Broward County First In 2018 To Pass Ordinance Protecting LGBTQ Youth

****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

Broward County in Florida has just accomplished a historic first for 2018 with a unanimous vote passing an ordinance to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. Conversion therapists claim to reduce and eliminate the homosexual or bisexual orientation of youth, or force a child to reject their transgender identity. Every major mental health professional organization has refuted the practice of conversion therapy as ineffective and potentially harmful. However, 41 states still still allow conversion therapy including the State of Florida.

As the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project applauds the actions of Commissioner Nan H. Rich, Mayor Beam Furr, Vice-Mayor Mark D. Bogen, and Commissioners Michael Udine, Steve Geller, Tim Ryan, Barbara Sharief, and Dale V.C. Holness for submitting this bill. We also congratulate the important advocacy efforts of The National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality Florida, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Trevor Project frequently receives calls of LGBTQ youth in crisis stemming from their experience with conversion therapy and aims to advocate for the eventual end of state sanctioned conversion therapy across the country via the 50 Bills 50 States campaign.

“It was an honor to stand with fellow community leaders in a true and powerful display of national, state and local solidarity for protecting our LGBTQIA+ youth” said Broward County resident and Trevor Project supporter, Jessica Gottsleben. Jessica testified on the need for these type of ordinances to protect LGBTQ youth who reach out to The Trevor Project. She continued, “I am proud that Broward County unanimously took the vital step to continue moving our state forward and ensuring a safe and inclusive future for all residents growing up in South Florida.”

“As a former Floridian who was forced into conversion therapy a few miles from Broward County it is a dream come true to see Broward County protect future generations of LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “We truly look forward to continued local and state efforts until every child knows that they should never be forced to change something they never chose.”

If you would like to help The Trevor Project protect LGBTQ youth from the horrors of conversion therapy you can text TREVOR to 40649.

If you’d like to learn more about conversion therapy and the nationwide efforts to end it you can go to our 50 Bills 50 States campaign website: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/50-bills-50-states/.

You can also help support this important work by donating here: www.TheTrevorProject.org/give.

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:

Calvin Stowell, Chief Growth Officer

 

http://www.nclrights.org/press-room/press-release/unanimous-vote-florida-county-unanimously-bans-conversion-therapy-for-lgbt-youth/

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-sb-broward-conversion-therapy-ban-20180109-story.html


Virginia Takes Major Step In Protecting LGBTQ Youth

****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

Virginia has just accomplished a historic first for 2018 in introducing a bill to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. Conversion therapists claim to reduce and eliminate the homosexual or bisexual orientation of youth, or force a child to reject their gender identity. Every major mental health professional organization has refuted the practice of conversion therapy as ineffective and potentially harmful. Virginia may soon join the nine states which have passed similar legislation and the more than 30 states which have considered such protections.

As the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project applauds the actions of Delegate Patrick Hope of the General Assembly of Virginia for submitting this bill. The Trevor Project frequently receives calls of LGBTQ youth in crisis stemming from their experience with conversion therapy and aims to advocate for the eventual end of state sanctioned conversion therapy across the country via the 50 Bills 50 States campaign.

Delegate Patrick Hope said “Conversion therapy is based on the false assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder or a sin. Well, it is not. There is no on/off switch to sexual orientation.” Hope concluded, “I believe our government has a responsibility to protect our children from the dangers of conversion therapy. This bill seeks to do just that.”

“As a proud new resident of the great Commonwealth of Virginia and a survivor of the horrors of conversion therapy, it has been an honor to work with Delegate Hope to protect future generations of LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy.” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “From the drafting of the bill, to the building of the coalition with amazing organizations like Equality Virginia, to what I hope will be eventual passage of this legislation: This is the fight for LGBTQ youth we need to fight in 2018.”

If you would like to help The Trevor Project protect LGBTQ youth from the horrors of conversion therapy you can text TREVOR to 40649.

If you’d like to learn more about conversion therapy and the nationwide efforts to end it you can go to our 50 Bills 50 States campaign website: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/50-bills-50-states/.

You can also help support this important work by donating here: www.TheTrevorProject.org/give.

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:
Calvin Stowell, Chief Growth Officer


Trevor Condemns “License to Discriminate”

The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people, condemns the Department of Justice’s guidance today that grants a dangerous “license to discriminate” against LGBTQ people. This so-called guidance follows the department’s move yesterday to rescind Title XII protections and allow discrimination against transgender people.

In response to today’s announcement, Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley made the following statement:

“This license-to-discriminate guidance put LGBTQ youth at risk and is inconsistent with basic American values of equality and fairness. LGBTQ youth should be receiving messages of support and protection, not hate and rejection. No one should face discrimination because of who they are or who they love.

“No matter what any politicians in Washington say or do, LGBTQ youth across the country should know: You are loved. You are worthy. You are not alone.

“Any LGBTQ young person who is feeling alone or needs someone to talk to can reach out to The Trevor Project 24/7.”

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:

Sheri A. Lunn, Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Engagement


Trevor Urges Opposition to BCRA Without Protections for Substance Use Disorders & Mental Health

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
S-221 U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer,
The undersigned organizations are writing to share our views on critical provisions we believe must be included in any legislation modifying the nation’s health care system. We also want to share serious concerns with several of the reforms included in the discussion draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). We are very concerned that the BCRA’s proposed changes to our health care system will result in reductions in health care coverage, particularly for vulnerable populations including those suffering from substance use disorders and mental illness, and we cannot support the bill.

