Lawmakers in many states, including Texas, have introduced bills that are looking to segregate all transgender youth away from single-sex teams of their gender identity, according to the Texas Tribune and the New York Times. This hysterical legislation to promote fairness in K-12 girls sports is not fair to a small and vulnerable population in our nation.
There is a biological fact concerning athletes that people with high levels of testosterone generally gain physical advantages over people who do not. These include an ability to build muscle mass quicker, thicker bone structure and greater lung capacity, according to Wired.
Even so, when lawmakers scoured for examples of transgender youth taking away achievements from deserving cisgender girls, they were mostly stumped, according to the Associated Press. There is no wave of transgender girls to push out cisgender girls in grade school sports and the field is wider compared to professional sports.
Other assumptions made by these bills are that professional athletic competitiveness is what most children’s sports are about. Children should try their best but they shouldn’t be trying to beat Usain Bolt’s record. More important is building a healthy body, mind and a team around which they feel at ease. Playing sports as a child develops a sense of community with people their age.
With these new laws, transgender youth may not have those experiences. On a team of their own gender identity, transgender children might blend in and feel less like an outsider. The laws may cause them to either look out of place among their team or decide to leave sports altogether.
These laws neglect the unfairness that is done to a population of women that are already vulnerable. We should look at children’s sports as a place where all can be part of team and not as a race to the top.