In life, we get the opportunity to try out different extracurricular activities like the yearbook club, student government organization, or sports, and these activities help shape and mold us to discover our future interests and careers.
Let’s say you want to try out for the basketball team. You give it your all, and the coaches say that you’re on the team; however, you were placed in the league of your biological sex. This is what is currently happening to transwomen in the state of Florida.
On June 1st, 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that has an act called the Fairness in Women Sports Act, which denies biological men from playing in women’s sports in middle school through college. This act harms transgender girls and women because they’re being discriminated against for not playing sports. This is the first anti-LGBTQ bill that has been passed in the state of Florida since 1997.
Aside from the new restrictions, the Fairness Act will place on the eligibility of transwomen to receive sports scholarships from potential colleges; this new legislation has the power to significantly alter the face of sports throughout Florida’s academic platforms.
There has been a surge of transgender discrimination, specifically in sports. However, it has been proven that there are always skill gaps even among fellow cisgender sports participants. With HRT (hormone replacement therapy), the bodies of transgender people are significantly altered. Therefore, transgender individuals should be able to participate in the gendered sports they feel most comfortable with.
On DeSantis’s news release, it says, “ Multiple polls have stated more than 60 percent of Americans believe that biological males should not be participating in women’s sports.”
People believe that transgender women are more successful in sports because they have a higher dose of testosterone in their system. Meaning that people believe that transgender females are physically stronger, giving them an edge over cisgender females. Transgender women are not the only women who can have elevated testosterone levels. Almost 10% of women have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is a syndrome that also increases testosterone levels. So, why are we not also banning them from sports if they have an “unfair advantage”?
The other factor that should be considered when looking at physical attributions is HRT. HRT is when transgender women inject themselves with estrogen and have an extreme effect on their bodies and alter some of their function. When transgender women undergo these changes, their physical attributes begin to level out equally to cisgender females.
“Middle, high school, and college sports programs play a vital role in the education of students who participate in them, providing character-building opportunities to demonstrate integrity, respect, leadership, and personal responsibility, as well as the joy and shared excitement that being a member of a sports team, can bring. The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act protects opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their strength, skills, and athletic abilities and to realize the long-term benefits that result from safely participating and competing in sports programs,” said Senator Kelli Stargel
You are judging someone and basing their athletic ability solely on their biological sex, which is something that cannot be changed.
Using the excuse that it is unfair to allow transgender people to participate in the gendered sport they feel most comfortable in is just an excuse to hate. There will always be skill gaps when humans participate in activities (transgender or cisgender).
Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran said, “No one believes it would be fair for LeBron James to play in the WNBA.” There will always be skill gaps when humans participate in any activities (transgender or cisgender).
Forcing individuals to participate in the sport of the gender they were assigned at birth is cruel and harmful to their mental health.
Transgender individuals have a higher risk in several scenarios. For example, 35% of transgender individuals have at least one suicide attempt. If we do not give people a safe and supportive environment, we are setting them up to fail. When we don’t let someone participate in a sport, we are the ones causing separation and wasting potential. It is more than just someone not being allowed to participate in a sport. It is transphobic, and we are the ones raising these alarmingly high statistics.
PSC’s Women’s Cross Country Headcoach, Julie Burger said, “all athletes I coach are part of my team to feel included, valued, and strengthen each other.”
All sports participants should be allowed to participate in the sport they feel most comfortable with, regardless of gender.