If signed by the governor, two bills would ban transgender and nonbinary youth from receiving best-practice medical care, and from participating in school sports
May 10, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the world’s leading suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, condemned the passage of two bills SB 39 and SB 49 by the Missouri state legislature. If signed into law by the governor, these bills would prohibit transgender and nonbinary young people from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity, and ban doctors from providing best-practice medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth.
“These bills have nothing to do with protecting young people, nor do they promote any semblance of fairness in sports. They are about one thing and one thing only: politicians targeting transgender young people to score political points,” said Casey Pick (she/her pronouns), Director of Law and Policy for The Trevor Project. “Recent polling found that 86% of transgender and nonbinary youth said recent debates about laws that restrict the rights of trans and nonbinary people negatively impacted their mental health, and research shows that trans and nonbinary youth already face higher suicide risk compared to their peers – not because they are inherently prone to suicide risk, but rather they’re placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society. We urge the governor to reject these harmful legislative efforts and, instead, prioritize giving all young people in Missouri the same opportunity to lead the happy, healthy lives they deserve.”
The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State found that 55% of transgender and nonbinary youth in Missouri seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and 20% made an attempt. At a national level, The Trevor Project’s latest data has found that 64% of transgender and nonbinary young people reported that they have felt discriminated against in the past year due to their gender identity, and those who have reported significantly higher rates of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who have not.
Related Research and Data:
- Nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQ young people said their mental health was poor most of the time or always due to anti-LGBTQ policies and legislation.
- Research has also consistently found that transgender medical care, is associated with positive mental health outcomes including showing promise for reducing suicide risk.
- A 2021 peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project, the first large-scale study of more than 9,000 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. Specifically for young people under age 18, receiving GAHT was associated with nearly 40% lower odds of recent depression and of a past-year suicide attempt.
- Recent polling found that 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, 64% of transgender and nonbinary youth said it made them feel angry, 44% felt sad, 39% felt stressed, and 1 in 4 felt scared.
- The Trevor Project’s research also shows that transgender and nonbinary youth who have access to gender-affirming spaces and gender identity acceptance from adults and peers report lower rates of attempting suicide in the past year.
- A 2022 peer-reviewed study found that many transgender high school girls who reported an interest in playing sports cited concerns around harassment, stigma, and gendered spaces.
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.