We collectively represent consumers, families, providers, health care and social service professionals, criminal justice professionals, advocates and allied organizations who are committed to meaningful and comprehensive policies to reduce the toll of substance use disorders and mental illness through prevention, treatment and recovery support services.

We appreciate the provision in the BCRA to require coverage of mental health and substance use disorder treatment consistent with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) as part of the new Medicaid Flexibility Program. However, we do not support many of the other changes to the health care system in the discussion draft that would result in reduced access to substance use disorder and mental health treatment, including changes that would cap federal funding for Medicaid, end the Medicaid expansion, and eliminate mental health and substance use disorder benefit protections for Americans insured through the small group and individual markets.

In the face of the opioid overdose and suicide epidemics, equitable access to a full continuum of mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, including medications to treat substance use disorders and mental illness, must be an essential component of health care coverage. It is also critical that substance use disorders and mental illness be covered on par with other medical conditions consistent with MHPAEA.

As the Senate considers the BCRA, we ask that the bill:

  • Maintain benefit protections for mental health and substance use disorder treatment and recovery support services through the exchanges and individual/small group markets, and maintain requirements that those benefits be offered at parity with medical benefits
  • Maintain Medicaid’s current financing structure, including the Medicaid expansion

More than 20 million Americans currently have health care coverage due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including millions of Americans with substance use disorders and mental illness. This coverage is a critical lifeline for these individuals, many of whom were unable to access effective treatment before the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults, and its requirement that Medicaid expansion plans and plans sold in the individual and small group markets cover substance use disorder and mental health treatment services at parity with medical and surgical services. As such, we have serious concerns with provisions in the discussion draft that would allow states to easily waive Essential Health Benefit requirements through Section 1332 waivers, end Essential Health Benefit requirements for the Medicaid expansion population, phase out Medicaid expansion and change Medicaid to a per-capita or block grant financing system.

Additionally, while we appreciate the inclusion of $2 billion in Fiscal Year 18 for opioid use disorder and mental health treatment and recovery support services, we are concerned that grant funding cannot replace sustainable Medicaid reimbursement. Given that grant funding is subject to the unpredictably of the annual appropriations process, health care providers cannot rely on it to run their practices. Grant funding also requires applications and reporting that fall outside the normal workstream of physician practices, making it impractical for many providers to incorporate it into their business model.

The Medicaid expansion in particular has led to significant increases in coverage and treatment access for persons with substance use disorders and mental illness. In states that expanded Medicaid, the share of people with substance use disorders or mental illness who were hospitalized but uninsured fell from about 20 percent in 2013 to 5 percent by mid-2015, and Medicaid expansion has been associated with an 18.3 percent reduction in the unmet need for substance use disorder treatment services among low-income adults. Rolling back the Medicaid expansion and/or fundamentally changing Medicaid’s financing structure to cap spending on health care services will certainly reduce access to evidence-based treatments and reverse much or all progress made on the opioid crisis last year. Moreover, the loss of Medicaid-covered mental health and substance use disorder services for adults would result in more family disruption and out-of-home placements for children, significant trauma which has its own long-term health effects and a further burden on a child welfare system that is struggling to meet the current demand for foster home capacity.

Medicaid funding for mental health and substance use disorder treatment services for low-income populations must be predictable, sustainable, and integrated with financing mechanisms for general medical care to ensure consistent access to treatment and support the long-term development and retention of a substance use disorder and mental health clinician workforce. Capping federal Medicaid funding through per-capita caps or block grants would strain state budgets and likely force states to cut benefits, lower provider reimbursement rates, and/or limit access to care. These changes would be devastating to states grappling with the current opioid overdose and suicide epidemics.

The ACA’s Medicaid expansion, Essential Health Benefit requirements for mental health and substance use disorder treatment coverage, and extension of parity protections to the individual and small group market have surely reduced the burden of the opioid misuse and overdose and suicide epidemics and saved lives. As you consider this legislation, we ask that you ensure substance use disorder and mental health treatment benefits continue to be available to Americans enrolled in the individual, small and large group markets as well as Medicaid plans and that these benefits are compliant with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

Finally, throughout this process, we implore you to keep in mind how your decisions will affect the millions of Americans suffering from substance use disorders and mental illness who may lose their health care coverage entirely or see reductions in benefits that impede access to needed treatment.

