So, the Republicans lost the Presidency and Congress. I guess they feel the need to take their frustration out on some helpless children. Republicans in South Dakota and Mississippi have passed laws prohibiting transgender children from participating in school sports in the gender they identify as.[i] In fact 35 states have introduced legislation to restrict trans youth from participating in school sports.
Why do they feel the need to target this small group of children who aren’t hurting anyone? They say that boys who transition have an advantage over cisgender girls.[ii] Studies don’t back this up. The International Olympic Committee allows AFAB athletes who transition to men to compete without restriction and allows AMAB athletes who transition to women to compete under certain restrictions that include them under going reassignment surgery and hormone therapy for a “sufficient” amount of time. So, the Olympics have no problem with it. Legislators in these states are unable to cite any examples of this issue ever being a problem in their states.[iii]
The proponents of these restrictions paint pictures of hulking hairy monsters wearing skirts steamrolling over delicate little girls. Not only is that insulting, it isn’t reality. Before puberty, there isn’t much difference in athletic performance between boys and girls.[iv] The divergence seems to come around the ages of 12-13. AMAB children who are identifying as female at that age and are seeking to participate in girls’ sports are generally under a doctor’s care and taking puberty blocking drugs as part of their transition. Are these same people worried about the boys who begin puberty early and develop before the other boys being too big to play?
I can’t pretend to understand what is in the brains of these small minded people. They clearly have some sort of fear of transgender people. I think they view them as useful subject for scare tactics. They tried with bathroom bills that would restrict who could use public restrooms by painting a picture of predatory men in women’s clothing going into women’s restrooms to sexually assault the innocent women inside. Those attempts failed in the public and in the courts.[v] We’ve also seen that they are going hard after voting rights laws.
The Republicans seem to repeatedly come up with manufactured crises to distract the voters from their actual political performance. We’ve had caravans of “really bad people coming to invade the country from Mexico” that actually had frightened seniors in Minnesota.[vi] They talk about MS13 gangs, and stolen elections, and made up Anti-Fa soldiers. Meanwhile they do nothing about real problems. They violate people’s civil rights to further their own agenda.
Trans people seem to be an easy target since they are a small community that hasn’t traditionally had a voice. They are often on the margins of society and are unable to defend themselves against this bigotry.
These laws are a mean spirited and bigoted excuse to discriminate against a small harmless group of children trying to live their lives like everyone else. Our government has enough real problems to deal with, yet the waste time, money and effort on villainizing young children.
[ii] CIS refers to a person who identifies as the sex they are assigned at birth. The term comes from the Latin prefix “cis” meaning “this side of”, which is the opposite of “trans” meaning “across from” or “on the other side of”. In addition, AMAB stands for “assigned male at birth” and AFAB is “assigned female at birth”.
The author[s] is solely responsible for this blog submission. It does not represent the position of the New York State Bar Association or its Committee.