The bill would prohibit doctors from providing best-practice medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth
February 13, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, condemned the passage of SB1 in the Tennessee Senate, which would ban doctors from providing best-practice medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth.
“This bill aims to deny transgender and nonbinary youth crucial support and care. Even in the face of professional guidance from every major medical and mental health association in the country that supports this type of care, politicians are intruding into the private medical decisions best left to transgender young people and their families,” said Casey Pick (she/her pronouns), Director of Law and Policy for The Trevor Project. “We urgently call upon Tennessee lawmakers to put a stop to this legislation and ensure young trans Tennesseans can access the best-practice, medically necessary health care they need to survive and thrive.”
Last month, The Trevor Project released its first documentary short film, Learn with Love, featuring the stories of three transgender young people, in which an adult in their life previously rejected their identity but ultimately came around to love and accept them. This film’s release signals the beginning of Trevor’s new content strategy that seeks to amplify authentic and educational youth-driven storytelling to counter misinformation, raise public understanding, and spread messages of love and compassion.
The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State found that 58% of transgender and nonbinary youth in Tennessee seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and 25% 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.
However, 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, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy was associated with nearly 40% lower odds of recent depression and of a past-year suicide attempt among transgender and nonbinary young people under age 18.
According to The Trevor Project’s new polling, 86% of transgender and nonbinary youth say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health. When asked about new policies that will ban doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth, 74% of transgender and nonbinary youth said it made them feel angry, 59% felt stressed, 56% felt sad, 48% felt hopeless, 47% felt scared, 46% felt helpless, and 45% felt nervous.