The bill which would prohibit doctors from providing best-practice medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth, is among the most extreme anti-trans bills in the nation
March 16, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the world’s leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, condemned the passage of SB 150 by the Kentucky Legislature, an anti-trans bill that would ban doctors from providing best-practice medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth and includes “Don’t Say Gay/Trans” provisions — making it among the most extreme anti-trans pieces of legislation in the nation.
“It is appalling to see Kentucky lawmakers work so hastily on dangerous legislation that will only put young LGBTQ Kentuckians in harm’s way. In the last year, nearly half of LGBTQ youth in Kentucky seriously considered suicide — alarmingly, nearly 1 in 4 transgender and nonbinary youth in the state made a suicide attempt. Our leaders are pushing political wedge issues and sidestepping the real challenges like addressing the youth mental health crisis,” said Troy Stevenson (he/him pronouns), Director of State Advocacy Campaigns for The Trevor Project. “The Kentucky Legislature should not be inserting itself into critical decisions best left to parents and doctors by imposing a blanket ban on best-practice medical care. They should be working to increase access to essential care and creating safer, more affirming spaces for LGBTQ Kentuckians — not further stigmatizing or endangering an already marginalized group of young people. We urge the Governor to reject this harmful legislation and send a message to the young LGBTQ Kentuckians watching these debates that they belong in this state.”
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.
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.
Further, a 2022 poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of The Trevor Project found that a majority of adults agree that transgender minors should have access to gender-affirming hormone therapy (55%) and puberty blockers (52%) if it’s recommended by their doctor and supported by their parents. Only 1 in 3 adults polled said lawmakers should have the ability to outlaw gender-affirming medical care for minors even if such a ban is against the recommendation of doctors and major medical associations.
According to state-level data published by The Trevor Project, nearly half of LGBTQ youth (49%) in Kentucky seriously considered suicide in the past year, including 59% of transgender and nonbinary youth. Additionally, 17% of LGBTQ youth in Kentucky attempted suicide in the past year, including nearly 1 in 4 transgender and nonbinary youth (24%).
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.