Dear Texas Legislators:
The Women’s Sports Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign, and TransAthlete.com write to express our concerns regarding some extreme Texas lawmakers’ cynical attempts to use women’s athletics to support anti-LGBTQ legislation that will harm young transgender athletes.
When introducing and advancing Senate Bill 3 (SB3), a bill that targets transgender athletes, the sponsor and other members of the Senate claimed the bill was necessary to protect female athletes and women’s sports. This characterization, however, reflects an outdated view of gender equity in sports.
The belief that transgender women and girls should be barred from participating in women’s sports is rooted in discriminatory gender-based assumptions and stereotypes that have been widely rejected by the majority of sports research and policy experts. Relying on the most current understanding of human development and sports science, governing bodies have been able to craft trans-inclusive policies that ensure competitive fairness and inclusion—two core values of sport. In fact, most major sports organizations and governing bodies, including the NCAA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the Women’s Sports Foundation support trans-inclusive policies in women’s sports.
Further, the majority of sports policy experts support allowing young transgender athletes (K-12) to compete in leagues and on teams that are consistent with their gender identity regardless of the gender marker on their identification documents or their medical transition status. The goal of sports at this age is to build character, increase self-confidence, and promote fitness. Children who participate in sports report having better grades, better mental and physical health, and feeling more included and invested in their school communities. We believe all girls, including transgender girls, should enjoy these benefits. As such, most sports policy experts and governing bodies do not support creating unnecessary obstacles – such as hormone therapy, identification document changes, or surgeries – for transgender youth to participate in sports.
Women’s athletics welcomes all women and girls, including transgender women and girls. Therefore, we unequivocally and in the strongest terms reject Texas’s efforts to pass discriminatory laws against transgender athletes, especially in the name of women’s athletics.
Women’s Sports Foundation
Human Rights Campaign