Survey: LGBTQ Athletes Have Higher Self-Esteem, Grades

September 4, 2020 / Athletic Administration
According to a new survey from The Trevor Project, LGBTQ youths who participate in sports are likelier to have higher self-esteem, do better in school, and show fewer symptoms of depression compared to their LGBTQ peers.

They surveyed more than 17,000 LGBTQ students in middle and high school from December 2019 and March 2020 in its second annual mental health survey, later first published by Axios.

Photo: Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Thirty-six percent of LGBTQ students who played sports that were polled received mostly A’s in high school, compared to 27 percent for those that don’t. The results also showed that depressive symptoms were 18 percent lower for LGBTQ student-athletes.

The survey covered a wide range of topics, including the mental health impact of the current political climate, how they are treated by fellow students, and the issue of bathroom access, among others.

Recently, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published two letters that outlined how the department will address complaints of discrimination against LGBTQ students, according to an article on

Both letters evaluate how the ruling extends to OCR’s enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the law prohibiting sex discrimination at federally funded institutions. Because of the ruling, OCR will be investigating a discrimination complaint made in June by a Tennessee high school student, who said she was denied educational opportunities due to her being homosexual.

» ALSO SEE: Survey Shows New England Athletic Departments Lack Diversity

The department’s understanding of the ruling and how it relates to Title IX is “that discriminating against a person based on their homosexuality or identification as transgender generally involves discrimination on the basis of their biological sex,” therefore OCR “possesses jurisdiction over your complaint,” Richey wrote to the student.

To read the survey results from The Trevor Project on LGBTQ student-athletes, click here. To read the letters from the OCR, click here