The Trevor Project Responds to Administration’s Disturbingly Narrow Definition of Gender

The Trevor Project, the nation’s largest and only accredited suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, responds to a disturbing New York Times report that the current administration is pursuing “defining trans Americans out of existence.” The following statement is from Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley.

“When a young person hears that their existence and gender identity will not be recognized by their government, they hear that they are not worthy to be a part of that nation. Transgender youth seeing this report should know that they are not alone and that their identity is valid – nothing the government does can change that,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project.

“These policy decisions have real-world consequences. The Trevor Project has seen a significant rise in contacts from young people who identify as transgender or non-binary over the last year, now making up over 30% of our total crisis volume. When government takes actions targeting the transgender community, our call volume spikes even higher. The administration’s choice to deny the reality of transgender lives is reckless and dangerous.”

“Trevor will always be here to let LGBTQ youth know they are not alone, we will always fight to keep LGBTQ youth safe, and we are exploring options to push back against any policy decisions that tell LGBTQ youth they should not exist. And as always we will be available 24/7 for any and all LGBTQ youth in their moment of crisis.”

Call our 24/7 lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. Text and chat counseling is available from 3–10pm EST every day at www.thetrevorproject.org/help.

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org


MEDIA CONTACT:

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


The Trevor Project Testifies for Inclusive Data Collection in Washington, D.C.

The Trevor Project’s Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs, Sam Brinton, testified before the Council of the District of Columbia in support of B22-0840, the LGBTQ Health Data Collection Amendment Act of 2018. This legislation would require that the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) administered in Washington, DC include questions on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Although some questions on sexual orientation and gender identity have been asked in the past, the legislation would mandate the data always be collected rather than an annual debate on its inclusion.

The testimony provided by The Trevor Project was consistently referenced by the Council members in attendance including the harrowing statistic based on YRBS data that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. Hundreds of youth from the District of Columbia contact The Trevor Project each year in crisis and by better collecting data on all youth the District will be better able to respond to this public health crisis. Councilmembers David Grosso and Robert White sincerely thanked The Trevor Project for our testimony and requested further collaboration to serve the LGBTQ youth of the District.


The Trevor Project Joins Other Youth-Serving LGBTQ Advocacy Groups on Amicus Brief Opposing Discrimination in Foster Care

The Trevor Project joined other leading organizations serving LGBTQ youth in filing an amicus brief with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to oppose religious-based discrimination by government-funded adoption and foster care agencies. The amicus brief highlights The Trevor Project’s reports of increased rates of contacts to our crisis services correlated to acts of government discrimination.

As argued in the amicus brief, allowing government contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ people who want to be foster or adoptive parents causes stigma that ultimately harms the health and security of LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system. Stigma and discrimination are often key factors which drive LGBTQ youth into child welfare systems in the first place, where they are disproportionately represented and experience increased rates of mental and physical illness.

The Trevor Project joined with FosterClub, Garden State Equality, The Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Human Rights Campaign, Mazzoni Center, National LGBTQ Task Force, Pennsylvania Youth Congress Foundation, and The True Colors Fund in filing this brief, which was assembled by Lambda Legal. Learn more about the case.


The Trevor Project Reviews California Schools’ Suicide Prevention Policies

The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, released a report about California Department of Education schools’ compliance with AB 2246, which requires schools serving grades 7–12 to establish student suicide prevention policies.

The organization contacted all 478 school districts and local education agencies in California which serve youth in grades 7–12. After multiple attempts at contact, 86% of the school districts were found to have a student suicide prevention policy. 70% of the school districts without a suicide prevention policy were rural, defined as more than 40 miles from a major city; and 80% of school districts without a suicide prevention policy were smaller than average.

School policies are an important part of suicide prevention, especially because of the amount of time young people spend at school. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and nearly half of all trans people have made a suicide attempt. 1/3 of all lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are bullied at school, and almost half of them seriously consider attempting suicide, almost 4 times more likely than their straight peers.

Read the full report.


The Trevor Project Files Amicus Brief Defending Anti-conversion Therapy Law in Boca Raton, FL

The Trevor Project filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in the case of Otto v. Boca Raton to defend a local ordinance protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. The amicus brief provides the Court and the public with The Trevor Project’s unique insights into the serious harms inflicted on LGBTQ youth by this dangerous and discredited practice.

