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The Trevor Project Condemns the Passage of Anti-Transgender Sports Ban By South Dakota House

Research shows that discrimination based on gender identity contributes to suicide risk.

The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, condemned the South Dakota House of Representatives for passing House Bill 1217, which would restrict transgender women and girls from playing on school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. The South Dakota High School Activities Association, which governs high school sports and other activities in the state of South Dakota, opposes the legislation.

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.

“This unfair and unnecessary policy would be incredibly harmful to the mental health and well-being of transgender and nonbinary youth in South Dakota, who deserve access to the same opportunities and character-building activities as their peers,” said Sam Brinton, VP of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “The Trevor Project urges the South Dakota Senate to reject this bill and to focus instead on expanding access to affirming spaces and support systems for trans youth, which we know work to save young lives from suicide.”

A recent national survey conducted by The Trevor Project between October and December of 2020 found that over 90% of LGBTQ youth said that recent politics negatively influenced their well-being. 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. However, trans and nonbinary youth who reported having pronouns respected by all or most people in their lives attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected. And more than a quarter of transgender and nonbinary youth (27%) who participated in sports reported their grades as being mostly A’s compared to 19% who did not participate in sports.

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.