Sincerely,

1. 10,000 beds
2. Acadia Healthcare
3. Adcare Educational Institute
4. Addiction Education Society
5. Addiction Haven
6. Addiction Resource Council
7. Addiction Services Council
8. Addiction Policy Forum
9. Addiction Treatment Center of New England
10. Addictions Connections Resource
11. Advocates for Recovery Colorado
12. Advocates, Inc.
13. Alabama Society of Addiction Medicine
14. Alano Club of Portland
15. Alcohol & Addictions Resource Center
16. Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina
17. Alternatives Unlimited, Inc.
18. Amesbury Psychological Center, Inc.
19. American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
20. American Correctional Association
21. American Federation of State, County and Municipal, Employees (AFSCME)
22. American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
23. American Art Therapy Association
24. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
25. American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD)
26. American Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
27. American Association on Health and Disability
28. American Dance Therapy Association
29. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
30. American Group Psychotherapy Association
31. American Medical Student Association
32. American Mental Health Counselors Association
33. American Nurses Association
34. American Psychiatric Association
35. American Psychological Association
36. American Society of Addiction Medicine
37. Amida Care
38. A New PATH
39. Anthony’s Act
40. Anxiety and Depression Association of America
41. Arc of South Norfolk, The
42. Arise & Flourish
43. Arizona’s Children Association
44. Arizona Council of Human Service Providers
45. Arizona Society of Addiction Medicine
46. Arkansas Society of Addiction Medicine
47. Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare
48. Association for Behavioral Healthcare of Massachusetts
49. Association for Community Human Service Agencies
50. Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
51. Association of Flight Attendants – CWA, AFL-CIO
52. Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA)
53. Association of Recovery Schools
54. Association of Recovery Community Organizations
55. Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
56. A Stepping Stone to Success
57. Atlantic Prevention Resources, Inc.
58. Avanti Wellness
59. Awakening Recovery
60. BAMSI
61. Bangor Area Recovery Network, Inc.
62. Bay Cove Human Services
63. Bay State Community Services, Inc.
64. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
65. Behavioral Health Network, Inc.
66. Better Life in Recovery
67. Bill Wilson Center
68. Boston Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programs, Inc.
69. Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
70. Boston Public Health Commission
71. BreakingTheCycles
72. Bridge of Central Massachusetts, Inc., The
73. Bridgewell
74. Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, The
75. Brookline Community Mental Health Center
76. Bullhook Community Health Center, Inc.
77. Burke Recovery
78. CADA of Northwest Louisiana
79. California Consortium of Addiction Programs & Professionals
80. California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
81. California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions
82. California Society of Addiction Medicine
83. Cambridge Health Alliance
84. Camelot Care Centers, Inc.
85. Cape Cod Healthcare Centers for Behavioral Health
86. Capital Area Project Vox
87. Casa Esperanza
88. Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families
89. Catholic Charities Family Counseling and Guidance Center
90. Catholic Family Center
91. Center for Human Development
92. Center for Open Recovery
93. Center for Recovery and Wellness Resources
94. Central City Concern
95. Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council
96. Chicago Recovering Communities Coalition (CRCC)
97. Child & Family Services, Inc.
98. Child and Family Services of New Hampshire
99. Children’s Friend, Inc.
100. Children’s Home Society of Washington
101. Children’s Law Center
102. Children’s Services of Roxbury
103. CleanSlate Centers
104. Clergy for a New Drug Policy
105. Clinical and Support Options, Inc.
106. Clinical Social Work Association
107. Coalition of Addiction Students and Professionals Pursuing Advocacy (CASPPA)
108. Colorado Society of Addiction Medicine
109. Community Catalyst
110. Communities for Recovery
111. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
112. Community Counseling of Bristol County, Inc.
113. Community-Minded Enterprises
114. Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS)
115. Community Services Institute
116. Community Solutions
117. Community Substance Abuse Centers
118. Comrades of Hope
119. Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR)
120. Connecticut Society of Addiction Medicine
121. Counselors Obediently Preventing Substance Abuse (COPS)
122. Cutchins Programs for Children and Families
123. DarJune Recovery Support Services & Café
124. Dash for Recovery
125. Davis Direction Foundation – The Zone
126. DC Fights Back
127. DC Recovery Community Alliance
128. Delphi Behavioral Health Group/MHD
129. Desert Eagle Addiction Recovery
130. Detroit Recovery Project, Inc.
131. Dimock Community Health Center
132. Disability Rights Pennsylvania
133. Doctors for Recovery
134. Dorchester Recovery Initiative
135. Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania (DASPOP)
136. Drug Policy Alliance
137. Drug Prevention Resources
138. East Bay Agency for Children
139. Easy Does It, Inc.
140. Eating Disorders Coalition
141. Edinburg Center, The
142. Eliot Community Human Services
143. El Paso Alliance
144. Engaged Recovery Community Services
145. Faces and Voices of Recovery
146. Facing Addiction
147. Family Advocates of Georgia, Inc
148. Family Focused Treatment Association
149. Family Service Association
150. Family Service of Greater Boston
151. FAVOR Greenville
152. FAVOR Low Country
153. FAVOR Mississippi Recovery Advocacy Project
154. FAVOR Pee Dee
155. FAVOR Tri-County
156. FED UP! Coalition
157. Fellowship Foundation Recovery Community Organization
158. Fenway Health
159. FHR
160. Florida Society of Addiction Medicine
161. Floridians for Recovery
162. Foundation for Recovery
163. Friends of Recovery – New York
164. FSA – Family Service Agency
165. Futures of Palm Beach
166. G III Associates
167. GAAMHA
168. Gandara Center
169. Georgia Council on Substance Abuse
170. Georgia Society of Addiction Medicine
171. Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice
172. Gosnold on Cape Cod
173. Gould Farm
174. Granite Pathways
175. Greater Macomb Project Vox
176. Greater Philadelphia Association for Recovery Education
177. Great South Bay Coalition
178. Greater Cincinnati Recovery Resource Collaborative (GCRRC)
179. Griffin Recovery Enterprises
180. Harm Reduction Coalition
181. Health Management Group, LTD
182. High Point Treatment Center
183. Hillview Mental Health Center, Inc.
184. HIV Medicine Association
185. Home for Little Wanderers, The
186. Hope2Gather Foundation
187. HOPE for New Hampshire Recovery
188. Hope House Addiction Services
189. Horizon Health Services
190. IC&RC
191. Indivisible St. Louis
192. Illinois Association for Behavioral Health
193. Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF)
194. Indiana Society of Addiction Medicine
195. International Nurses Society on Addictions
196. Institute for Health and Recovery
197. Iowa Association of Community Providers
198. Iowa Behavioral Health Association
199. Italian Home for Children, Inc.
200. Jackson Area Recovery Community
201. Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JF&CS)
202. Joint Coalition on Health
203. Jordan’s Hope for Recovery
204. Judge Baker Children’s Center
205. Juneau Recovery Community
206. Justice Resource Institute (JRI)
207. Ka Hale Pomaika’i
208. Kentucky Society of Addiction Medicine
209. KEY Program, Inc., The
210. Kyes 2 a 2nd Chance
211. Lahey Health Behavioral Services
212. Lakeshore Foundation
213. Latah Recovery Center
214. Legal Action Center
215. Lifehouse Recovery Connection
216. Lifeline Connections
217. Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
218. Long Island Recovery Association (LIRA)
219. Lost Dreams Awaken Center, Inc.
220. Lotus Peer Recovery/SoberKerrville
221. Lowell Community Health Center, Inc.
222. Lowell House, Inc.
223. LUK, Inc.
224. Madison County Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse
225. Magnolia Addiction Support
226. Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery
227. Mariah’s Mission Fund of the Mid-Shor Community Foundation
228. Mark Garwood SHARE Foundation
229. Martha’s Vineyard Community Services
230. Maryland-DC Society of Addiction Medicine
231. Maryland House Detox
232. Maryland Recovery Organization Connecting Communities (M-ROCC)
233. Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR)
234. Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine
235. Maxed Out Drug Prevention
236. McShin Foundation
237. Mental Health Association
238. Message Carriers of Pennsylvania, Inc.
239. Messengers of Recovery Awareness
240. MHA of Greater Lowell
