Who Will Stand Up For Transgender Athletes?

Transgender rights are being targeted across 20 American states in the wake of Transgender Visibility Day.

weBelong
3 min readApr 1, 2021

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Transgender athletes are a hot subject of discussion for legislators.

50 different bills across states are pending in over 20 state legislatures.

Just today, South Dakota’s governor issued an executive order banning transgender athletes from women’s sports.

A few days ago, on March 26th, Tennessee governor signed transgender sports bill into law requiring students to prove their sex at birth.

Right before that, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a similar bill, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, in his state.

And earlier this month, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves also signed into law a similar bill.

The orders also reference “biological sex,” a disputed term that refers to the sex as listed on students’ original birth certificates.

It’s not possible to know a person’s gender identity at birth, and for some people, the sex listed on their original birth certificate is a misleading way of describing the body they have.

Many transgenders and LGBTQ+ advocates are against this term and advocate for the use of a better word: assigned sex.

Many opponents to these bills consider them to be discriminatory of transgenders from sports.

“This bill legislates against a problem that simply doesn’t exist and targets transgender kids who are trying to navigate their adolescence,” David said. “Transgender kids are kids. Excluding and discriminating against them does great harm to them and it weakens the communities in which these children feel excluded and marginalized.”

But why do Republicans target transgenders?

Arkansas Bill came two days before Transgender Day of Visibility — an annual awareness day observed by community members, activists and allies around the world — and advocates say actions like the governor’s show the type of political hostility facing transgender Americans.

Carrie Davis, the chief community officer at The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth says “”As trans people, we still very much live in a world where our existence is an act of resistance and our visibility is an act of bravery,””.

Numerous trans girls are taking testosterone blockers and estrogen.

Studies show that even the most successful athletes lose whatever biological competitive advantage they had soon after they begin transitioning.

For instance, transgender athletes are approved to compete in the Olympics, the world’s oldest and most prestigious sports events, as long as they have been on their hormones for the past two years.

The most famous example is the Olympics winner American athlete and reality TV star, Caitlyn Jenner. Although Jenner had not yet transitioned when she won the Gold medal for the USA, she remains an influential figure for the transgender athlete community.

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