The executive order addresses many of the organization’s top advocacy priorities, including working to end the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, expanding the collection of LGBTQ-inclusive data across the federal government, protecting transgender and nonbinary youth’s access to gender-affirming care, and investing in suicide prevention and mental health resources in schools and for the launch of 988.
June 15, 2022 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, released the following statement in response to President Biden’s signage of an “Executive Order Advancing Equality for LGBTQI+ Individuals.”
Statement from Amit Paley (he/him pronouns), CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project:
“This historic executive order will advance long-sought, LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices that will help save young LGBTQ lives. It’s past time that we put an end to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion ‘therapy,’ and expand access to the affirming care LGBTQ young people actually need to survive and thrive. It’s crucial that our schools and the upcoming 988 lifeline are properly equipped with specialized suicide prevention resources for LGBTQ youth. And LGBTQ Americans deserve to be fully counted in federal data collection and afforded civil rights protections through the passage of the Equality Act.
“Thank you to President Biden for this comprehensive plan to protect LGBTQ youth, especially those who are transgender or nonbinary, people of color, experiencing homelessness, or in the foster care system. Despite recent and relentless political attacks, we are hopeful that this will move us forward toward a day where all LGBTQ young people can be themselves without fear of discrimination or violence.”
Relevant research from The Trevor Project:
- The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health demonstrates that suicidal thoughts have trended upward among LGBTQ young people over the last three years. Of the nearly 34,000 LGBTQ youth respondents, 45% reported seriously considering suicide in the past year, compared to 40% in 2020. Nearly 1 in 5 transgender and nonbinary youth reported attempting suicide in the past year, and LGBTQ youth of color reported higher rates than their white peers.
- 17% of LGBTQ youth reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy. A peer-reviewed study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that payments for conversion therapy ‘services’ cost the United States nearly $650 million annually, which includes payments from insurance companies and Medicaid when unethical licensed professionals improperly bill for their ‘services.’
- LGBTQ youth who experienced anti-LGBTQ victimization — including being physically threatened or harmed, discriminated against, or subjected to conversion therapy — reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not have any of these anti-LGBTQ experiences.
- LGBTQ youth who lived in an accepting community, had access to LGBTQ-affirming schools and homes, and/or felt high social support from family and friends reported significantly lower rates of attempting suicide in the past year.
- The Trevor Project’s research has consistently found that LGBTQ students who have access to LGBTQ-affirming schools — and trans students who have support from their teachers and peers — report lower rates of attempting suicide.
- The Trevor Project’s 2021 peer-reviewed study, the first large-scale study of more than 9,000 transgender and nonbinary youth who received gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT), found that GAHT was significantly related to lower rates of depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts among transgender and nonbinary youth.
- Recent polling shows that 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth, and two-thirds of all LGBTQ youth, said that recent debates around anti-trans bills have negatively impacted their mental health.
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.