LGBTQ youths play team sports far less than the general population, with some citing fears of bullying or discrimination as the reason.
The finding, reported in a briefing issued this week by the Trevor Project, is troubling for advocates who fear those youths are losing out on sports’ benefits – and it comes as efforts rise to stifle participation by some in the community. Lawmakers in more than 20 U.S. states have introduced bills that would ban transgender athletes from high school and college sports, or require students to play only against those assigned the same gender at birth.
“It is a cruel irony that state lawmakers continue to push legislation that would ban transgender and nonbinary youth from participating in sports, while so many youths already choose not to participate out of fear of discrimination and bullying,” said Carrie Davis, chief community officer for the Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth.
Around the country, lawmakers pushing bans on transgender athletes have warned of scenarios in which physically dominant athletes suddenly inundate girls’ sports. An investigation by USA TODAY revealed such speculation to be based on overstated or outright false anecdotal information.
‘The locker room was always a nightmare’
The Trevor Project’s newly released briefing highlights information gleaned from the organization’s annual survey on LGBTQ youth mental health. The nationwide study, conducted in late 2020,…