241. Michigan’s Children
242. Michigan Recovery Voices
243. Michigan Society of Addiction Medicine
244. Middlesex Human Service Agency, Inc
245. Mid-Michigan Recovery Services, Inc.
246. Midwest Society of Addiction Medicine
247. Mi-HOPE – Michigan Heroin & Opiate Prevention and Education
248. Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs (MACMHP)
249. Minnesota Recovery Connection
250. Minnesota Society of Addiction Medicine
251. Missouri Recovery Network
252. MOBER
253. Mountain View Prevention Services, Inc.
254. NAADAC – the Association for Addiction Professionals
255. National Alliance for Medication-Assisted Recovery (NAMA)
256. National Alliance on Mental Illness
257. National Alliance on Mental Illness – San Mateo County
258. National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health
259. National Alliance to End Homelessness
260. National Association for Rural Mental Health
261. National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
262. National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
263. National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
264. National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)
265. National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health
266. National Association for Rural Mental Health
267. National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors
268. National Association of County & City Health Officials
269. National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
270. National Council for Behavioral Health
271. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
272. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
273. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of E. San Gabriel & Pomona Valleys
274. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence–Greater Phoenix
275. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Maryland
276. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – San Diego
277. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the San Fernando Valley
278. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse-St. Louis Area
279. National Disability Rights Network
280. National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
281. National Health Care for the Homeless Council
282. National League for Nursing
283. National Safety Council
284. National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
285. Navigate Recovery Gwinnett
286. Nevada Society of Addiction Medicine
287. New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc.
288. New Jersey Society of Addiction Medicine
289. New Life Counseling & Wellness Center, Inc.
290. New Mexico Society of Addiction Medicine
291. New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
292. New York Society of Addiction Medicine
293. New York State Council for Behavioral Health
294. NFI Massachusetts, Inc.
295. NMSAS Recovery Center
296. No Health without Mental Health
297. North Charles, Inc.
298. North Cottage Program, Inc.
299. Northeast Center for Youth and Families, The
300. Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine
301. Northern Ohio Recovery Association (NORA)
302. Northwest Indian Treatment Center
303. North Suffolk Mental Health Association, Inc.
304. Northern Rivers Family Services
305. North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine (NCSAM)
306. O’Brien House
307. Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine (OHSAM)
308. Oklahoma Citizen Advocates for Recovery & Treatment Association (OCARTA)
309. Old Colony YMCA
310. Open Doorway of Cape Cod
311. Oregon Recovery High School
312. Oregon Society of Addiction Medicine
313. Overcoming Addiction Radio
314. Parity Implementation Coalition
315. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
316. Partners in Prevention/National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Hudson County, Inc.
317. P.E.E.R Wellness Center, Inc.
318. PEER360 Recovery Alliance
319. Pennsylvania Recovery Organization – Achieving Community Together – (PRO-ACT)
320. Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance (PRO-A)
321. Pennsylvania Society of Addiction Medicine
322. People Advocating Recovery – PAR
323. Phoenix Houses of New England
324. Phoenix Multisport Boston
325. Pine Street Inn
326. Pivot, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County, Inc.
327. PLR Athens
328. Pretrial Justice Institute
329. Prevention Network OCAA
330. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association
331. Putnam Family & Community Services, Inc.
332. RASE Project
333. REAL- Michigan (Recovery, Education, Advocacy & Leadership)
334. Recover Project/Western MA Training
335. Recovery Allies Of West Michigan
336. RecoveryATX
337. Recovery Café Seattle
338. Recovery Community Foundation of Forsyth
339. Recovery Communities of North Carolina
340. Recovery Community Of Durham
341. Recovery Consultants of Atlanta
342. Recovery Data Solutions
343. Recovery – Friendly Taos County
344. Recovery Idaho, Inc.
345. Recovery is Happening
346. RecoveryNC (Governors Institute on Substance Abuse)
347. Recovery Point at HER Place
348. Recovery Point of Bluefield
349. Recovery Point of Charleston
350. Recovery Point of Huntington
351. Recovery Point of Parkersburg
352. Recovery Point of West Virginia
353. Recover Wyoming
354. reGROUP
355. Rhode Island Communities for Addiction Recovery Efforts (RICAREs)
356. Riverside Community Care
357. Robby’s Voice
358. ROCovery Fitness
359. Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence, Inc.
360. Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center
361. Sandy Hook Promise
362. Serenity Sistas
363. ServiceNet
364. Shatterproof
365. SMART Recovery
366. S.O.A.R™ Yoga (Success Over Addiction and Relapse)
367. Solano Recovery Project
368. Solutions Recovery, Inc.
369. Sonoran Prevention Works
370. South Arkansas Regional Health Center, Inc
371. Sound Community Services, Inc.
372. South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. (SMOC)
373. South Bay Community Services
374. South Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine
375. South Central Human Relations Center
376. South End Community Health Center
377. South Shore Mental Health
378. Southwest Washington Recovery Coalition
379. Spectrum Health Systems, Inc.
380. SpiritWorks Foundation
381. Springfield Recovery Community Center
382. Springs Recovery Connection
383. SSTAR
384. STEP Industries
385. Steppingstone, Incorporated
386. Steve Rummler Hope Network
387. Student Assistance Services Corp
388. Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of Rhode Island
389. Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc.
390. Tennessee Society of Addiction Medicine
391. Texas Society of Addiction Medicine
392. The Addict’s Parents United (TAP United)
393. The Alliance
394. The Ammon Foundation
395. The Bridge Foundation
396. The Bridge Way School
397. The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice
398. The Chris Atwood Foundation
399. The Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
400. The Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse for Greater New Orleans
401. The DOOR – DeKalb Open Opportunity for Recovery
402. The Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice
403. The Kennedy Forum
404. The Ohana Center
405. The Peggie & Paul Shevlin Family Foundation
406. The Recovery Channel
407. The Rest of Your Life
408. The Trevor Project
409. The Village Family Services
410. The Village Project, Inc.
411. There Is No Hero In Heroin Foundation
412. Tia Hart Recovery Community Program
413. T.O.R.C.H Inc.
414. Toward Independent Living and Learning, TILL, Inc.
415. Treatment Communities of America
416. Trilogy Recovery Community
417. True Recovery, LLC
418. Turning Point Center of Central Vermont
419. Two Guys and a Girl
420. UMass Memorial Community Healthlink, Inc.
421. United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
422. Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA)
423. Valley Hope
424. Veterans Inc.
425. Vermont Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services
426. Vermont Recovery Network
427. Victory Programs, Inc.
428. Vinfen
429. Virginia Association of Recovery Residences
430. Voice for Adoption
431. Voices of Hope for Cecil County
432. Voices of Recovery San Mateo County
433. Volunteers of America of Massachusetts, Inc.
434. WAI-IAM, Inc. and RISE Recovery Community
435. Walker, Inc.
436. Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project (WRAP)
437. Washington Federation of State Employees
438. Washington Recovery Alliance
439. Washington Society of Addiction Medicine
440. Watershed Treatment Programs
441. Wayside Youth & Family Support Network
442. WEConnect
443. Wellspring Recovery Services
444. West Virginia Society of Addiction Medicine
445. WholeLife Recovery Community/ Arizona Recovery Coalition
446. Wisconsin Recovery Community Organization (WIRCO)
447. Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine
448. Wisconsin Voices for Recovery
449. Wyoming County CARES
450. Yoga of Recovery
451. Young Invincibles
452. Young People in Recovery
453. Young People in Recovery – Los Angeles
454. Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc.
455. Youth Villages


