The Biden administration’s Health and Human Services (HHS) department is offering up to $1.7 million in grants to groups that promote family “acceptance” of LGBT youths.
Groups can get up to $425,000 a year for programs that “reduce rejection” of LGBT youth by their families and connect families to counseling in order to increase their acceptance.
The program is through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The program’s purpose is to “prevent health and behavioral health risks” like suicide, depression, homelessness, drug use, and HIV and to “promote well-being for LGBTQI+ youth in the context of their families/caregivers, cultures, and communities” through family counseling and support programs and interventions, according to the program’s SAMHSA page.
“Research has shown that LGBTQI+ youth are at greater risk for poor behavioral health outcomes than their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts,” the grant application materials read.
The grant application materials cited a survey from The Trevor Project, a transgender activist group focused on youth, that found that LGBT youth with “high social support” from their families reported fewer suicide attempts than those with “low or moderate social support.”
“Yet, fewer than 1 in 3 transgender and nonbinary youth found their home to be gender-affirming,” the materials add. “Negative parental reactions related to sexual orientation are associated with increases in substance use, including alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes, as well as higher risk of suicidal ideation.”
Transgender activists frequently tell parents who do not affirm their child’s new gender identity that they are increasing the likelihood their child will commit suicide. Activists push parents to allow their trans-identifying child access to medical interventions like puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and even gender surgeries, all of which are not completely reversible.
Grant recipients must connect youth and their families with counseling and support. They must also refer youth with mental health or substance abuse disorders to the proper community providers.
Groups must also develop an “evidence-based family counseling intervention” to “promote family acceptance” of LGBT youth and “prevent behaviors associated with family rejection of the LGBTQI+ youth that can lead to mental health and substance use conditions.”
They must also establish an LGBT “advisory workgroup” that can include LGBT activists, youth, parents, and counselors.
Groups that get a grant are also allowed to use social media to promote the message that family rejection of a child’s LGBT identity could lead to suicide and other behavioral problems.
They may also consult with child welfare devices on programs that encourage families to accept their child’s identity.
The Biden administration has come out strongly in favor of allowing children to access transgender medical interventions like puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex change surgeries.
Last year, President Biden called on HHS to increase access to transgender medical treatments and fight red states that are attempting to restrict children’s access to them.
“My message to all the young people: Just be you,” Biden said at the time.
Meanwhile, it is more popular than ever for youth to adopt new gender identities. An estimated 300,000 minors aged 13 to 17 identified as transgender as of last year.