Today, the Montana House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 112, which would restrict transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams at the elementary school to college levels that correspond with their gender identity. The bill, authored by Republican Rep. John Fuller, will now advance to the floor of the Montana House of Representatives for a full vote.
“It is unconscionable that Montana lawmakers are focused on restricting transgender and nonbinary youth’s ability to play school sports in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic and economic turmoil. Transgender students, like all students, deserve the chance to learn teamwork and to build self-esteem and a sense of belonging with their peers through sports,” said Sam Brinton (they/them pronouns), VP of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “At The Trevor Project, we constantly hear from transgender and nonbinary youth in crisis who want nothing more than to be recognized for who they are — and we know based on our research that respecting and affirming a young person’s gender identity is essential to their mental health and well-being. This discriminatory policy would only work to increase the kind of social isolation and stigma that contributes to self-harm and suicide risk. We urge the Montana House to reject this cruel and unnecessary bill, and to instead focus on expanding opportunity and support for Montana’s trans youth during this difficult time.”
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Montana lawmakers are also considering House Bill 113, which would prohibit medical professionals from providing best-practice medical care to transgender youth.
A recent national survey conducted by The Trevor Project between October and December of 2020 found that over 90% of LGBTQ youth said that recent politics negatively influenced their well-being. And a peer-reviewed study by Trevor’s researchers found that transgender and nonbinary youth who reported experiencing discrimination based on their gender identity had more than double the odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to transgender and nonbinary youth who did not experience gender identity-based discrimination.
According to The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, more than half (52%) of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, compared to 40% of all LGBTQ youth respondents. However, trans and nonbinary youth who reported having pronouns respected by all or most people in their lives attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected. And more than a quarter of transgender and nonbinary youth (27%) who participated in sports reported their grades as being mostly A’s compared to 19% who did not participate in sports.
A poll by The Trevor Project and Morning Consult found that nearly one-third of transgender and nonbinary youth felt unsafe in their living situation since the start of COVID-19, and 75% indicated feeling more lonely than at the start of the pandemic.
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. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.