The right-wing freak out that transgender girls could dominate girls’ sports at the high school level (as if right-wingers care about women’s sports except when it is useful in their culture wars) is so very, very frustrating. Claire Thornton decided to do what few journalists have done–actually talk to transgender girls and their families about it.
For five years, Rebekah Bruesehoff has played field hockey on a girl’s team, the team that corresponds with her gender identity.
The other students and parents cheer her on as they do everyone else on the team. She’s celebrated for being an anchor on defense and bringing excitement to every play. This year, she made it through tryouts to earn a spot on the varsity team at her new middle school in southern New Jersey.
“My teammates love and support me for me; on the field, I’m just a player. I’m so much more than trans,” Bruesehoff, 14, said.
Amid a national debate over whether transgender women should be prohibited from competing with cisgender women, Jamie Bruesehoff, Rebekah’s mom, worries whether her daughter will be banned from her favorite activity – or bullied over who she is.
“I’m sitting there, heart pounding, looking at the sidelines wondering ‘is someone going to make this all go badly?’” Bruesehoff, 38, said.
That’s certainly the goal of the Republican Party. Of course there are higher principles at play:
Civil rights experts said competitive sports are the latest facet of life targeted by anti-transgender legislation.
“It’s a proxy for them having lost the bathroom war,” said Veronica Ivy, a competitive cyclist and expert on transgender rights whose research on sports demographics has contributed to International Olympic Committee policy.
Ah yes, the bathroom war. Remember when non-gendered bathrooms were created and the American family disintegrated? Really, it’s the worst crisis since gay marriage, which as we have all seen has basically led to all morality and family structure and traditional ways fall into a maelstrom of sex orgies. It must be really hard being a conservative these days.
Legislators in more than 20 states have introduced bills this year that would ban transgender girls from competing on girls’ sports teams in public high schools. Yet in almost every case, sponsors cannot cite a single instance in their own state or region where such participation has caused problems.
The Associated Press reached out to two dozen state lawmakers sponsoring such measures around the country as well as the conservative groups supporting them and found only a few times it’s been an issue among the hundreds of thousands of American teenagers who play high school sports.
In South Carolina, for example, Rep. Ashley Trantham said she knew of no transgender athletes competing in the state and was proposing a ban to prevent possible problems in the future. Otherwise, she said during a recent hearing, “the next generation of female athletes in South Carolina may not have a chance to excel.”
In Tennessee, House Speaker Cameron Sexton conceded there may not actually be transgender students now participating in middle and high school sports; he said a bill was necessary so the state could be “proactive.”
The party of limited government!