A Trans Girl Playing Sports Is Not An “Emergency”

Seriously, elected officials, don’t you have better uses of your time than this?

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

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Composite image of a female “Venus” symbol, soccer ball, and a map of West Virginia. Credits: Ewan ar Born, CC BY-SA 3.0; Chrisarthur2013, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States declined an emergency request from the state of West Virginia to prohibit a trans girl from competing in sports alongside her middle school classmates.

While I am grateful for the ruling in her favor, what does it say about the values and priorities of West Virginia’s Attorney General that he filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court to prevent a 12-year-old girl from competing in girls’ sports?

As I wrote recently, I spent much of my childhood in West Virginia. I’m sure that state has changed quite a bit since I lived there in the 70s and early 80s. But West Virginia still ranks near the bottom of the nation in terms of health care, education, employment, and infrastructure, all of which are far more pressing concerns than trans girls and women playing sports.

I don’t mean to single out West Virginia, because every state that has proposed anti-trans legislation has more important things to worry about than trans girls and women competing in women’s sports. Gun violence, police brutality, and climate change are some of the major nationwide issues that call out for immediate action. And safe and legal access to abortion would be a priority if these anti-trans state officials truly cared about women.

For their part, the Biden Administration is now proposing to forbid outright bans on trans student athletes competing in sports. But their provision for “fairness of competition” leaves wide open the possibility of continued discrimination against trans girls and women.

I’ve written previously on why I believe the supposedly innate inferiority of female-assigned athletes is overstated. But there are more fundamental points to consider in this conversation.

Trans people transition in order to live as our authentic selves. Trans girls and women do not undergo the emotionally, physically, and financially draining process of gender transition in order to beat cis girls and women in sports. Nor do they do so in order to prey on cis girls and women in locker rooms and other gendered facilities. These are…

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Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, pacifist. Pronouns: they/them/their. funcrunch.org, patreon.com/funcrunch