Trans People and Sports

As many of you know, I am not a sports person.

What I am very enthusiastic about, however, is girls doing sports. I was a tomboy, remember, and had to compete with boys a grade older in order to lose some races. I dropped out of sports for a variety of reasons, but that’s a different story for a different day.

But I’m even more enthusiastic about trans inclusion in sports, because it makes sense. And with this rash of bills making their way around the country – one is supposed to be introduced here in Wisconsin – I thought I might gather a reading list on the issue for those who want to know more.

First, this great article by the ACLU about the common myths surround trans inclusion in sports.

This piece by the ACLU about why we’re seeing this rash of state bills right now and what’s behind it. (And this additional one on the same topic by Dawn Ennis for Forbes, too.)

Completing the ACLU trifecta, Chase Strangio’s annual tracker of trans bills on Twitter.

My friend Quince Mountain on trans inclusion in sports and on being able to play sports doesn’t necessarily have to do with winning at sports.

TransAthlete.com, a project of Chris Mosier’s, which has a ton of information, from the basics on trans and sports, and an action center.

Dr. Veronica Ivy on Twitter regularly writes about sports and champions trans inclusion.

Here’s a great piece about how, if you want to protect girls in sports, you should probably worry a lot more about sexually predatory coaches (and not about trans people).

To close, I’m going to say a few things. When someone you know contacts yourself, ask yourself a couple of questions: (1) has this person ever cared about women and girls in sports before? (2) has this person ever expressed any interest whatsoever in feminism and “leveling the playing field” ever before? and (3) where is this person getting this information?

Because if the answers are (1) no, and (2) no, and (3) who the hell knows, you might want to send them this list so they can do some research and get back to you.

I’ve got 20 years of experience doing this work and no, I can’t boil it down to a meme or 5 basic issues. This rash of bills is an attack on trans people, plain and simple, and it is hateful and unwarranted and a waste of time.

But while they’re out there trying to pass these state by state by state, trans people you know are suffering, scared, and already dealing with so much prejudice and discrimination. Be kind to them, and argue with your friends for them as often as you can.

(I’ll keep adding to this list, so feel free to send me more resources.)

added: Utah op-ed by Max Chang which makes great arguments.

added: This Nancy podcast called “When They Win“.

added: this NYT article about Rachel McKinnon.

added: Vice article on the physical changes transition brings.

added 3/19: American Progress article on the importance of trans participation in sports.

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