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
Sep 23, 2020 - Sports

D-I fall championships to be held in spring

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The NCAA Division I board of directors approved a plan on Tuesday for fall sports' championships — including FCS football — to be held in the spring.

Why it matters: D-I athletes who saw their fall seasons canceled or postponed due to the pandemic will get to compete for championships.

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 32,626,165 — Total deaths: 990,134 — Total recoveries: 22,523,822Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 7,040,313 — Total deaths: 203,918 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,488,275Map.
  3. States: U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases — "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer — The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

America on edge as unrest rises

Louisville on Wednesday. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Rarely have national security officials, governors, tech CEOs and activists agreed as broadly and fervently as they do about the possibility of historic civil unrest in America.

Why it matters: The ingredients are clear for all to see — epic fights over racism, abortion, elections, the virus and policing, stirred by misinformation and calls to action on social media, at a time of stress over the pandemic.