(Beaverton, OR) – The past month has witnessed an increase in legislation across the country focused on infringing on the rights of individuals who identify as trans* or nonbinary. The past few weeks have been especially difficult for these communities.
“The recent legislation circling in Florida and Missouri, and the bills signed into law in
Arkansas and Tennessee are based on ignorance, hateful myths and harmful logic,” said Mayor Beaty. “As a lacrosse coach, I know the benefits of getting youth involved in team sports. To have something as fundamental as youth athletics taken away from entire groups of young people is distressing and unacceptable.”
A survey conducted by the Trevor Project in 2020 on LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgender and Queer) Youth Mental Health uncovered staggering statistics.
• Forty percent of LGBTQ respondents seriously considered attempting suicide in the past twelve months, while more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth have seriously considered suicide.
• Eighty-six percent of LGBTQ youth said that recent politics have negatively impacted their well-being.
• One in three LGBTQ youth reported that they had been physically threatened or
harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQ identity .
“This doesn’t have to be the reality for the LGBTQ community,” said Beaty. “We know there are simple steps that we can take in our own lives to be better allies and to help improve the well-being of our LGBTQ community members. Using correct pronouns is one small step.”
In the same survey, the Trevor Project found that transgender and nonbinary youth who report having their pronouns respected by all or most of the people in their lives attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected. Less than one in five transgender and nonbinary youth reported having their pronouns respected by all or most of the people in their lives.
“As the Mayor I feel lucky to surround myself with staff from diverse backgrounds. One of the key members of my office is nonbinary. Transitioning and adapting to their pronouns was a process, both for myself and for them. But taking the time to get their pronouns right meant they feel safe, respected, and valued in the workplace,” said Beaty. “It hasn’t been a completely smooth journey. I know we have more work to do, both at the City and beyond. I implore all of us to take the time to educate ourselves about the importance of pronouns and how to be better allies, and then be open to some uncomfortable growing moments.”
If you are in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the Trevor Lifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. To access the survey referenced above, visit The Trevor Project National Survey (https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2020/).
For more on why pronouns matter, visit How Do I Use Your Pronouns Correctly? — MyPronouns.org Resources on Personal Pronouns (https://www.mypronouns.org/how)