OPINION: Recent policies would wrongly restrict transgender athletes


Ted_Eytan, Flickr Creative Commons

Supporters of equality marched in Washington, D.C. in 2019. Gretchen Zito, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, said about trans athletes, “The notion that they cannot play because they are transgender implies that they are not real men and women which is simply not true. It can lead to death and many other issues because of this.”

Katie Leskovec, Guest Writer

At least 30 states have proposed bills that would prevent transgender athletes from participating on sports teams that align with their gender identity, with Idaho being the first state to officially pass.

These bills are extremely transphobic, as they prevent trans youth from participating in something that aligns with their gender and makes them comfortable.

At the beginning of his presidency, President Biden made it a priority to reverse Donald Trump’s homophobic and transphobic policies, including limitations in healthcare, occupations, and sports.

Many conservatives spoke out against the idea of trans women playing on sports teams with biological women because they believe there would be an unfair advantage. By saying this, they are assuming that by being born biologically male, a person is automatically extremely athletic.

Trans women should be allowed to participate in women’s sports teams because being biologically male does not immediately make someone an amazing athlete. Alison Rolf, one of the GSA club advisers, said, “There are women who are good athletes and women who are bad athletes. A woman being trans does not necessarily correlate to her quality as an athlete.”

A large argument from those opposing the pro-transgender policies was that these policies were “erasing women,” even leading them to trend #BidenErasedWomen. But wouldn’t these policies do the opposite?

Absolutely it would because by allowing trans women to participate in activities that biological women are also involved in, Biden’s policies are giving even more women the chance to do what they love, while feeling comfortable.

By claiming that his policies “erase women,” these people are also claiming that trans women are not women. Rolf said, “Trans women are women. Full stop. They should be included and allowed to participate any time and any place all other women are allowed.”

Not only are these policies blatantly transphobic, but they violate previous laws that are already in existence. “[This policy] violates Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational organizations that receive federal funding,” wrote Gillian Brassil from the New York Times.

While some states will not allow any transgender people to participate on their gender identity’s team, some are less strict. According to the New York Times, they would require the athlete to provide proof of past hormone usage, or a physical examination.

Although this is somewhat better than not allowing any trangender athletes to participate, it still prevents a large number of young athletes from joining these teams, due to high prices of hormone therapy and surgery. In 2013, according to CNN, hormone therapy can cost about $30 per month, and surgeries can cost anywhere from $5,000-$30,000.

These bills seem to target younger trans people, due to the policies specifying “school sports.” Alex Reimer, deputy managing editor of Outsports, said, “I cover young transgender athletes all of the time. Uniformly, they just want to play like everybody else.”

Society should include trans women in things that biological women are involved in, because by ignoring them, we are ignoring their existence as women.