Trans girls are girls. Let them play school sports.

There are currently several bills in the New Hampshire Legislature that seek to target and exclude our transgender friends and neighbors, particularly in sports. Senate Bill 375 and House Bill 1205 would ban trans girls from participating on school-sponsored girls sports teams. The New Hampshire Women’s Foundation strongly opposes these bills.

Trans girls are girls. And trans girls, like all girls, deserve to be accepted and included in schools and have access to the many benefits of sports including teamwork, friendship, and belonging. New Hampshire girls are twice as likely as boys to experience poor mental health and LGBTQ girls have even higher rates of poor mental health than their heterosexual or cis-gender peers. At this moment in time, we need more support for girls, including trans girls, not efforts to socially alienate them.

These proposed bans on trans girls’ participation in girls sports are inconsistent with the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association rules, as well as New Hampshire’s non-discrimination laws, and would open the door to violations of the federal Title IX law. National organizations like the National Women’s Law Center, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and Women Leaders in College Sports all support trans-inclusive policies.

There are real issues we should be addressing in girls sports like a lack of adequate funding and resources, but that doesn’t seem to be a priority of the legislature. Student athletes are not asking us to ban their friends from playing sports with them. They, and we, say: Let trans girls play!


Op-ed by Tanna Clews, CEO, New Hampshire Women’s Foundation

Originally published at: 

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