I have just finished the documentary, “Changing the Game” on Hulu and am inspired to express my support for including transgender athletes in high school sports.
I would venture to say that most transgender students wouldn’t even go as far as even trying to participate in sports. They face tremendous discrimination every day, just going about their daily lives trying to be who they are. These students are not looking to harm or take advantage of anyone. They deeply feel that they were born the wrong gender and really want, with all their heart, to be the gender they feel that they are.
I have known a few transgender students in my years as a high school secretary in Homer, and they are some of the most wonderful kids you’d ever meet, and their friends agree. And they are BRAVE.
For the few who would like to play sports as the gender they identify with, I feel strongly that they should be able to. I have daughters who excelled in sports, and I understand the viewpoint of those opposed to letting a transgender girl compete with other girls. Some may say they are stronger, or faster, and in a very few cases, this could prove true.
But those athletes really are girls too, and they just want to belong and be accepted as who they are. Same when transgender boys want to play with the boys.
All transgender teens face enormous obstacles, including a lot of hatred from adults. Suicide rates for this population are high because of all the negativity they face.
Let’s support these kids by giving them acceptance, support, love and a chance to be involved in sports with peers who they identify with and are friends with. Many states have already done this and for the benefit of our society and our teens, we should too.
Cindy Koplin lives in Homer.