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The Trevor Project Condemns IA House Committee for Passing Anti-Trans Sports Ban

BY: Kinzi Sparks
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85% of transgender and nonbinary youth say that recent debates around anti-trans bills have negatively impacted their mental health.

February 14, 2022 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, condemned the Iowa House Education Committee for passing HF 2309, which would restrict transgender women and girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity.

“This bill is not about fairness in sports, nor has it even been. This is an effort to further isolate transgender youth in Iowa by lawmakers who should know better than to use their most marginalized constituents as political pawns,” said Sam Ames (they/them pronouns), Director for Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “Research consistently demonstrates that trans youth already face increased risk for bullying, depression, and suicide – and the ugly debates around these discriminatory laws sweeping the country only make matters worse. There are many issues that Iowa lawmakers should be prioritizing this year. Attacking young trans people should not be one of them.” 

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. 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.

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 crisis intervention 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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