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The Trevor Project Rallies Celebrity Support at SXSW for Transgender and Nonbinary Youth

BY: Kinzi Sparks
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Adam Rippon, Alison Roman, ALOK, Brooklyn Decker, Busy Philipps, Chris Mosier, Jonathan Van Ness, and Lee Pace voice their support for transgender and nonbinary youth while attending the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.

SXSW is taking place amid a legal battle in Texas over unlawful investigations into trans youth and their families, as well as a record wave of anti-trans state legislation across the country.

AUSTIN, Texas (March 15, 2022) — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people rallied messages of support for transgender and nonbinary youth amid ongoing political attacks in Texas and across the country from celebrities — including Jonathan Van Ness, Busy Philipps, Adam Rippon, Brooklyn Decker, Alison Roman, and Lee Pace —  while attending the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. On Friday, a Texas judge issued a statewide injunction banning the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from enforcing the governor’s unlawful directive to investigate families who support their transgender and nonbinary children with gender-affirming medical care.

Texas native and Grammy-winning singer Lizzo also criticized the recent anti-trans policies during her keynote speech at SXSW. According to The Washington Post, she said: “I’m proud to rep Houston. But I’m not proud to rep Texan politics right now. There are very regressive laws being passed. They’re taking away the right for young children to have a chance to live authentically as themselves. It’s a violation of human rights. Trans rights are human rights.”

Quotes from allied celebrities:

  • “I’m beyond horrified that trans children are being bullied by adults and used for potential political gains while their parents are being targeted and accused of child abuse for being supportive of their trans kids. Supporting who your child is happens to be one of the most important acts of love any parent can give. The only abuse happening here is one of power, misinformation and hatred. We can not and will not be quiet while families are terrorized,” said actor Busy Phillips (she/her pronouns).
  • ​​“1 in 5 trans youth attempted suicide in the past year. As adults, and more specifically, as parents it is our job to support and love our children in any way possible. The government should be a part of the solution to this public health crisis, not the problem. If Texas politicians believe in smaller government like they say they do, then it’s time for them to practice what they preach,” said actor Brooklyn Decker (she/her).
  • “This shouldn’t be a discussion — young trans people exist and deserve to be loved and supported like all youth, including having access to best practice medical care. The attacks on the young LGBTQ community across the country are having devastating impacts on mental and physical health. We need to show love and support and not criminalize the families that do,” said cook and author Alison Roman (she/her).
  • “As someone with roots and family in Texas, I’m incredibly disheartened over the hostile anti-LGBTQ+ measures in my home state. I stand by the transgender and non-binary youth, not only in Texas, but all over the world,” said actor Lee Pace (he/him).

The Trevor Project’s CEO & Executive Director Amit Paley moderated a panel at SXSW on Sunday, titled “A Clarion Call for More LGBTQ Inclusion in Sports, featuring Olympic figure skating medalist Adam Rippon, transgender activist and award-winning triathlete Chris Mosier, and ESPN reporter Katie Barnes. This discussion touched upon the history of anti-LGBTQ harassment and discrimination in sports and the increasing visibility of openly LGBTQ athletes, as well as the record number of state legislation seeking to ban transgender women and girls from playing school sports. As of March 2022, 12 states across the country have passed anti-trans sports bans.

  • “I’m honored to continue working with The Trevor Project. It’s on us to make clear that trans rights are human rights. Texas youth should be able to live their lives without fear,” said Adam Rippon (he/him).
  • “Loving your child for exactly who they are is parenting at its absolute best. No parent should be persecuted for giving their child the best care, and no child should have to worry about losing their loving family because lawmakers are seeking political positioning,” said Chris Mosier (he/him).
  • “The Trevor Project is so thankful to our supporters for using their voices and global platforms to show support for transgender and nonbinary young people at a time when they are under attack,” said Amit Paley (he/him). “We know from the work we do every day that social support and words of affirmation can be life-saving. Whether you are a trans young person living in Texas, or somewhere else around the world, please know that you are valid, you deserve love, and you are not alone.”

Emmy-nominated television personality and New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Van Ness also co-hosted a featured session at SXSW with internationally acclaimed writer, performer, and public speaker ALOK.

  • “Adults in positions of power need to consider the impacts of their words and actions. Transgender and nonbinary young people deserve to live their lives without fear. It’s on all of us to spread love and to speak out against these relentless political attacks.” said Jonathan Van Ness (they/he/she).
  • “Transgender and nonbinary youth are human beings, not political pawns. They deserve love and respect,” said Alok Vaid-Menon (they/them).

The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that more than half (52%) of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, and 1 in 5 attempted suicide. However, research consistently shows that transgender and nonbinary youth who experience acceptance from their parents and other adults and/or access to gender-affirming medical care, such as hormone therapy, report lower rates of attempting suicide.

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, 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.


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