Repealing DACA is Dangerous, Harmful, and Cruel

The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization focused on LGBTQ young people, today issued this statement from CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley in response to the Trump Administration’s plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“The Trump Administration’s plan to repeal DACA is dangerous, harmful, and cruel. Of the 800,000 young people being put at risk, more than 75,000 identify as LGBTQ. Administrative decisions like this increase racism, hate and fear, and do nothing to promote our core American value of equal opportunity. The Trevor Project calls on all fair-minded members of Congress to defend DACA, and create legislation that protects DREAMers while instituting a fair and humane immigration process. The Trevor Project stands in solidarity with all DREAMers and their families, and reminds our LGBTQ young people who are feeling distressed and in need of someone to talk to that The Trevor Project is here for you 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, in addition to chat and text services available at www.thetrevorproject.org/help.”

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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: Sheri A. Lunn, Trevor Project Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Engagement


Trevor Project: Heroic Trans Troops Should Be Celebrated, Not Threatened With Discrimination

Trevor Project: Heroic Trans Troops Should Be Celebrated, Not Threatened With Discrimination

The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth today released this statement from Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director:

“President Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the military is wrong and un-American. Our heroic transgender troops should be celebrated and thanked for their patriotic service, not threatened with discrimination. We receive calls every day from LGBTQ youth expressing pain and anguish, often over dangerous policies like this one.”

