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Anti-trans sports bans hurt athletes

In the first three months of 2021, more than 20 states have introduced anti-transgender sports bans, preventing transgender women from playing in women’s sports. Mississippi’s governor signed the first statewide anti-transgender law of 2021, but Mississippi is not the only state introducing these laws and quickly getting them affirmed. These states include Georgia, Tennessee, Idaho, and many more. Montana, South Dakota, and a few others have already gotten their bills passed through the legislative chambers and are waiting for Senate action. 

House Representative Greg Steube from Florida introduced a bill that states, “Sex shall be recognized based soley on a person’s reproductive biology or genetics at birth.” This bill would ban transgender girls of any age from participating on any sports team designated for women, or from using the women’s locker rooms. It doesn’t provide any evidence or claims from people on the topic, and it also doesn’t include an approach on how schools and athletic organizations would identify transgender women. This led to the assumption that women wanting to play sports would have to undergo a physical examination to disclose their gender to their biological features. 

The Republicans proposing and agreeing with these bills believe they are helping women by “leveling the playing field” and “keeping biological males out of women’s sports.” Mississippi Gov. Reeves said, “It sends a clear message to my daughters, and all of Mississippi’s daughters, that their rights are worth fighting for.” 

Not only does this harm young women by having them subject to their bodies by prosposing physical examinations, it specifically targets and abuses transgender athletes, purposely excluding them and taking away their rights. The trans women athletes these bills are affecting are daughters too, specifically the ones who need help the most and whose rights are being stripped away from them. 

The bills don’t address any real problem yet some give them more priority than COVID-19. Far-right organizations have proposed and put forward these bills not to help women but to oppose equality. 

It’s upsetting to think about the thousands of transgender athletes being stripped of their rights. No matter what way they expressed their need for respect and how their identity is not a threat to anyone, people are continuing to find ways to discriminate against the LBGTQ community.

If you had to imagine a teenager in high school who had played soccer her whole life, who is suddenly told she had to stop unless she wanted to play on the boys team because she is trans. This girl never considered herself a boy and she doesn’t want to be a boy, it’s just the body she happened to be born into. This law takes away her favorite activity, her teammates and friends, and her outlet for the pain she endures every day. She won’t be able to experience high school the same as any other kid. 

“We need to celebrate people’s identities,” said CVHS Principal Blaine Torpey. “The more we are connected and building that belonging, it can be really powerful.” 

Here at CVHS, the community we build is meant to lift each other up and positively support one another despite our differences. With the hardships everyone has faced in the last year, it’s important that we continue our advocacy and acceptance for each other.