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Overnight, legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy in 2018 was filed in Maryland. Conversion therapists falsely claim be able to change LGBTQ youth into straight and cisgender youth. Prominent professional health associations—including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among numerous others—oppose the use of conversion therapy on youth, calling the practice harmful and ineffective. Maryland is on track to be the 10th state to pass legislation limiting the practice though another 40 states still allow this terrible crisis to continue.
As the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project applauds the actions of Delegate Bonnie Cullison and her colleagues in the filing of bill HB 902.
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. “With my amazing fiance working in the great State of Maryland, this one is personal. I truly hope we can protect the hundreds of LGBTQ youth at risk from the harms of conversion therapy in Maryland.” said Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project.
“The biggest gap in LGBTQ protections in our state are focused on youth. They are some of the most vulnerable part of our community and this is one important way to address that disparity” said Mark Procopio, Executive Director of Free State Justice. “An LGBTQ youth raised anywhere in the State of Maryland should be respected for who they are.”
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 TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, 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 866.488.7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org
Calvin Stowell, Chief Growth Officer