“Regardless of what any politician in Washington says, The Trevor Project wants all transgender young people across the country to know that they are beautiful, that they are worthy, and that they are not alone. If the actions of this administration are making them feel alone, scared, or feel like they need someone to talk to, they can reach out to The Trevor Project 24/7.”

The Trevor Project previously reported a dramatic spike in calls, text messages and online chats overall, and most specifically from transgender youth following President Trump’s tweet regarding transgender military service members and the announcement of the “bathroom bill” in the Texas legislature.

Of the approximately 178 contacts per day (on average) received by The Trevor Project, 7.3 percent typically self-identify as transgender. However, within 24 hours after President Trump’s tweet regarding transgender military service members, contacts from transgender individuals spiked to 17.5 percent of all contacts.

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and 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. TrevorChat is our online instant messaging service available 7 days a week between 3pm – 10pm ET/12pm – 7pm PT at www.thetrevorproject.org/help. TrevorText is also available Monday-Friday between 3pm – 10pm EST/12pm – 7pm PT. Just text “TREVOR” to 1-202-304-1200 to speak with one of our counselors. www.TheTrevorProject.org


Victory! “Bathroom bills” threatening trans youth defeated in Texas

A message from Amit Paley, Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director:

Friends,

Tonight we got some good news from Texas.

The state legislature for the past few weeks has been debating so-called “bathroom bills” that would prevent trans students and adults from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. This evening the legislature adjourned its special session without passing these dangerous and discriminatory laws.

All of us at The Trevor Project know how dangerous these bills are because we heard it directly from trans youth in Texas. After the introduction of this disgraceful legislation, our counselors saw a huge spike in contacts from LGBTQ youth to our crisis services. The number of transgender youth reaching out to us actually doubled. The stories we heard were heart-breaking.

So we joined with our partners in Texas and across the country to stand up for trans youth in Texas. We released the devastating statistics to our allies in Texas and across the country—which were cited by legislators, parents of trans kids and in national outlets like Rolling Stone as well as local media across the state. Our Trevor Advocacy Network generated calls and letters of opposition to elected officials in Texas.

Most importantly, we sent a clear message to trans youth in Texas: That they are beautiful. That they are worthy of respect. That they are never alone. And that The Trevor Project is always here to support them, 24/7.

Will you join us in standing up for trans youth in Texas and across the country? Your gift of $1 helps provide an additional minute of support for LGBTQ youth in crisis.

This fight is far from over. Anti-trans legislators may try again to hurt LGBTQ youth. But no matter what politicians in DC or Austin do, Trevor will always be here to provide support for LGBTQ young people.

Amit Paley
CEO & Executive Director
The Trevor Project


Trevor Responds To Trump Banning Trans Service Members

The Trevor Project, the nation’s largest and only accredited suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, responds to President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. The following statement is from Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley.

“President Trump’s actions to ban transgender people from serving in the military is wrong and unpatriotic. Transgender people, including many trans youth, are already heroically serving their country in our military with bravery and distinction. Policies that deny individuals basic equality, dignity, and the right to earn a living in their chosen career have no place in this country. This action harms the mental health of an entire community that is already disproportionately a target of discrimination and hate and at elevated risk of suicidal ideation. The Trevor Project stands proudly with our heroic transgender service members and urges the Trump Administration to ensure that all Americans—regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation—can serve their country openly and free of discrimination.

“The Trevor Project is here 24/7/365 for transgender service members, and anyone else in the community who needs someone to talk to. 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, and 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


Trevor Opposes ACL’s Efforts to Remove Transgender Older Adults from the National Survey

RE: Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection (ICR Rev); National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP)

Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL

The Trevor Project is writing to oppose the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) continued efforts to remove transgender older adults from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP). In the wake of overwhelming public opposition to ACL’s March 13, 2017 proposal to entirely erase lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults from the NSOAAP, we commend ACL on its decision to keep the sexual orientation question on the survey. With no rationale or justification, however, ACL continues to propose eliminating the question on gender identity from the survey. The needs and experiences of all transgender individuals, from young people to our elders must be counted. We write to strongly advocate for ACL to add back in the question on gender identity to this survey.

The more we know, the more we can do to make sure that transgender older adults receive the services they deserve. The NSOAAP survey provides critical data on whether federally funded aging programs like meals on wheels, family caregiver support, adult daycare, and senior centers reach all older adults, including transgender older adults. While ACL’s notice in the Federal Register provides no articulation of, information about, or explanation of ACL’s effort to erase transgender older adults from the NSOAAP, what we do know is that ACL will no longer have data on how the aging network is meeting the needs of this population.

The Trevor Project is the leading national nonprofit organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) people. We work to save LGBTQ lives through our accredited free and confidential lifeline; our secure instant messaging services which provide live help and intervention; our social networking community for LGBTQ youth; and our in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources, and advocacy. A San Francisco study has shown that 15% of the LGBTQ elders surveyed had seriously considered suicide within the last year. The study also found that LGBTQ elders had poor physical and mental health.[1] Including gender identity would provide pivotal data that would help guide policies to best serve LGBTQ mental health. The Trevor Project is committed to providing the best crisis intervention services to all LGBTQ people who call us and to meet that goal data collection on the transgender population in federal surveys must continue.

