On April 13, 2023, the Department of Education released a notice of proposed rulemaking addressing students’ ability to access sports teams consistent with their gender identity under Title IX. The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) is encouraged to see the proposed rule would clarify that categorical bans of transgender athletes are impermissible under Title IX. These broad bans, which now exist across 21 states, limit opportunities and harm the development of both cisgender and transgender girls and women.
As the primary mission of WSF is to advocate for inclusion of all girls and women, we believe it to be imperative that any policy governing transgender athlete participation should encourage a pathway to inclusion, and any restrictions should be contingent on the level of competition and play. At the youth level, WSF believes that sports participation policies should focus on the ability for youth to play and compete consistent with their gender identity.