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Anandi Kulkarni, 11 (Sunnyvale, CA)

Brain, Not Body

Anandi Kulkarni, 11

When 19-year-old Lindsay Hecox was banned from running on a girls’ team by the state of Idaho, she decided to fight for her rights as a citizen. She wasn’t doing anything wrong, and she should have been eligible to run for her school. “I just want to run,” she said. Why was Hecox unjustly restricted from running track?

Lindsay is a transgender woman, meaning she was born in a boy’s body but had a girl’s mind. After she transitioned, she was looking forward to running for Boise State University. Still, she wasn’t able to run on a girls' team due to a bill that had just been signed by Governor Brad Little, restricting transgender girls from playing on High School and College teams that match their gender identity.

Many states have followed Idaho’s discriminatory law, including Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. Eighteen states in the US have banned trans athletes from playing on the teams they belong to. Many other states are considering adopting the law.

The Government should not pass this bill. It is hateful, transphobic, inaccurate, and one-sided. Not only that, it sets a bad example for future generations, and is harmful to transgender people.

Governor Little and the rest of America should take back this unjust rule, as it is not factually correct. The Government proposed this law by considering the classic myth that transgender girls have more athletic ability than cisgender girls. People who believe this also may think that trans girls are stealing cis girls’ places, scholarships, etc. This is not true, as almost 80% of transgender girls take hormones or hormone blockers. This means their bodies will not or will stop producing testosterone, the hormone responsible for muscularity. Studies show that after two years of hormone treatment, trans girls and cis girls with identical training have the same athletic ability. Since the reason lawmakers have enforced this law is illogical, the sports ban should be lifted.

Along with being inaccurate, this law being established across America is also harmful to transgender peoples’ mental health. Trans people already face bullying and harassment, which sometimes can cause problems such as suicidal thoughts. According to The American Civil Liberties Union, 10 percent of transgender girls were kicked out of school for being themselves. This harassment leads to mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. According to The Trevor Project, more than 50% of LGBTQQIP2SAA+ youth have depression. Not letting transgender people play on their appropriate teams will worsen the harassment and discrimination, causing more and more mental health issues among trans teens. To protect our nation’s trans youth, we must withdraw this harmful regulation.

Not only is the law disadvantageous, it is extremely discriminatory. According to the U.S. Trans Survey, 22% of transgender women were bullied because of their gender identity, and had to switch schools. As the ACLU says, “The idea that women and girls have an advantage because they are trans ignores the actual conditions of their lives.” Transgender people face problems like discrimination every day. Should we, as a country, make that harassment worse? Of course not! It goes against one of our values and morals as Americans, which is that everyone should be treated equally. Our government goes out of its way to stop discrimination. Is it right to enforce a law that goes against what we stand for as a nation? When you think about Governor Little’s law, consider the ethics of the American government.

Why should we support this unjust law? We need to use our voices and fight for what is right for transgender girls everywhere who are being denied their rights. Will we choose to allow bigotry and ignorance, or equity and justice? We should not give in to this law, because it is counterfactual, unfair, and harmful. Transgender women belong on the sports teams that match their gender.

Transgender women are women.


Works Cited

 

"Trans women targeted in sports bans, but are they really at an advantage?" by Ashley Schwartz-Lavares, Victoria Moll-Ramirez, Kayna Whitworth, and Anthony Rivas, published by ABC News

"The fight for the future of transgender athletes" by Will Hobson, published by The Washington Post

"Four Myths about trans athletes, debunked" by Chase Strangio and Gabriel Arkles, published by the ACLU

"Trans girls belong on Girls’ Sports teams" by Jack Turban, published in Scientific American

"COUNTER: Transgender women should be allowed to participate in women’s sports" by Sara Al-Yasseri, published in The Daily Nebraskan

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings

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