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The Trevor Project Testifies Before Texas DFPS, Calls for an End to Unjust Investigations Into Trans Youth & Families

BY: Trevor News
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Trans youth and families across Texas have been reaching out to the organization’s crisis services expressing fear and anxiety.

March 11, 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 on today’s meeting of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). During the meeting, members of the public, including Sam Ames (they/them pronouns), Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project, testified in opposition to DFPS’ enforcement of the governor’s unlawful directive to investigate parents and healthcare professionals who support transgender and nonbinary youth with gender-affirming medical care.

“The TX Department of Family and Protective Services has critical work to do in protecting young people from child abuse. This effort to redirect their resources toward the intimidation of families who support their transgender and nonbinary children is a dangerous distraction. The Trevor Project urges DFPS to reject the governor’s unlawful guidance and to focus their energy on protecting all Texas youth, not persecuting the most marginalized,” said Sam Ames (they/them), Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “It’s worth emphasizing that young transgender and nonbinary people are overrepresented in the child welfare system — and those who have been in foster care report significantly higher rates of attempting suicide. That’s why it’s imperative to foster acceptance among families, not separate them.”

If you or your family are facing an investigation, you have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services here. And 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. 

According to The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 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. 

Further, a 2021 research brief found that transgender and nonbinary youth who reported having been in foster care had more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who had not. Trans youth also had greater odds of being in foster care compared to cisgender LGBQ youth, with the greatest odds experienced by transgender girls/women, followed by nonbinary youth, and transgender boys/men.

However, research also consistently shows that transgender and nonbinary youth who have accepting parents and/or access to gender-affirming care report lower rates of attempting suicide. One 2021 study by The Trevor Project’s researchers, published in Transgender Health, found that acceptance of one’s gender identity from their parents was associated with 43% lower odds of attempting suicide among transgender and nonbinary youth. And another 

2021 peer-reviewed study, 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 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.

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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