Yesterday, members of the Michigan Senate introduced a new bill that will discriminate against transgender students. This harmful bill will only increase the stigma that transgender young people already experience. At Ozone House, we know that young people thrive when they experience safety, love, and are celebrated for who they are. Perceived rejection is a strong predictor of negative health outcomes for LGBTQ+ youth.
From Equality Michigan, “We decided long ago that discrimination is wrong and that everyone should have the same opportunities to succeed in life – and that should include trans youth. Kids learn a lot of life lessons in sports: leadership, confidence, self-respect, and what it means to be part of a team. Senate Bill 218 represents a misguided and mean-spirited attack on some of the most vulnerable youth in our state.
Like cisgender student athletes, trans students vary in terms of athletic ability and it is a mistruth that they have a competitive advantage over cisgender students in school sports. In fact, there is not a single example of a cisgender student facing harm by the participation of transgender students in school sports in accordance to their gender identity.
What this is really about is whether LGBTQ people should be treated fairly across all areas of life – or whether they can be unfairly discriminated against just because of who they are.”
Research from the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco Sate University shows that, “…gay and transgender youth who were rejected by their families because of their identity had much lower self-esteem. They had fewer people they could turn to for help. And they were more isolated than youth who were accepted by their families.
Gay and transgender teens who were highly rejected by their parents and caregivers were at very high risk for health and mental health problems when they become young adults (ages 21-25).”
Highly rejected young people were:
- More than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide
- Nearly 6 times as likely to report high levels of depression
- More than 3 times as likely to use illegal drugs, and
- More than 3 times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases compared with gay and transgender young adults who were not at all or only rejected a little by their parents and caregivers – because of their gay or transgender identity.
Ozone House is here to protect trans youth.
We are calling on our elected officials to create policies that protect transgender students instead of discriminating against them.