Legislators in more than 20 states have introduced a bill this year banning transgender girls from competing in public high school girls’ sports teams. In almost every case, sponsors cannot cite a single case in their state or region where that participation has caused problems.
The Associated Press has reached out to two dozen state lawmakers sponsoring such events in the country, as conservative groups have found that hundreds of thousands of American teens in high school sports have encountered the problem just a few times.
In South Carolina, for example, Ashley Trentham said she did not know about transgender competition in the state and suggested banning it to prevent future problems. Otherwise, she said in a recent hearing that “the next generation of female athletes in South Carolina may not have the opportunity to excel.”
In Tennessee, House Speaker Cameron Sexton acknowledged that there may not really be transgender students in high school sports. He said that the bill is necessary for the state to be “proactive”.
Some lawmakers did not respond to AP inquiries. In places like Mississippi and Montana, others mostly put the issue aside or pointed to a few Connecticut runners. From 2017 to 2019, transgender sprinters Terry Miller and Andrea Ejwood together won 15 championship races, sparking a lawsuit.
Transgender rights advocates say the Connecticut case is receiving so much attention from conservatives because it is the only example of its kind.
“This is their exhibit A, there is no exhibit, absolutely none,” said Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a well-known transgender lawyer.
Numerous sports bills, he says, address the non-existent threat.
There is no authoritative estimate of how many trans athletes have competed in high school or college sports recently. Neither the NCAA nor most high school sports associations collect this data. The numbers are minimal in the states that collect it. There are currently five students in Kansas and nine in Ohio for five years.
Transgender adults make up a small portion of the U.S. population, about 1.3 million people as of 2016, according to the Williams Institute, a research center at UCLA Law School that specializes in LGBTQ research.
Two dozen bills going through the state legislature this year could be devastating for transgender teens who usually pay little attention when competing.
In Utah, a 12-year-old transgender girl cried when she learned of an offer that would separate her from her friends. He is far from the tallest girl on his club team, he has worked hard to improve his times, but he is not a dominant swimmer in his age group, said his coach.
“Apart from body parts, I have been a girl all my life,” she said.
The girl and her family spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity to avoid being publicly seduced.
Those who oppose the growing visibility and rights of transgender people, however, argue that new laws are needed to keep the playing field fair for fair-skinned girls.
“When the law does not recognize the differences between men and women, we see that women are losing,” said Christiana Holcomb, a Freedom Alliance lawyer who filed a lawsuit on behalf of four unsatisfied girls in Connecticut.
One of those girls, Chelsea Mitchell, defeated Terry Miller, who was the two fastest runners in their last two races in February 2020.
The FFA և is a backstage campaigner like that, proposing model legislation առաջարկում a book with the general features of most of them և even promoting bills with titles such as the Save Women Sports Act.
When asked about other examples of complaints about transgender middle or high school athletes, HFH և The Family Policy Alliance cited two: One involved a Hawaiian woman who coached a coach, complained about a trans girl competing in girls’ volleyball last year, another involved a cisgender girl in Alaska who beat a trans-sprinter in 2016, and then appeared in a Family Policy Alliance video. which said that taking the third place of a trans girl was unfair for the runners who were behind.
Only one state, Idaho, has passed a law restricting the participation of trans students in sports. The event is blocked by a court decision.
Chase Strangio, a transgender advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union, says lawmakers in a number of states that have banned sports are also trying to ban transgender youth from certain genders.
“This is not about sports,” he said. “It’s a way to attack trans people.”
School sports organizations in some states already have rules on trans participation in sports. 19 states allow full inclusion of trans athletes. 16 do not have a clear state policy. seven mimic NCAA rule requiring trans girl hormone therapy. Eight actually ban trans girls from leaving girls’ teams, says Asaf Orr, a lawyer with the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Texas is among those banned by restricting transgender athletes to teams that match the gender of their birth certificate.
That policy was criticized in 2017-2018, when trans-male Mac Baggs won state titles in girls’ wrestling after being told he could not be a boy.
While Beggs, Miller, and wood Yearwood ում were at the center of controversy in the news coverage, trans-athletes competed more often than not, with a wide range of և teammates և rivals.
In Sussex, New Ersey, 14-year-old trans Rebecca Brucehoff competes on her high school hockey team and hopes to continue playing in high school.
“It was all positive,” he said. “The coaches were really helpful.”
Although New York City has an inclusive sports policy, Rebecca regrets the restrictions offered elsewhere, particularly the measures that may require girls to have their sex checked.
“I know what sex interrogation is like,” Rebecca said. “It’s invasive, it’s a disgrace. I do not want others to go through that. “
The possibility that any athlete could take tests or examinations to prove their gender was one of the reasons Truman Hamburger, a 17-year-old North Dakota high school student, came to the Pethouse to protest the proposed ban.
“When you open the door to the gender police, it is not a door that you can easily close,” he said.
Sarah Hackman, a 20th-year student at the University of New Hampshire, ran for three years at Kingswood High School in Wolfboro, New Hampshire after graduating as a 7th grader.
Hackman showed great talent in sprinting: obstacles, but was not dominant at the state level. In his senior year, he won several events in small to medium-sized matches, finishing 6th to 10th in the Division II Indoor Championships.
The proposed bans terrify him.
“It’s so humiliating for my band,” he said. “We are all human beings. We love sports and we love it. ”
Associated Press reporters covering state-owned homes across the United States contributed to this report.