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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).

Heat wave grips U.S. this week from coast to coast

Computer model projection from the GFS model showing an unusually hot airmass across the western and Central U.S. on Thursday, June 29, 2021. (Weatherbell.com)

A widespread heat wave has begun across the contiguous U.S., with at least 30 million people likely to see temperatures reach or exceed 100°F by the end of the week.

Why it matters: The hot weather, which comes courtesy of another heat dome building across the Southwest, Rockies and then sliding into the western Plains, will only aggravate drought conditions and worsen many of the western wildfires.

VA first federal agency to require COVID vaccines for employees

A medical doctor gives the thumbs-up sign to a COVID-19 patient who is no longer using a respirator at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New York City. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday it would require its frontline health care workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus within the next two months, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The VA is the first federal agency to mandate that employees receive the vaccine. The decision comes as cases of the Delta variant in the U.S. have increased dramatically.