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Sports participation has been linked to higher self-esteem, better grades and lower depressive symptoms among LGBTQ youth, according to The Trevor Project's second-annual mental health survey — the largest of its kind ever conducted.

By the numbers: One in three LGBTQ youth who play sports said they got mostly A's in school, compared to just one in four of those who don't play sports.

  • Depressive symptoms were 18% lower among respondents who participated in sports, according to survey results provided to Axios.
  • Acceptance matters: Transgender and nonbinary youth who reported having pronouns respected by all or most people in their lives attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected.

The big picture: While groups like the Trevor Project advocate for the LGBTQ community, many stand in direct opposition to that fight.

  • Idaho passed a bill in March barring transgender athletes from participating in women's sports, despite limited research to support the claim that higher testosterone levels offer an unfair advantage.
  • But the ban was challenged by Lindsay Hecox — a transgender cross-country runner at Boise State University — and two weeks ago, the ruling was met with an injunction, giving trans athletes at least a temporary victory.

What they're saying: "I'm a girl and the right team for me is the girl's team," said Hecox.

  • On the other side, the bill's sponsor, Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R), said, "The progress that we, as women, have made over the last 50 years will be for naught and we will be forced to be spectators in our own sports."

The bottom line: "LGBTQ youth are not benefiting from sports participation as much as they could. They're already at increased risk for things like depression, so we should be finding ways to be inclusive, not ways to further harm them," said Amy Green, The Trevor Project's director of research.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Nov 13, 2020 - Sports

The emerging media landscape for sports bettors

Al Bernstein (left) and Brent Musburger unveil VSiN's first studio in 2017. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As the U.S. sports betting market matures, a robust media landscape is forming alongside it, with companies aiming to educate and entertain bettors.

The state of play: One of the early entrants is Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN), which launched in January 2017. VSiN has three studios in Las Vegas (South Point, Mandalay Bay, Circa), one in Atlantic City (Borgata) and one outside Chicago (Rivers).

Updated 1 hour ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Chargés d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and non-essential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten embassy's ability to assist Americans.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).