The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign works to introduce legislation to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy in every state in the country. The Trevor Project is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state because research shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual youth from highly rejecting families are more than 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than youth from accepting families. Once legislation is passed protecting youth from conversion therapy, it is just as important to defend these laws in court.

As argued in our amicus brief, The Trevor Project has a special interest in supporting the enforcement of ordinances prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy because many of the young people that The Trevor Project serves are survivors of conversion therapy or have a credible fear that their family members will compel them to receive conversion therapy.  Because The Trevor Project has witnessed firsthand the devastating impact that conversion therapy can inflict on LGBTQ youth, we can provide a unique and important perspective for the court regarding the potential harm of granting a preliminary injunction stopping enforcement of Boca Raton’s anti-conversion therapy ordinance.

The Trevor Project was represented in this matter by pro bono counsel from Gibson Dunn, including Stuart Delery, Douglas Dreier, Lora MacDonald, Corey Singer, and Dione Garlick.

Read the full amicus brief.


The Trevor Project Files Amicus Brief Supporting Transgender Youth Denied Legal Name Changes in Ohio

The Trevor Project filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to support transgender youth who have been denied access to a legal name change because of their transgender status. The amicus brief provides the Court and the public with The Trevor Project’s unique insights into the vital importance of respecting a young transgender person’s name and identity.

As argued in the amicus brief, many of the trans youth who reach out to The Trevor Project in moments of crisis describe concerns or stresses associated with the use of their chosen names, trying to obtain legal name changes, or being outed by documents listing their names at birth. Supervisors for The Trevor Project’s crisis services, such as TrevorText and TrevorChat, report that name-change issues come up on a daily basis, multiple times a day. These impressions are borne out by data collected on TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat, as terms like “name change,” “wrong name,” “dead named,” and “legal identification” have appeared almost 3,000 times since 2010.

The Trevor Project was represented in this matter by pro bono counsel from Tucker Ellis LLP, including Chad Eggspuehler and Brandon Cox.

Read the full amicus brief.


The Trevor Project Celebrates The Passage of The National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act

Washington, DCThe Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, is celebrating tonight’s bipartisan passage of H.R. 2345, The National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act. A companion bill, S. 1015 sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), passed the Senate unanimously in March of this year.

H.R. 2345 calls upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to determine the feasibility of designating a three-digit phone number Americans can dial to reach national suicide prevention and mental health services. The FCC will also evaluate the effectiveness of the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK).

“Passage of this bill is a vital step in improving access to crisis services across the country. After twenty years of serving LGBTQ youth in crisis and recognizing a growing body of data, the Trevor Project is all too aware that LGBTQ youth are far more likely to experience suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide than their straight or cisgender peers. The Trevor Project is calling on the Federal Communications Commission and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to recognize the unique needs of LGBTQ Americans when considering the effectiveness of the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project.

“Since its inception, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has worked tirelessly to constantly improve its crisis services and advance suicide prevention, including innovative public messaging and building cutting-edge partnerships.” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “As we seek to fulfill the specific mandate of the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act to study the effectiveness of this important national resource, it will be critical that the hotline is equipped to most effectively serve all who call. The Trevor Project stands ready to collaborate with The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to better serve LGBTQ youth.”

The Trevor Project and its network of volunteers have supported this legislation every step of the way, including through educational meetings with members of Congress and speaking in support of the bill at the first national Rally to Prevent Suicide on April 21, 2018.

If you’d like to join Trevor’s advocacy efforts just text “TREVOR” to 40649.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


Delaware Becomes 5th State In 2018 To Protect LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy

Wilmington, DE—Delaware Governor John Carney today signed SB65, a bill that protects LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy and establishes a sexual orientation counseling task force. The discredited practice of conversion therapy falsely claims to be able to change people’s sexual orientation and gender identity, and is widely opposed by prominent professional health associations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Supported by The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, Senator McDowell filed SB65 in 2017. The organization supported the bill’s passage through its “50 Bills 50 States” initiative by supporting legislators in their study of similar legislation and by directing its network of Delaware volunteer activists to contact local legislators, encouraging them to support this critical bill to protect LGBTQ young people. The organization also worked with national partners such as the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and  to support the bill’s passage. By building coalitions, these national partners have been wildly successful at preventing conversion therapy for thousands of LGBTQ youth.

