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The Trevor Project Files Amicus Brief Supporting Connecticut Policy Protecting Transgender Student-Athlete Rights

BY: Josh Weaver
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The Trevor Project filed an amicus brief this week with the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Soule et al v. Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Trevor is supporting the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and multiple school boards that have transgender-inclusive policies. The lawsuit also names two transgender student-athletes who play on girls’ sports teams.

Connecticut’s existing policy allows for transgender student-athletes to participate as who they are, providing important opportunities for teamwork, belonging, and physical and mental health benefits. 

The “friend-of-the-court” brief provides the Court and the public with The Trevor Project’s unique insights into positive outcomes for transgender and nonbinary students when they are included in school programs and activities, particularly sports, as who they are. The Trevor Project hears regularly via our crisis services from trans youth who want the opportunity to play sports for the same reason other kids do: to be a part of a team where they feel like they belong. 

The brief includes our latest research around rates of participation and wellbeing among LGBTQ youth athletes, based on data from our 2021 National Survey of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth. For example: 

  • Nearly one in three LGBTQ youth reported participating in sports; Many LGBTQ youth reported choosing not to participate in sports due to reasons related to discrimination or fear of LGBTQ-based discrimination.
  • Transgender and nonbinary youth reported significantly lower rates of sports participation than their cisgender LGBQ peers.
  • Transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas have directly stated that they are feeling stressed, using self-harm, and considering suicide due to anti-LGBTQ laws, including bans on their participation in sports, being debated in their state.

The Trevor Project was represented in this matter by pro bono counsel from Gibson Dunn, including Abbey Hudson, Shireen Barday, Emily Maxim Lamm, Harper Gernet-Girard, and Allie Begin.

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