Following the enactment of several bills barring transgender children from exercising their rights nationwide, the Biden administration is emphasizing the existence of a hotline that children can call.
Out White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized the existence of the resource during Thursday’s White House press conference.
“I know that these political attacks can really take a toll on people’s mental health. So I want to say directly to LGBTQI+ kids – you are loved just as you are, just the way you are. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you call 988,” Jean-Pierre said. “The National Crisis Hotline and dial the number ‘3’ to talk to a counselor who has been specifically trained to support LGBTQI+ kids.”
Jean-Pierre noted that the Biden administration was proud to offer this new service “during these incredibly hard times for these trans kids.”
She explained why a hotline like this is necessary.
“This has been one of the worst weeks of 2023 so far in terms of anti-LGBTQ bills become law in states across America,” Jean-Pierre said. “Three anti-LGBTQ laws have been enacted so far this week in Kansas, Indiana and Idaho.”
The press secretary lamented a series of laws passed during the past week, including state-level bans on transgender athletes’ participation on sports teams that align with their gender identity.
“Just yesterday, the North Dakota Senate passed 10 anti-LGBT bills in just one day, a single-day record. In Kansas, the state legislature overrode Gov. Kelly’s veto to make Kansas the 20th state that has banned transgender kids from participating in school sports,” Jean-Pierre said.
She continued, “With the enactment of a new law in Indiana, 14 states have now banned gender-affirming health care, while some of these laws are currently blocked by courts. This is a dangerous, dangerous attack on the rights of parents to make the best health care decisions for their own kids.”
Republican lawmakers have introduced 492 bills in 47 states this year targeting transgender people, according to Trans Legislation Tracker.
Jean-Pierre stressed the administration’s commitment to LGBTQ+ kids, noting that it was proud of students who organized protests and school walkouts “to tell the politicians in their states to stop this legislative bullying.”
If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned that someone you know may be, resources are available to help. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 is for people of all ages and identities. Trans Lifeline, designed for transgender or gender-nonconforming people, can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The lifeline also provides resources to help with other crises, such as domestic violence situations. The Trevor Project Lifeline, for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger), can be reached at (866) 488-7386. Users can also access chat services at TheTrevorProject.org/Help or text START to 678678.