Data, research, and the experience of our colleague organization SAGE (Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders), its affiliates, and its partners across the country confirm that transgender older adults face a number of barriers to successful aging. While data on transgender older adults is limited, which further makes the case for ACL to continue collecting this information, the data that does exist shows that transgender older adults face higher rates of social isolation and have thinner support networks than their non-transgender peers. The existing research also shows that transgender elders age without a network of welcoming or culturally competent aging, health, and social service providers.

According to Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults, 25% of transgender older adults report having faced discrimination based on their gender identity, transgender older adults face much higher rates of psychological distress than their non-transgender peers, and nearly 50% live at 200% of the federal poverty line or lower.[2] These challenges are compounded by concerns related to caregiving and by limited access to healthcare. Almost one third of transgender people don’t know who will care for them and approximately two thirds fear their access to healthcare will be limited as they get older.[3] As a result, more than half fear they might be denied medical care as they age.[4] Many transgender elders fear health professionals discovering their transgender status—particularly those whose presentation does not conform with their anatomy.[5] These concerns are often reflected in long-term care settings. In a survey on LGBT older adults living in long-term care facilities, more than 10% of respondents said that they, a client, or loved-one had witnessed staff refusing to call transgender residents by their preferred name or pronoun.[6]

A 2001 U.S. Administration on Aging study found that LGBT older adults are 20% less likely than other older adults to have access to government services such as housing assistance, meal programs, food stamps, and senior centers.[7] In other words, despite their greater need for service providers due to their truncated support networks, transgender older adults lack access to culturally competent care and services. Nonetheless, most State Units on Aging are making no systematic efforts to assess and address the needs of this population.[8] The very age of the 16 year-old ACL study we cite further demonstrates the necessity for ACL to collect updated data on whether the aging network is meeting the needs of this population.

Rather than abandoning the efforts that have been made during the last three years, ACL can increase the quality and utility of the data it collects about transgender older adults by learning from the experience of other federal and state agencies that have successfully implemented procedures to collect gender identity information. To that end, we believe the 2014-2016 NSOAAP’s gender identity question (found under DE1a1. “What do you mean by something else?”) can and should be made significantly shorter and, at the same time, more effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (“BRFSS”), which is the largest ongoing health survey system in the world, and its state partners, provide a number of examples of how ACL can successfully identify transgender individuals.[9] The Gender Identity in U.S. Surveillance (GenIUSS) Group provides another, particularly effective, and well-vetted two-step approach to collecting information about gender identity.[10] In short, we encourage ACL to update its approach, rather than abandoning this question, and adopt one of these more effective and efficient means of counting transgender elders.

ACL must continue collecting data on whether the aging network is reaching transgender older adults in order to ensure maximum inclusion of transgender older adults in programs funded under the Older Americans Act (OAA). From State Units on Aging to Area Agencies on Aging, the aging network has asked ACL for more and better data on transgender older adults in the communities it serves.[11] We need more of this data on the experiences and needs of transgender elders in our country—not less of it.

We therefore urge ACL to retain both sexual orientation and gender identity questions in the NSOAAP. Asking a demographic question about gender identity will increase the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected. We further believe that by continuing to collect this data, and learning more about this population, ACL and the aging network will help more members of our older transgender community to live independently, minimize the burden on the aging network, and ultimately save taxpayer resources by reaching those who are most vulnerable.

Sincerely,

Amit Paley

CEO & Executive Director


[1] Adelman, M., Alcedo, M et al. (2014).LGBT Aging at the Golden Gate: San Francisco Policy Issues & Recommendations(pp. 42-43) (United States, City and County of San Francisco, Human Rights Commission). San Francisco, CA: City and County of San Francisco.

[2] Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults. 2017. The Movement Advancement Project and SAGE. http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/understanding-issues-facing-lgbt-older-adults.pdf

[3] Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults. 2017. The Movement Advancement Project and SAGE. http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/understanding-issues-facing-lgbt-older-adults.pdf

[4] Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults. 2017. The Movement Advancement Project and SAGE. http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/understanding-issues-facing-lgbt-older-adults.pdf

[5] Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults, Recommendations for Policy and Practice. 2012. SAGE and NCTE. http://www.sageusa.org/resources/publications.cfm?ID=13

[6] Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults, Recommendations for Policy and Practice. 2012. SAGE and NCTE. Available at http://www.sageusa.org/resources/publications.cfm?ID=13

[7] Improving the Lives of LGBT Older Adults. 2010. LGBT Movement Advancement Project & Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (MAP & SAGE). Available at http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/improving-the-lives-of-lgbt-older-adults.pdf

[8] A SAGE report found that: State Plans filed by 29 States make no reference whatsoever to LGBT older adults; an additional 12 State Plans have isolated references to LGBT older adults, but do not address specific actions being taken to reach and target this population; and only nine States, and the District of Columbia, specifically address efforts to reach out and target LGBT older adults.

