As debate rages around the Equality Act, a federal bill that would enshrine, and expand, legal protections for LGBTQ+ Americans in 29 states that currently don’t have them, some pundits have willfully chosen to miss the point.
Instead of focusing on the fact that in dozens of states, doctors can turn away trans and gay folks from life-saving care because of their personal beliefs, they have instead decided to wage a culture war against transgender kids, namely focusing on trying to stop trans kids from being able to play sports.
One teenage boy wrote a letter to the editor that simply dismantled the argument on its face.
Samuel Robertson titled his letter to the editor, “The flawed case for exclusion,” which he sent into the Star Tribune, a paper in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He proceeded to tear apart the “arguments” people have against the rights of trans athletes.
“As a male high-school athlete who was born a boy, I would like to add my voice to the chorus opposing bills that would bar transgender girls from participating with their fellow girls on high school sports teams,” he writes. Continuing, “My first reason for doing so is that in my experience, trans girls are girls and trans boys are boys. Period. If legislators wanted to prevent boys from entering a girls’ locker room, then to make a trans boy do so would have the exact opposite effect.”
The teenager then asked readers to imagine what it would be like if you were in high school a boy, even just your friend’s boyfriend, walked into the locker room. “Under this legislation, that would be the law,” he says.
Samuel continues with a personal anecdote from his experience. “I am an incoming captain of my high school’s cross-country team who helped bring my team to win the conference championship this fall. If I were to compete as a girl, I would still be half a minute behind the fastest girl in the state,” he points out.
Adding, “Biological sex alone is not sufficient to give an insurmountable advantage, and any trans girl who took the state record could still easily qualify for the state meet as a boy.” Then he drills the point home, “We boys are not nearly as dominant as these legislators would make it seem, and I would give a whole lot to be able to run like some girls.”
And really, it’s as simple as that. The discussion about women’s sports feels more like a distraction or a fear tactic by those who oppose the act. It’s a distraction from the fact that 27 states don’t offer any protection from discrimination for LGBTQ+ people. And those rights are long overdue.
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