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The Trevor Project Opposes Anti-Transgender Medical Care Ban in Tennessee

BY: Trevor News
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The bill would prohibit doctors from providing best-practice medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth

January 31, 2023The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, expressed opposition to a bill introduced in the Tennessee House of Representatives, HB1, which would ban doctors from providing best-practice medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth.

“Doctors — not politicians — should be in charge of making medical decisions,” said Kasey Suffredini (he/him), Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “Doctors should be allowed to follow the decades–old, evidence-based standards of care in supporting transgender and nonbinary youth and their families, without fear of criminalization. We urge Tennessee policymakers to follow the leading medical and mental health associations in opposing bans on transgender medical care and putting a stop to this harmful legislation.”

Today, The Trevor Project released its first documentary short film, Learn with Love, featuring the stories of three transgender young people, in which an adult in their life previously rejected their identity but ultimately came around to love and accept them. This film’s release signals the beginning of Trevor’s new content strategy that seeks to amplify authentic and educational youth-driven storytelling to counter misinformation, raise public understanding, and spread messages of love and compassion.

The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State found that 58% of transgender and nonbinary youth in Tennessee seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and 25% 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.

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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