In recent news, Governor Kay Ivey has signed a law that will affect all transgender youth in the state of Alabama. The bill passed on April 23, 2021 banning all transgender athletes from competing. This discriminatory bill HB 391, “Schools, public K-12, athletic events allowing competition by one biological gender against another prohibited unless the event specifically includes both genders”. The bill was sponsored by Scott Stadthagen, a Republican from the 9th District of Alabama. The bill is meant to silence and erase transgender youth.
“HB 391 is nothing more than a politically motivated bill designed to discriminate against an already vulnerable population. By signing this legislation, Gov. Ivey is forcefully excluding transgender children. Let’s be clear here: transgender children are children. They deserve the same opportunity to learn valuable skills of teamwork, sportsmanship, and healthy competition with their peers. Simply put, Alabamans deserve better than lawmakers who legislate against the health and safety of all kids for cheap political gain.” - Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President.
There is so much bullshit in this bill including transphobic views of gender and sex as well as straight up sexism. It is no surprise that those who passed this bill were all cisgender and have never lived the trans experience. This bill protects absolutely no one. Approximately 0.004 of the population identifies as transgender, why are Alabama republicans suddenly so worried about an incredibly small population of people? Student athletes should be worried about how they are going to perform on the field, not about why politicians are governing their private parts.
Alabama politicians should be worried about the harassment that 75% of transgender youth face on a day to day basis including verbal harassment, being prohibited from dressing according to their gender identity, unfair and unjust discipline, physical and or sexual assault because people thought they were transgender. Why don’t politicians focus on that rather than unjustly governing transgender visibility?
Arguments for this bill include
“Studies have shown that the benefits that natural testosterone provides to biological male athletes is not significantly diminished through the use of testosterone suppression. Testosterone suppression in biological males does not result in a level playing field between biological male and biological female athletes.”Line 5-10 of the HB391.
“Because of the physical differences between biological males and biological females, having separate athletic team athletic teams based on the athletes biological sex reduces the chance of injury to biological female athletesand promotes sex equality” HB 391 Lines 11-15.
All these claims that these bills are backed by science are false. There is not sufficient evidence that transgender athletes have a competitive advantage in high school sports. The argument that high levels of testosterone are characteristic of successful athletes is simply not true. While high levels of testosterone may prove helpful in certain events such as 400 Meters, 800 Meters, and hammer throw, it is not characteristic of a winner. In fact, high levels of testosterone may prove detrimental in sports such as gymnastics . As well as cisgender women with high levels of testosterone would also be affected by this legislation. Thus this argument is completely invalid. In schools from K-12, sports should focus on inclusivity not competition. Schools and governments need to focus on uplifting their students regardless of their gender identity, not separating them!