Today, The Trevor Project applauded the American Psychological Association (APA) for adopting a new resolution opposing gender identity change efforts, also known as conversion therapy. The APA also updated its resolution opposing sexual orientation change efforts, originally adopted in 1997. Both resolutions cite the growing body of scientific research demonstrating the negative impact these practices can have on LGBTQ youth’s mental health and well-being.
“When transgender and nonbinary young people are pressured to conform to the sex they were assigned at birth and abide by society’s rigid gender norms, it can be incredibly harmful to their mental health and sense of self, and contribute to increased risk for suicide,” said Sam Brinton (they/them pronouns), VP of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “That’s why we must come together to end the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy and to stop these proposed bans on gender-affirming medical care from becoming the law of the land. We are extremely grateful to the APA for using its platform and expertise to advocate for better health outcomes for all LGBTQ youth.”
The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey of over 40,000 LGBTQ youth in the U.S. found that 10% of respondents reported receiving conversion therapy from someone who tried to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, including health care professionals and religious leaders. And according to a peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project, published in the American Journal of Public Health, LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide and more than 2.5 times as likely to report multiple suicide attempts in the past year.