Transgender Community: Sick of Being Picked Last, or Not Picked at All

Does the Transgender Ban Benefit Anyone?

Transgender Community: Sick of Being Picked Last, or Not Picked at All

Charlotte Dean, Staff Writer

Over the past two years, there have been 9 laws passed to take any transgender youths – people whose sex at birth doesn’t correlate with their gender identity – away from one of the most impactful parts of their childhood. School sports, which give kids the chance to earn scholarships, are something that some transgender women don’t legally have the chance to be a part of. 

The 9 states highlighted passed a bill banning transgender women from participating in girls’ sports. These states weren’t the only ones with this bill in mind. 3 other states – Kansas, North Dakota, and Louisiana – passed bills that were then vetoed by their governors.

Just this year, 23 other states considered this law, including Minnesota, which called for criminal penalties on trans athletes. There are also some pending cases across the US. This includes Idaho, Connecticut, Florida, and West Virginia. 

Should a child be stripped of what makes them happy? Well, some people, like Emerson McClure, believe that trans athletes have an unfair advantage. McClure explains this, “Due to testosterone levels, men naturally have more muscle than women … Men also have on average less body fat, larger lungs, a higher VO2 max, larger hearts, more hemoglobin … as well as longer legs and narrower hips”(McClure, TDN, 2021).

They believe that any competition would not be fair because of the difference in sexes. But why should competition fairness be more important than somebody’s basic human rights? Not only is it everyone’s right, but school sports are also proven to benefit kids’ mental and physical health. This is especially important for transgender students, who are at a higher risk of mental issues.

According to Stonewall, 27 percent of trans youth have attempted suicide, 89 percent have had suicidal ideations, and 72 percent have self-harmed at least once. There is no reason that these statistics should be less significant than a game.

One article suggests that it is not unfair to include transgender kids in these sports, and they argue, “Trans athletes vary in athletic ability just like cisgender athletes. ‘One high jumper could be taller and have longer legs than another, but the other could have perfect form, and then do better,’ explains Andraya Yearwood, a student track athlete, and ACLU client” (Strangrio, Arkles, ACLU, 2020). Cisgender people are everyone who is born the same sex as their gender identity. 

This article continues to talk about trans athlete life for Yearwood, “In Connecticut, where cisgender girl runners have tried to block Andraya from participating in the sport she loves, the very same cis girls who have claimed that trans athletes have an “unfair” advantage have consistently performed as well as or better than transgender competitors” (Strangrio, Arkles, ACLU 2020). 

In most situations, it is not about hormones or body type, but it’s about how much training they might have or lack thereof. As someone in an all-gender sport, sex never mattered in terms of how good they were. It was always how many years they had been doing the sport and how much they had practiced. Fairness had never been an issue, only jealousy.

Instead of getting irritated about how “unfair” you believe it is, use this feeling and push yourself to get to where you might want to be in the sport. The transgender students you might be angry at could have worked very hard to get to where they are and invalidating that by blaming it on hormones is childish and selfish. 

Trans youth have dealt with discrimination for many years, but now they are confiscated of their childhood because people don’t want to lose a game. Aren’t school sports supposed to be about the learning experience? When did egos and popularity become more important than equality in children?

It seems most are only irritated that they might not be as good as someone they conceive as a minority. Some people don’t believe minorities should have the same rights as everyone else, so they try to find every reason to deprive them of those rights. In this case, they say hormones are to blame for someone’s high school years being stripped away.