the past year. Further, 83% of transgender and nonbinary youth said that they have worried about transgender people being denied the ability to play sports due to state or local laws.
“Every day, The Trevor Project’s crisis counselors hear from young transgender and nonbinary people who want nothing more than to be honest about who they are and have the same opportunities as their peers. Like every one of the sports bans we’ve seen passed across the country over the last three years, this is a solution in search of a problem, and it will only work to increase the isolation and stigmatization of an already-marginalized group of students,” said Sam Ames (they/them), Director for Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “Our 2022 national survey finds that nearly 1 in 5 trans and nonbinary youth attempted suicide in the past year — and this elevated risk is not due to their gender identity, but rather because of how they are mistreated. It’s heartbreaking to know that trans youth, who already report the highest rates of anxiety and depression symptoms, now have one more thing to worry about. We implore lawmakers to stop these unfair and unnecessary policies targeting a small group of marginalized youth, and focus their energy on the well-being of all youth.”
The Trevor Project’s new national survey also found that 71% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported that they have experienced discrimination based on their gender identity, and those who have reported significantly higher rates of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who have not. However, research also shows that transgender and nonbinary youth who had access to gender-affirming schools report lower rates of attempting suicide.
Recent polling conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of The Trevor Project, 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health. When asked about new policies that would ban transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams and transgender boys from playing on boys’ sports teams, 74% of transgender and nonbinary youth said it made them feel angry, 57% felt sad, 43% felt stressed, and nearly 1 in 3 felt scared.
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.