Republican politicians’ restrictions on transgender athletes are invalidating, discriminatory

By Shreya Partha

As we enter a new year, it is somewhat expected that our ideals grow progressively. Yet, as a society, we only seem to be doing the opposite. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a sports bill set to take effect in january that restricted transgender athletes from  playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity in October, according to The New York Times

With this act, Texas joined nine other states in the prohibition transgender students expressing their identity freely. The bill, known as the House Bill 25, is dehumanizing and suppressing. It is invalidating to those who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth and can cause an increased mental strain. In fact, according to the Austin American-Statemen, calls from transgender youth to a suicide-prevention hotline spiked during previous truffles over bills that targeted them.

Policymakers, politicians need to start reevaluating their priorities, care more about people’s well-being than political agendas. (Photo by Photo courtesy of NBC)

It seems as though Republican lawmakers are prioritizing personal biases over the well-being of the people through their incessant targeting of a vulnerable population. Additionally, transgender youth participating in sports is not an emergency, but the long term impact that these constant attacks will have on transgender youth is. 

Republican legilators hold the argument that the measure is crucial to prevent cisgender girls from being displaced on sports teams by transgender girls. Yet, this argument itself is weak in immeasurable ways. Disregarding the fact that there is little to no evidence, it doesn’t make sense in terms of identity either. Transgender girls want to play on the sports team they identify with. In this respect, it is inane to prevent them or segregate them based on their assigned gender at birth if that is not what they currently identify with.

Sports are perceived differently by everyone, but for some, it’s simply recreational and for others it’s an escape. Taking away this part of a student’s life is ridiculous and should no longer be tolerated. The fact than ten states have already passed similar bills is restricting and appalling, but in light of this new year, we should reevaluate our priorities and prevent this kind of marginalized discrimination from occuring in the future.