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The wave of anti-trans bills introduced in state legislatures across the country is incredibly disgusting and completely unacceptable. Conservative politicians are targeting vulnerable transgender youth for the matter of political gain, and it is important that we all are able to see through this calculated attack. In this article, I will focus on bills banning transgender girls and women from sports, but with multiple states already passing these hateful bills into law, it is pivotal to educate yourself on the rest of the bills that are being circulated. 

Numerous states have introduced and/or passed legislation that would block transgender youth from participating in women’s sports. The bills span from completely banning trans youth to competing in girls’ sports, to placing restrictions on their participation. The justification behind these bills are “protecting women's sports” or “achieving fairness in women's sports.” [bf_image id="g7ts4mptttgq5jkqxcsr3tgz"]

To say the least, it is absolutely despicable to hear anti-trans legislation being justified by some sort of convoluted quest for fairness for women. First of all, anything striving for fairness for women needs to include both cisgender and transgender women. These bills to ban transgender women from sports only serve to hurt women's sports and to be incredibly divisive. Creating an us versus them mentality is a targeted political move and has nothing to do with a concern for female sports. Exclusion does absolutely nothing to help women’s sports. 

Women's sports are already suffering, and this has absolutely nothing to do with transgender athletes. On every level, women’s sports suffer simply by existing next to men’s sports, and taking athletes away from women’s sports is extremely harmful for more reasons than one. Namely, these laws serve to further alienate the transgender community as well as take away an incredibly important outlet for trans youth, full of many psychological and health benefits. [bf_image id="qft7fgxnrrp6xgx8fm4cspj"] Not only that, but these bills are also looking for problems that aren’t there. Women’s sports need to be better funded, better marketed, and better celebrated. We need to improve Title IX and hold the NCAA accountable to these standards, we need to see more female athletes on our TV screens, and most importantly, we need transgender athletes! This move has nothing to do with achieving equity for female athletes and it's frankly insulting that the rhetoric in support of these bills tries to make it seem this way. Don’t use women’s sports as a cloak to push your transphobic agenda. 

Keep in mind, there are many reasons to oppose these bills. There are numerous flaws in the biological evidence that is being used to argue for these bills, as well as many harmful impacts on trans youth that these bills would cause. Below are links to several resources to give you the full picture and so you can do your own research :)  

Resources:

Transgender Law Center

TransAthlete 

ACLU: Legislation Affecting LGBT Rights Across The Country

GLSEN: Gender Affirming and Inclusive Athletics Participation

Catherine Sievers is a second year sociology and communication double major at UCD with a Spanish minor. She enjoys writing, reading, the outdoors, and getting coffee with friends. She hopes to work in the non profit sector after graduation.
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