We are living through a public health emergency. That hasn’t reached the state legislature in Idaho.
The governing body of the so-called “Gem State” is more concerned with denying transgender youth from competing in sports than they are with containing the coronavirus.
The state senate just passed HB 500 that would systemically discriminate against trans athletes, particularly trans women and girls, from playing sports consistent with gender identity.
It has to go through procedural votes before it reaches the governor’s desk.
The fact that they choose to use this uncertain time to advocate state-sanctioned discrimination says plenty about these elected leaders are and their priorities.
They are in search of a problem that doesn’t exist.
We proved time after time again that transgender female athletes pose NO THREAT to women’s sports.
There is NO EVIDENCE to suggest that transgender female athletes have a greater physical advantage over cisgender female athletes.
Trans athletes are as diverse as anyone else.
Physical and athletic abilities vary as with cisgender athletes.
If these lawmakers are so concerned about the state of women’s sports and they claim to be passionate supporters, they should do the following:
- Demand that educational institutions live up to their Title IX obligations and fund women’s sports.
- Support efforts to expand Title IX so that LGBTQ students are protected
- Frequently attend women’s sporting events
- Support more hiring of women coaches, trans and cis
- Follow women’s sports regularly
- Support the fights for equal pay by the USWNT and the WNBA
Sports provide a safe space.
Sports provide an outlet.
They unleash individual talent.
At its best, they promote the true meaning of unity and teamwork at the intersection of diversity and inclusion.
Athletics can help us to learn about each other and everyone’s backgrounds, identities, culture, and experiences.
This is not the time, nor is it ever the time to stoke fears and dehumanize a vulnerable population.
I would urge those of good conscience to follow the example of Chirs Mosier.
He is a trans male triathlete who was the first trans athlete to compete on the U.S. National Team.
He is also the founder of the website transathlete.com. It provides critical information, resources, and training for schools, universities, and sports leagues on the issue of transgender equality and inclusion.
Chris helped lead a rally on the steps of the capitol building in Boise, demanding that HB 500 doesn’t become law.
We much need to follow his leadership today.
The fact of the matter is simply that sports are for everyone.
Trans athletes have the right to play as they are.
In a moment of tremendous upheaval, the last thing that is needed is more hatred and fear.
We must oppose HB 500 immediately.
Idaho, Get it Together!