House Bill 972 was introduced to prevent children who are transgender from playing school sports on teams of their gender identity. The women who presented the bill talked about losing out on “wins” and medals if a transgender girl played on their teams.
Before we talk about the morality and the effects of this proposed policy, let’s talk numbers. The Williams Institute of UCLA found that .6 percent of the US population is transgender. How much effect do you really think that small percentage will have on your sports experiences? And how many of the .6% will play sports?
Discrimination and hate are behind this bill. We will fight this and any other attempts to abrogate the rights of marginalized populations. There have been no documented cases of transgender girls dominating sports leagues. We have, however, seen high rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts when people are rejected due to their gender identity. When youth play academic sports, they learn the value of teamwork, of coaching, of playing by the rules, and leadership. Transgender youth need these benefits as much as other children. Rejecting children from a sport due to gender identity is just plain cruel.
Legislators who purport to care about women’s sports should direct their energy to issues that truly impact female athletes. Improve pay for female athletes, improve media coverage for women's sports, improve cultural environments that support diverse athletes, instead of manufacturing problems and solutions that hurt the children whom we should be protect.