In honor of Pride Month and on eve of the next Summer Olympic Games, NEAT is proud to be a signatory of In Support of Full Inclusion for Transgender Students: An Open Letter from the Civil and Human Rights Community.
History and data shows we can celebrate girls/womens sports and make sure that transgender students/people are protected from discrimination. Many states have LGBTQ+ non-discrimination laws and all of them still have have women’s sports. Local schools across the nation already have policies that protect transgender youth and ensure a level playing field for all students—and they’ve been working for years. The NCAA, the Olympics and other sports associations also successfully allow transgender athletes.
The letter calls for “...the full inclusion of transgender students in educational opportunities, including extracurricular activities such as athletics. We reject the bigoted, ignorant, mean-spirited, and discriminatory policies currently being considered by far too many state legislators that seek to exclude these members of our communities. Excluding transgender students from participation alongside their cisgender peers is harmful to all students and undermines the learning environment for everyone.”
It also notes:
- Full opposition to the multitude of bills across the country that would harm both cisgender and transgender girls and women, particularly Black and Brown girls and women, and are likely to violate both the U.S. Constitution and Title IX, putting states’ federal educational funding in jeopardy
- Transgender students face disproportionately high rates of sex discrimination, including sexual assault, in school.
- Bills that would exclude transgender students from athletics would further deprive transgender students of access to educational opportunities and could place them at greater risk of sexual assault.
- Preventing transgender girls and women from participating in girls’ and women’s athletics is a recipe for more trauma, bullying, and violence.
For more information about transgender participants in athletics, check out Changing the Game, an enlightening documentary produced by Hulu. The importance of equitable participation in sports has many benefits for everyone involved, including access to diverse and supportive sport communities.