Last month Republicans in North Carolina joined a nationwide conservative push to file legislation targeting transgender youth. GOP lawmakers in the state House and Senate filed bills to bar transgender women from competing against other women at schools and universities, target transgender health care, force teachers and counselors to report children who exhibit “gender nonconformity,” and legally protect scientifically debunked “conversion therapy” that seeks to “cure” LGBTQ people.
“This year’s state legislative sessions mark the highest number of anti-transgender bills in history,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, last week.
This week, we take a by-the-numbers look at the challenges faced by transgender and gender-nonconforming youth and the consequences of targeting and alienating them.
13 – the number of violent killings of transgender and gender non-conforming people tracked so far this year by the Human Rights Campaign
44 – the number tracked by the HRC in 2020 – this was the largest number recorded since the group began tracking in 2013.
“Trans youth are well aware of the frequency of assaults and murders of transgender people,” said Dr. Stacey Karpen Dohn, Senior Manager of Behavioral Health at Whitman-Walker Health and a psychotherapist who specializes in working with transgender teens and their families.”
“They are well aware that their gender identity may make them a target of hatred and violence,” Dohn said. “Facing this reality, how do young people thrive despite having the knowledge that who they are puts them at risk? They thrive when they feel safe and supported. School sports should be a space where trans youth feel protected and welcomed.”
10 – the number of years since the National Collegiate Athletic Association adopted a policy allowing for the inclusion of transgender athletes
“Trans girls have been competing for a long time without incident,” said Aliya Schenck, a University of Washington track and field athlete who helped organize NCAA athletes across the country to write a letter asking the organization to take a stronger stand on bills that would exclude trans players.
“The NCAA needs to take action and withdraw all athletic competition from states considering anti-transgender sports bills,” Schenck said in a press event last week.
700 – the number of NCAA athletes who have now signed a letter asking that the organization uphold its existing anti-discrimination policy and only conduct championships and other events in states where they can ensure an inclusive atmosphere
“It’s impossible for women athletes to feel safe and supported in an environment where their personal identity and integrity is questioned,” said Alana Boja, a teammate of Schenck’s at the University of Washington who also helped organize students to sign the letter.
“The reality is many of these bills cannot possibly be enforced without inviting policing and bullying of all student athletes who do not meet stereotypes of gender,” Boja said. “And could empower any person to force any student athlete to undergo invasive physical exams or hormone tests in order to ‘prove their gender,’ whatever that means.”
52 – percentage of transgender and nonbinary youth who reported considering suicide in the 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, organized by the Trevor Project.
“We can expect that transgender youth who are separated or barred from competitions that align with their gender identity would face increasing rates of suicidality; anxiety and depression; and decreased quality of life,” said Britt Walsh, social worker and director of Gender Affirming Care at Whitman-Walker Health.
“We could expect that trans youth might report an increase in social isolation or feelings of exclusion, and a lack of belonging,” Walsh told Policy Watch last week. “They may face greater bullying, stigma, or discrimination if [laws excluding transgender youth from sports and legally protecting so-called “conversion therapy”] go into effect – as it gives credibility to bogus ideas that trans people don’t belong.”
41 – percentage of transgender and nonbinary youth who reported attempting suicide
28 – percentage of transgender or nonbinary youth who attempted suicide who reported they had been subjected to so-called “conversion therapy.”
78 – percentage of transgender or nonbinary youth who reported that they were under the age of 18 when they were subjected to “conversion therapy”
40 – percentage of transgender or nonbinary youth who reported being physically threatened or harmed due to their gender identity
50 – percentage of transgender or nonbinary youth who reported being kicked out of their homes