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The Trevor Project Condemns Advancement of Multiple Anti-LGBTQ Bills By Oklahoma Senate

BY: Josh Weaver
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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 24, 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 passage of multiple anti-LGBTQ bills by the Oklahoma Senate today, including S B2, which would restrict transgender women and girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity. SB 2 now heads to the governor’s desk where, if signed, it would become the third anti-transgender sports ban enacted into law this year.

“Today, the Oklahoma Senate voted to advance three anti-LGBTQ bills regulating school sports, identity documents, and curriculum. While their subjects were different, their target was the same: transgender and nonbinary youth. Lawmakers added these attacks to the agenda behind closed doors in the early hours of the morning, part of a coordinated strategy to use trans youth as political pawns,” said Sam Ames (they/them pronouns), Director for Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “This legislation offers solutions to problems that simply do not exist in Oklahoma, but the harm it can cause LGBTQ youth is very real. We urge the governor to follow the actions of governors in Utah and Indiana and veto the anti-trans sports ban that now heads to his desk. We also urge the Oklahoma House to reject SB 9 and SB 1100 in support of their trans and nonbinary constituents.”

In addition to S B2, the Oklahoma Senate also passed two additional anti-LGBTQ bills, SB 9 and SB 1100 that continue to advance through the state legislature. If enacted, these bills would ban materials about LGBTQ people and topics in the classroom and restrict access to gender-affirming documents for nonbinary youth in the state.

According to a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of The Trevor Project, 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth — and two-thirds of all LGBTQ youth (66%) — say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health.

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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