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The Trevor Project Reaffirms Support for Texas Trans Youth, Supportive Parents, and its Crisis Counselors Against Unlawful Attacks

BY: Josh Weaver
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Trans youth and families across Texas have already begun reaching out to the organization’s crisis services, expressing fear and asking what recent news means for them.

February 24, 2022 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, issued the following statement today regarding the potential impacts of the Texas governor’s unlawful attack on transgender and nonbinary youth and supportive parents:

“The Trevor Project strongly believes that the guidance issued by the governor of Texas yesterday is unlawful — and it will not prevent us from providing 24/7 life-saving crisis services. We remain steadfast in our support for transgender and nonbinary young people in Texas, the parents and doctors who care for them, and all of our volunteer counselors and crisis workers based in Texas and around the country. The Trevor Project served more than 14,500 calls, chats, and texts from young LGBTQ Texans in crisis last year. While this guidance is non-binding, we are prepared to protect and legally defend any counselor who is threatened for carrying out their life-saving work,” said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “The Trevor Project exists to support LGBTQ youth in crisis. The notion that any government official would want our counselors to report a transgender young person’s parents to the state for providing the kind of care that can save lives is unconscionable. We’ve already received calls from trans youth and families across Texas who are scared and worried about what this news means for them. It is heartbreaking to hear young people break down and express suicidal thoughts over a dangerous attack that directly contradicts the medical community’s professional guidelines on gender-affirming health care.”

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. Additionally, only 1 in 3 trans youth found their home to be gender-affirming. However, research consistently shows that transgender and nonbinary youth who have accepting parents and/or access to gender-affirming care report lower rates of attempting suicide.

A 2021 peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project’s researchers, published in Transgender Health, found that acceptance of one’s gender identity from adults and peers was associated with significantly lower odds of attempting suicide among transgender and nonbinary youth. Transgender and nonbinary youth who reported high gender identity acceptance from a variety of adults had significantly lower odds of attempting suicide in the past year, including: from their parents (43% lower odds), from other family members (49% lower odds), from school professionals (33% lower odds), and from health care professionals (32% lower odds).

Access to gender-affirming medical care, like gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT), has been found to be significantly linked to lower rates of depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts among transgender and nonbinary youth. A 2021 peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that receiving GAHT was associated with nearly 40% lower odds of recent depression and of a past-year suicide attempt among young people under age 18. 

According to a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of The Trevor Project, 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth — and two-thirds of all LGBTQ youth (66%) — 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.

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.

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