The Trevor Project is invested in ending conversion therapy in every state because evidence shows youth who experience rejection from their family are more than 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than youth from accepting families. According to the Williams Institute, more than 700,000 LGBTQ people have been subjected to the horrors of conversion therapy, and that number grows by thousands each year. We estimate that nearly 80,000 LGBTQ youth will be subjected to forms of conversion therapy in the next few years.

“We’re incredibly excited to see Delaware join 13 other states in protecting LGBTQ youth from dangerous and discredited conversion therapy practices,” said Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project. “We look forward to continuing the important work of Trevor Project’s “50 Bills 50 States” initiative to ultimately protect LGBTQ young people nationwide.”

“I’m excited to see Delaware become the 14th state to protect LGBTQ young people from the discredited practice of conversion therapy, and the 5th state to do so this year alone,” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “I’m proud to continue working alongside legislators from both sides of the aisle nationwide to eliminate conversion therapy throughout the U.S.”

The Trevor Project’s “50 Bills 50 States” campaign works to introduce legislation to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy in every state in the country. So far bills have been introduced or successfully passed in 34 states. People can sign up to join “50 Bills 50 States” by texting “TREVOR” to 40649.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kevin Wong
The Trevor Project
646.576.7044
[email protected]


The Trevor Project Files Amicus Brief to Oppose Transgender Military Ban

The Trevor Project filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to support current and prospective transgender service members who sued the federal government in response to the transgender military ban. The amicus brief provides the Court and the public with The Trevor Project’s insights into the strength and resilience of transgender individuals, but also the harms that discrimination causes.

On July 26, 2017, a change to military policy was announced via Twitter that would “not accept or allow [t]ransgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” Shortly after this announcement, The Trevor Project witnessed a spike in transgender callers to TrevorLifeline, its 24/7 phone line providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. The Court will now decide whether to affirm the injunction of the transgender military ban.

The Trevor Project previously filed amicus briefs in opposition to the military ban in the district courts, and every district court has enjoined the ban, citing The Trevor Project in their decisions. Now, the Ninth Circuit has the opportunity to affirm the injunction of this discriminatory policy and to tell this Administration that discrimination must be stopped. The Trevor Project was represented by pro bono counsel from Gibson Dunn, including Stuart Delery, Douglas Dreier, and Charlotte Lawson.

Read the full amicus brief (PDF)


Statement Regarding the Supreme Court’s Decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case

The Trevor Project released the below statement today from Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project, regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

“The Trevor Project is disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision today in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, but the narrow ruling does not change the fact that discrimination against LGBTQ people—and LGBTQ youth in particular—is wrong and un-American. While this ruling applies only to this particular case, the court also recognized that states can seek to prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBTQ people.

LGBTQ adults and youth should be able to live their lives freely and proudly, without discrimination. When business open their doors to the public, they should be open to all, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

It is wrong to allow pediatricians to turn away child patients, just because they are transgender.
It is wrong to allow schools to expel students, just because they are gay or lesbian.
It is wrong to allow stores to turn away teen-age customers because they are bisexual or queer.

We need to let LGBTQ youth know that when they are in crisis they can always reach out for help and support. Discrimination and rejection of LGBTQ youth can have negative impacts on their mental health. We know that youth from highly rejecting families are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than youth from accepting families. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. And research has shown that more than 40% of transgender people have attempted suicide with over 90% of those attempts occurring when the transgender individual is younger than 25 years old.

We at The Trevor Project want every young person in this country to know that they are beautiful the way they are and that they are not alone. Any LGBTQ person who needs support or someone to talk to can reach out to us 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 and find more digital support and resources at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/gethelp.

We also want to make clear that you can be LGBTQ and a person of faith. We call on faith communities across the country to remind LGBTQ youth that they are not alone, and they should feel welcome and affirmed to join them in practicing their faith.”

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org