LGBTQ youth who had access to an LGBTQ-affirming school reported lower rates of attempting suicide than those who did not.
March 13, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, opposes HB2546, a bill being considered by the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which would ban classroom instruction on LGBTQ topics in K-5 classrooms.
“LGBTQ young people deserve to have their history, culture, and experiences reflected in the lessons they learn at school – not erased from classroom discussion entirely,” said Troy Stevenson (he/him pronouns), Director of State Advocacy Campaigns at The Trevor Project. “The Trevor Project’s data found that 48% of LGBTQ youth in Oklahoma seriously considered suicide in the past year, however, research has consistently shown that LGBTQ students who report that their schools are LGBTQ-affirming also report lower rates of suicide risk. We urge Oklahoma lawmakers to increase access to LGBTQ-affirming school environments, not chip away at them through unnecessary censorship bills like this one.”
The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State found that 48% of LGBTQ youth in Oklahoma seriously considered suicide in the past year, including 55% of transgender and nonbinary youth. However, research consistently finds that LGBTQ youth who have access to an LGBTQ-affirming school report significantly lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not. Additionally, learning about LGBTQ people or issues has been associated with significantly lower odds (23%) of a past-year suicide attempt in LGBTQ students.
According to a new poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of The Trevor Project, 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 proposed legislation that would require schools to tell a student’s parent or guardian if they request to use a different name/pronoun, or if they identify as LGBTQ at school, 67% of transgender and nonbinary youth said they feel angry, 54% feel stressed, 51% feel scared, 46% feel nervous, and 43% feel sad.
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.