[9] The 2013 Massachusetts SOGI module for the BRFSS includes the following question: Some people describe themselves as transgender when they experience a different gender identity from their sex at birth. For example, a person born into a male body, but who feels female or lives as a woman. Do you consider yourself to be transgender? Yes, transgender, male to female; Yes, transgender, female to male; Yes, transgender, gender non-conforming; or No. See Williams Inst., Best Practices for Asking Questions to Identify Transgender and Other Gender Minorities on Population-based Surveys. Available at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/geniuss-report-sep-2014.pdf

[10] Survey administrators ask people their sex assigned at birth followed by their current gender identity. See Williams Inst., Best Practices for Asking Questions to Identify Transgender and Other Gender Minorities on Population-based Surveys. Available at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/geniuss-report-sep-2014.pdf

[11] Choi SK, Meyer IH: LGBT Aging: A Review of Research Findings, Needs, and Policy Implications. 2016. Los Angeles, CA: The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. Available at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/LGBT-Aging-A-Review.pdf


Trevor Submits Testimony Against SB91 in Texas

The Honorable Chairwoman Joan Huffman
Senate Committee on State Affairs
1200 Congress Ave.
SHB 380
Austin, TX 78701

 

Dear Chairwoman Huffman:

The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth (LGBTQ) writes to strongly urge you to vote against SB91. Many organizations are weighing in on the civil rights implications of this bill, but it is also critically important that you consider the devastating public health impact this bill will have on the transgender youth of Texas, who are your constituents.

The Trevor Project (Trevor) serves youth under 25 and works to save young lives through our accredited free and confidential lifeline; our secure instant messaging services which provide live help and intervention; our social networking community for LGBTQ youth; and our in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources, and advocacy. Unfortunately, there is a great need for an organization such as Trevor.  Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are almost four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.[i]While this alone is shocking, it pales in comparison to the statistics regarding transgender youth. In a recent national survey, 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt. 92% of these individuals reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25.[ii]

There are many factors that contribute to the high suicide rate for transgender youth: lack of understanding and awareness from others, the rejection of family and friends, bullying, mental health challenges, and discrimination and stigmatization on the individual and societal levels. If SB91 becomes law, this ostracizing policy will become one more brick on the backs of transgender youth who are already on the verge of collapsing from too much weight. The message this bill sends to transgender youth is simple yet cruel: they do not deserve basic human dignity and respect.

Not being allowed to use the restroom or locker room consistent with one’s gender identity can cause significant psychological and social distress. Research has shown a high correlation between denying transgender young people the right to use the appropriate bathroom and suicidality.[iii] When youth are forced to use the incorrect restroom, they place themselves in danger of harassment from peers. Youth may take steps such as attempting to refrain from using the bathroom all day, leaving school to use an appropriate restroom, or skipping school entirely to avoid these harmful encounters, severely impacting their education and health.

In addition, requesting a so-called “reasonable” accommodation, such as using a single stall teacher’s restroom, requires youth to disclose their identity to administrators and their peers, putting them at further risk of bullying and violence, including homicide. Every year in the United States, transgender individuals are killed simply because of who they are. This year alone, fifteen transgender individuals have been murdered in the United States simply for being transgender.[iv]

Many cities and states have laws explicitly allowing transgender individuals to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity.[v]  Since the passage of those laws there hasn’t been a single case of a person posing as a transgender individual to gain access to a restroom for the purpose of carrying out a sexual assault.[vi] Therefore, the premise that this bill will “protect” children and an individual’s right to privacy is completely false, and in fact may increase the risk of violence for transgender youth. Research has found that transgender individuals are significantly more likely to be victims of verbal and physical assault in public gender-segregated settings, including restrooms, than their cisgender peers.[vii]

 

Furthermore, this legislation would inflict significant suffering on transgender youth in Texas by subjecting them to these anxieties and threats of violence. In 2017, Trevor has had over 2,000 calls, chats and texts from youth in Texas, including many transgender youth in mental health crises or youth who were struggling with suicidal ideation. In June alone we received 380 contacts, a significant increase in the contact volume, possibly as a result of the increased discussion of this so-called “bathroom bill” legislation in the state. Generally, we see a positive correlation between media coverage of bills that stigmatize or shame LGBT youth and an uptick in crisis contacts at Trevor. It would be shameful to add to the existing systems of oppression and institutional transphobia by passing a public policy that actively discriminates and ostracizes transgender individuals.

In order to ameliorate this public health issue, we strongly urge you to vote against SB91. Should you have any questions or comments please contact Amy Loudermilk, Associate Director of Government Affairs at [email protected] or 202-391-0834.

 

Sincerely,

Amit Paley
CEO & Executive Director

Media Contact: Sheri Lunn, Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Engagement


[i] Kann, L., O’Malley Olsen, E., McManus, T., Kinchecn, S., Chyen, D., Harris, W. A., Wechsler, H. (2011).  Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contracts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students Grades 9-12 – Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Selected Sites, United States, 2001-2009, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 60(SS07), 1-133.

[ii] James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality

[iii] Seelman, Kristie L. (2016). Transgender Adults’ Access to College Bathrooms and Housing and Relationship to Suicidality. Journal of Homosexuality. 63(10), pp. 1378-1399. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/citedby/10.1080/00918369.2016.1157998?scroll=top&needAccess=true

[iv]Violence Against the Transgender Community. Human Rights Campaign. http://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2017

[v] American Civil Liberties Association. Know Your Rights: Transgender People and the Law.  Accessed at: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/transgender-people-and-law

[vi] Brinker, Luke and Maza, Carlos.  (2014, March 20). 15 Experts Debunk Right-Wing Transgender Bathroom Myth. Media Matters. Accessed at: http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/03/20/15-experts-debunk-right-wing-transgender-bathro/198533

[vii] Herman, Jody L. (2013). Gendered Restrooms and Minority Stress: The Public Regulation of Gender and its Impact on Transgender People’s Lives. Journal of Public Management and Social Policy. Accessed at: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Herman-Gendered-Restrooms-and-Minority-Stress-June-2013.pdf