86% of transgender and nonbinary youth say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health.
March 7, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, condemned the passage of SB270 in the Arkansas Senate, which would criminalize transgender adults from using the restroom. The bill now moves to the Arkansas House of Representatives.
“Arkansas lawmakers’ efforts to deny transgender people the simple act of using the bathroom that matches their gender identity is a form of government overreach that helps no one — but it does cause real harm to everyone,” said Casey Pick (she/her pronouns), Director of Law and Policy for The Trevor Project. “By criminalizing bathroom use, this extreme bill will not only place the trans community — but any person who expresses themselves outside typical gender norms — at risk of being subjected to invasive practices, over policing, and increased discrimination and harassment. We urge the state lawmakers to put a stop to this harmful legislation: trans youth in Arkansas deserve to grow up in a state where they won’t need to fear being criminalized for something as simple as using the bathroom.”
- The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State found that 59% of transgender and nonbinary youth in Arkansas seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and 22% attempted suicide.
- At a national level, The Trevor Project’s data has found that 71% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported that they have experienced discrimination based on their gender identity, and those who have reported significantly higher rates of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who have not.
- 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 experienced bathroom discrimination had more than 1.5 times the odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not experience bathroom discrimination.
- According to The Trevor Project’s latest polling published in Jan. 2023, 86% of transgender and nonbinary youth say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health. A majority of those trans youth (55%) said it impacted their mental health “very negatively.”
- 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.
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.