By: Kyla Mitchell
Texas House has passed a bill that is banning transgender athletes, in public schools, from playing on sports teams that corresponds with the student’s gender identity. The bill is telling trans students that if they want to participate in school sports, they have to play according to the gender on their birth certificate. This bill is currently on the way to the Senate and to the governor. Republican Valoree Swanson introduced, supported, and sponsored this bill which passed 76 to 54.
The only way transgender students would be able to play in the sport that aligns with their gender identity, is if they alter their birth certificate, which is already a grueling process for trans students in the state of Texas. Even if the student athlete is able to get their certificate changed, most administrators will not be allowed to accept them because they only accept altered birth certificates that suffered a clerical error.
CBS NEWS stated that Susan Broyles Sookman wrote for the American Civil Liberties Union that, “Creating a law which will deprive trans kids of the right to participate in school activities is wrong and would enshrine discrimination against a vulnerable minority group of children into law. This bill is clearly a part of a systematic attempt to strip away rights from trans kids and their parents.”
According to CBS NEWS, those who proposed and support the bill claim that transgender girls would have an “unfair competitive advantage against athletes who were biologically female at birth”. Swanson claims that it is, “all about girls and protecting them.” Swanson also protests that this measure is needed so that cisgender girls are not replaced on sports teams by transgender girls. Allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community state that there is little evidence that supports Swanson’s argument.
Those who support the transgender community, are a part of the community, or who have family in the community, have argued that the bill HB 25 is discriminatory and targets trans students, just as many other Texas House bills have in the past.
One example they used was when legislation limited gender-affirming care which then caused multiple other states to consider doing the same. The Dallas Morning News stated that Democratic Representatives questioned the bill and warned that the bill would put a harmful toll on trans kids, and argued that it does not address any problems in women’s sports.