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Arkansas Governor Signs Anti-Trans Sports Ban, the Second to Become Law This Year

Evidence shows that anti-transgender discrimination contributes to suicide risk.

WASHINGTON, DC — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, denounced Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s signing of SB 354, a bill that will now ban transgender women and girls in Mississippi from playing on school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.

“To the transgender and nonbinary youth of Arkansas — please know that you deserve love and support and that we will never stop fighting for you. The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 if you ever need to talk about what’s been going on in the world, said Sam Brinton, VP of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “The slate of hateful bills we’ve seen introduced in Arkansas this year is appalling. Lawmakers should be focusing on real problems like economic hardship and the deadly pandemic, not making life harder than it already is to be transgender in America. Discrimination on the basis of gender identity is illegal.”

Over the last year, The Trevor Project has supported over 850 crisis contacts in Arkansas. As troubling as that is, that’s less than 6% of the number of Arkansas’ LGBTQ youth who we estimate to be in crisis and could benefit from our services.

According to The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, more than half (52%) of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, compared to 40% of all LGBTQ youth respondents. And a peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project found that transgender and nonbinary youth who report experiencing discrimination based on their gender identity had more than double the odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not experience gender identity-based discrimination.

However, research also shows that transgender and nonbinary youth who reported having at least one gender-affirming space had 25% reduced odds of attempting suicide in the past year — the strongest association being with gender-affirming schools.

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, contact The Trevor Project's TrevorLifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. Counseling is also available 24/7 via chat every day at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention 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 TrevorLifelineTrevorText, 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. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.