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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).

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.