The legislation would force the discontinuation of best-practice gender-affirming medical care — consistently associated with lower suicide risk — at Oklahoma’s largest healthcare provider.
September 29, 2022 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, released the following statement ahead of the Oklahoma legislature’s consideration of HB 1007/SB 83, a bill that would prohibit the University of Oklahoma health care system from using federal funding to provide gender-affirming care to transgender and nonbinary youth:
“It’s outrageous that the Oklahoma legislature would withhold funding for the creation of a new pediatric behavioral health center unless they agree to reject best-practice standards of care and cut off treatment for transgender and nonbinary youth — a group that consistently reports the highest rates of mental health challenges and suicide risk. Decades of research shows that gender-affirming care is associated with better mental health outcomes and can be life-saving,” said Sam Ames (they/them pronouns), Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “Despite the overwhelming consensus of medical experts, vicious misinformation campaigns targeting hospitals and pediatricians have led to threats of bombings and violence all across the country, jeopardizing the safety of patients everywhere. Politicians are not better equipped to make medical decisions than doctors and families. Young trans people in Oklahoma deserve to be accepted for who they are, not exploited for political points.”
The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that more than half (53%) of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, and nearly 1 in 5 attempted suicide. However, research has consistently found that gender-affirming medical care is associated with improved mental health outcomes and reduced risk for suicide. 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 youth under age 18.
According to a poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of The Trevor Project, 85% 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 ban doctors from prescribing gender-affirming medical care like puberty blockers or hormone therapy, 73% of transgender and nonbinary youth said it made them feel angry, 57% felt sad, 47% felt stressed, 40% felt scared, and more than 1 in 3 felt hopeless, helpless, and/or nervous.
Another poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of The Trevor Project found that a majority of adults agree that transgender minors should have access to gender-affirming hormone therapy (55%) and puberty blockers (52%) if it’s recommended by their doctor and supported by their parents. Only 1 in 3 adults polled said lawmakers should have the ability to outlaw gender-affirming medical care for minors even if such a ban is against the recommendation of doctors and major medical associations.
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.
About The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health 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.