Harmful bills, political attacks are taking a toll on LGBTQ youth's mental health

6 mins read


People rally at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 6, 2021, against a bill that would ban transgender students from playing on school sports teams that align with their gender identities.

Last week, the governor of South Dakota signed the first anti-transgender bill of 2022 into law, banning trans women and girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity. While it was expected, the news is nonetheless heartbreaking, as it foreshadows an incredibly tough year ahead for LGBTQ youth.

We’re less than six weeks into 2022 and already tracking more than 150 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced across the country. Most of these bills specifically target transgender and nonbinary youth’s ability to play sports, receive gender-affirming medical care, and use bathrooms that align with their gender identity. Some legislation, like the  “Don’t Say Gay Bill” being heard in Florida, would go as far as banning any discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom, and require teachers to out students to their parents if they disclose to someone at school that they identify as LGBTQ.


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