New York, 16th October, 2023 – Today, Pallas Partners (US) LLP filed an amicus brief on behalf of The Trevor Project in support of two transgender athletes challenging an Arizona law, A.R.S. § 15-120.02, that was adopted for the purpose of prohibiting transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. The athletes succeeded at obtaining an injunction prohibiting the law from blocking their participation on girls’ sports teams.
“Pallas Partners is grateful to partner with The Trevor Project in raising awareness about the importance of ensuring that transgender youth can play on the sports teams they love — just like everyone else,” said Pallas Partner Shireen Barday.
Pallas Partners (US) LLP, along with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, is pro bono counsel to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people and has been actively working to secure access to inclusive sports teams for transgender athletes.
“Discriminatory policies like A.R.S. § 15-120.02 are inherently damaging to transgender youth as they single them out in order to exclude them and thus send the stigmatizing message that they are not deserving of inclusion or respect,” The Trevor Project brief states. The brief also reports that many transgender youth confirm that playing sports improved their depression and anxiety.
The case is Helen Doe et al. v. Thomas Horne et al., Nos. 23-016026/23-160130 (9th Circuit) (on appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona No. 4:23-cv-00185-TUC-JGZ). The Trevor Project’s amicus brief can be found here.
The Trevor Project’s 2022 U.S. National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health by State found that 54% of transgender and nonbinary youth in Arizona seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and 1 in 5 (19%) attempted suicide. At a national level, The Trevor Project’s data has found that 71% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported that they have experienced discrimination based on their gender identity. And research has found that transgender and nonbinary youth who report experiencing discrimination based on their gender identity had more than double the odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not.
When asked about new policies that would ban transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams and transgender boys from playing on boys’ sports teams, 64% of transgender and nonbinary youth said it made them feel angry, 44% felt sad, 39% felt stressed, and 1 in 4 felt scared.