Many schools have policies on transgender athletes being able and not being able to play. If you were on a high school athletics team with a transgender athlete, what would you do? According to an article by Micheal Lenzi on American University Law Review, committees have developed many policies and rules to make a transgender-athletes eligible to play the sports they love. In Georgia, a student’s gender is determined by what is on their birth certificate (846). In high school athletics, many transgender athletes get judged upon and feel like they are not welcome. We all know that it is very hard being in high school. We know that people are always going to pick and play, but just imagine how transgender athletes feel when children talk about them. Many transgender athletes are judged daily because of their gender, but just because they are different does not mean they can not play the sports they love.
Transgender athletes should get to play sports with non-transgender athletes because America was made for people to live how they want and be who they want to be. Yes, transgender athletes are very different but that should not define what they can and can not do. We all know some high school students will feel very awkward about having transgender athletes on their team. We all get awkward in certain situations but just because one highschool kid is awkward should not mean that the transgender athlete that wants to play just as much as that regular kid can not play. Transgender athletes should be allowed to play sports with non-transgender athletes.
Each state has different laws about including transgender athletes. For example in Maine, “ Students have the chance to choose sports teams based on gender identity alone…”. In Washington State, “All students should have the opportunity to participate in WIAA activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s records” (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association [WIAA], n.d., p. 31). Yet in Georgia, the law states that “A student’s gender is denoted by what is listed on the birth certificate” (Georgia High School Association [GHSA], 2015, § 1.47). So why is there so much controversy? Why do the states not agree on allowing transgender athletes to play with non-transgender athletes?
Transgender athletes are underestimated because many people do not think about them. David Torre states, “No one knows the precise number of transgender people in the U.S., let alone the world. One recent estimate by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, which studies gender-identity issues, pegs the size of the American population at 700,000; the number of those who are athletes is even more difficult to determine. But Michelle Dumaresq, a transgender professional mountain biker from Vancouver, told Outside magazine that she talks with some 115 closeted trans athletes all over the globe. And since taking over as the NCAA’s director of gender initiatives and student-athlete well-being in 2006, Karen Morrison has received about 40 transgender-related inquiries from universities, prospective trans athletes and those athletes’ attorneys. Several queries were spurred by Godsey’s coming out as a transgender male.” So why are they not recognized for their achievements? While non-transgender athletes are recognized for everything they do.
Many non-transgender athletes feel uncomfortable with transgender athletes on their team. Some even believe it is of the devil. That they do this in rebellious ways because they do not understand why God does what he does.1 Samuel 15:23 says, “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.” People believe that being transgender is wrong not only because it is offensive but also because it changes everything about life and how God created it. Many parents of non-transgender athletes would go out of their way to get a transgender kid kicked off their kid’s team because they felt uncomfortable. Have non-transgender athletes ever thought of the fact that transgender athletes feel uncomfortable too?
Transgender athletes should be allowed to play sports with non-transgender athletes. There will need to be policies, but transgender athletes should be allowed to play the sports they want to play. Transgender athletes may go through some judgemental situations but that should not stop them from playing the sports they love. Transgender athletes go through tough times at school as it is, so why should we take away sports from them. Some transgender kids may play sports to get things off their minds and to feel like they matter in life because that one goal they make matters.
Allowing transgender athletes to play sports with non-transgender athletes would motivate people to be nicer. It would help kids who feel like they do not fit into where they fit in even if it is just a little bit. Transgender athletes being allowed to play sports would allow them to feel like they matter and that every day at school is just another day to get picked on. Transgender athletes and even non-transgender athletes need this because we all matter. Everyone has their problems and differences but we should not let them define us. Transgender athletes should be treated like any other member on their sports team. They matter like everyone else.