71% of registered Kentucky voters oppose laws that would allow the state to overrule parents’ decisions to obtain certain healthcare for their transgender teenager.
March 1, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, opposes HB470 – a bill currently being considered by members of the Kentucky House of Representatives – which would ban doctors from providing best-practice medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth.
“Decisions about transgender medical care should be made between patients, their parents, and their doctors. Bills like this one that aim to insert politicians’ opinions into personal medical decisions go against expert medical guidance – and they are opposed by the majority of Kentucky adults, according to new polling,” said Kasey Suffredini (he/him pronouns), Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “We urge lawmakers to reject this bill that would strip trans youth of the best-practice medical care that many rely on to lead healthy, happy lives.”
The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State found that 59% of transgender and nonbinary youth in Kentucky seriously considered suicide in the past year, and 24% 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.
Further, a new statewide Mason-Dixon poll, released by the Fairness Campaign, found that 71% of registered Kentucky voters opposed Kentucky laws that would allow the state to overrule parents’ decisions to obtain certain healthcare for their transgender teenager, such as certain medications that can regulate the onset of puberty.
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.