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The Trevor Project Condemns the Passage of Texas Bill Targeting Transgender Student-Athletes

BY: Josh Weaver
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Research demonstrates that transgender and nonbinary youth face elevated risk for bullying and suicide risk compared to their peers.

October 14, 2021 — 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 Texas House of Representatives passage of an anti-transgender sports bill, H.B. 25, banning transgender student-athletes from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. The bill was passed [unanimously, 83-66 vote, along party lines, etc.]

H.B. 25 is the 9th statewide bill passed this year banning transgender youth from participating in school sports and the 10th in the country. This bill also comes during a year when Texas lawmakers have proposed nearly 70 anti-LGBTQ bills, including more than 40 bills that specifically target transgender and nonbinary youth — far more than any other state. The bill is now headed to the desk of Governor Greg Abbott, where it is expected to be signed into law.

Amit Paley (he/him pronouns), CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project has released the following statement in response to the passage of H.B. 25:

“The justification for this bill is based in fiction, but the mental health impacts it will have are very real. Elected officials need to stop using transgender and nonbinary youth as political pawns. The Trevor Project’s crisis counselors have been hearing directly from transgender and nonbinary youth whose mental health have been negatively impacted by the ugly rhetoric attacking them. 

“To all of the trans Texans who feel hurt and scared by this misguided legislation — please know that we are here for you 24/7 and will continue fighting with a broad and beautiful coalition of advocates to block this law from going into effect. Every young person deserves to live their life free from discrimination, including having equal opportunity to engage in sports and to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Research consistently demonstrates that transgender and nonbinary youth face unique mental health challenges and an elevated risk for bullying and suicide risk compared to their peers.  

  • 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. 94% of LGBTQ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health. 
  • A newly published research brief on “Bullying and Suicide Risk among LGBTQ Youth,” found that 61% of transgender and nonbinary (TGNB) students reported being bullied either in-person or electronically in the past year, compared to 45% of cisgender LGBQ students. TGNB students who were bullied in the past year reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who were not. And TGNB students who said their school was LGBTQ-affirming reported significantly lower rates of being bullied (55%) compared to those in schools that weren’t LGBTQ-affirming (65%).
  • A 2020 peer-reviewed study 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.
  • Trevor’s research has also found that a majority of LGBTQ young people (nearly 66%) do not actively participate in sports — 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.

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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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