Bigoted Adults Who Protest Transgender Kids Playing Sports Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves
As reported by the Star Tribune, a new policy will officially be in place for Minnesota schools starting next year – one to help schools understand how to work with transgender students who want to play sports. Putting in place a system to help transgender kids access the opportunities that should be available to them? Sounds terrific to me, but of course the plan is being met with resistance from people who don’t understand gender. Or sports. Or much of anything, as far as I can tell.
Until now, schools have been left to figure things out on their own, but the new guidelines will kick in as of the 2015-2016 school year. They create clear criteria for sports eligibility, allowing students to submit confidential letters to the school about playing sports on the right team, and go on to set up the Minnesota State High School League to arbitrate an appeal process for students whose requests are denied. And, of course, these guidelines have pissed off a lot of stupid people for a lot of stupid reasons.
Protest signs at the hearing broke up into two main groups: one typified by a handmade “We represent God” sign (okay? Congratulations, I guess?), and one by a “The End Of Girls Sports” sign. I’m not going to get into the religious argument, because I think we can all agree that basing the rights of modern teenagers on someone’s very specific view of words written in 1500 BC is a no-go. But do check out the Deuteronomy sign in the featured image up above – based on other footage in the news video, I’m pretty sure it’s being wielded by a woman wearing a knit sweater along with denim, in direct violation of Deuteronomy 22:11. Gasp!)
But let’s talk about the idea that making sports teams inclusive is going to utterly destroy girls’ sports teams. First of all, transgender people make up less than half a percent of the population – in a school of 1000 students, 3 or 4 might be trans. If they’re going to crowd out the pre-existing teams, they’re going to be REALLY busy. But some people really seem to think that if inclusive sports policies are implemented, it won’t just be transgender students who are the ‘problem’, but that droves of boys will pretend to be transgender to win a spot on the female team. Uh-huh. Sure.
Why is it, exactly, that people think any boy who puts on a skirt is automatically going to earn a starting position on whatever girl’s sports team he wants? Newsflash: every boy is not inherently better at sports than every girl. And even more importantly, have you ever seen the way that teenage boys police each others’ gender? Try to imagine the reception a high school boy would get from his dudebro peers for pretending to be transgender in order to play on the girls’ team. Now imagine dozens of boys lining up to play girls’ basketball and softball. Yeah, I don’t think so.
Opponents of this policy are right that this is a feminist issue, but totally wrong in their take on it. Transgender girls are girls, too, and I’m not drinking any flavor of feminist Kool-Aid that would deny them the opportunity to live fully as their true gender.
(Image: Star Tribune)