Trans athletes treated unfairly

Jodi Velasco , Staff Writer

Legislation banning transgender student athletes from participating in school was introduced by 18 states in 2020. From the New York Times, “Over the past two years, nine states have enacted laws to bar transgender girls and women from competing in girls’ and women’s sports.”

Imagine being discriminated against for being yourself and competing in a sport you played your entire life. The debate on the inclusion of transgender athletes in competitions has been a hot topic. Since the transgender population is increasing, it is important to establish policies that are inclusive and fair to show respect to all.

The lack of knowledge about transgender individuals and the transition process, due to little exposure, leads to uninformed perspectives creating ignorance around this issue.

When an athlete joins a team, they are required to disclose their gender identity before they are allowed to compete. While this may seem like no big deal to most, it is a huge barrier for many young athletes who struggle with gender dysmorphia. To restrict a young boy or girl from participating in a sport that they are passionate about is unfair.

Data by the Northern Star reports only 34% of Americans support trans athletes playing on teams that match their gender identity. But development and education is the first step toward increasing awareness.

In an article about transgender inclusion, “The muscular advantage of transgender women over cisgender women is only minimally reduced after testosterone suppression,” said Allie Reynolds.

This proves how the unknown can cause conflict due to fear, as transitions can be a dangerous process. There should be no bearing on whether or not someone can exercise fundamental rights. But for transgender people it does, to a humiliating, violating, and sometimes lethal degree.

Some may argue that including transgender women in sports will have priority over athletes due to an extreme physical advantage. However, encouraging extreme physical advantages in competitive sports have always been apparent, but never been discriminated against.

According to an article by, Michael Phelps is “hyper-jointed in the chest meaning he can kick from his chest instead of his ribs; his double-jointed ankles bend 15 percent more than his rivals and, coupled with his size 14 feet, help his legs act like flippers to glide him through the water.”

This alone seems like a greater advantage than most transgender women would have in

any sport, yet nobody seems to be upset by Phelps. Instead, this has become a larger issue due to systematic transphobia.

The right to legal recognition, defined that everyone should be able to have documents marked with the gender in which they identify, has only recently gained traction. Many countries do not allow people to change the gender designation on their documents.

This prevents members of the trans community from equal opportunities. But a shift would require societies to recognize gender for what it is: a social construct.

In an article by Gender Justice, “scientists have repeatedly said there is no single biological factor that determines sex, and sex assigned at birth is not the sole determinant of gender.” Gender is individual and neither the government or authority should be able to adjudicate identity through restricting protocols.

Transgender athletes are unfairly discriminated against, but do not deserve to be prohibited from competing in a sport. These physical advantages do not overshadow the hardships these athletes face on a daily basis.

Instead, we should unite and respect people for who they are rather than discriminate against those who are different.