Transgender Athlete Faces New Issues


By Faye Kenajian 

Staff Reporter 

An issue about policy of athletics has arisen for transgender students.

Theools and universities is if an athlete should compete with their assigned gender or their affirmed gender.

PFLAG.com states that assigned gender is the gender that is assigned to an infant based on his or her visible genitals, while affirmed gender is the gender someone wishes to be known.

Transathlete.com is an organization that acts as a resource for people to understand the transgender policies in athletics at various levels.

The website states that policies vary by state but they recommend that transgender students in grades K-12 should be allowed to play sports in their affirmed gender.

“There will be people that disagree with how you live your life but they should never dictate how you live your life,” said junior Caroline Deorio.

A recent example of this includes Mack Beggs, a teenager who is transitioning into a male on a High School wrestling team in Texas. He was required by the state law to play on the girl’s team and he won.

In a statement made by the Portland Press Herald, Beggs’ family would prefer for him to wrestle as a boy especially since he’s been taking testosterone treatments.

However, state policy dictates that Mack must wrestle under his birth gender.

“It is a tough situation to be in. I think it is wrong that the league would force a teen to wrestle with a certain gender that they no longer identify with, especially because of how inconsiderate they were towards this child’s feelings,” said junior Corey Gittleman.

As far as college goes, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), has specific recommendations in transgender policies.

According to Transathlete.com, the NCAA does not require gender confirming surgery or legal recognition of a player’s transitioned sex in order for transgender players to participate on a team which matches their identity.

“I’m not sure what the policy should be for transgender athletes, but it is important to acknowledge everyone. So, I don’t think there should be any rule about transgender athletes not being allowed to participate in a sport they love,” said Deorio.

When taking this to a federal level, recently with the change into the Trump administration, it has been decided that transgender laws are going to be up to the discretion of the state.

According the USA Today, Trump has put an end to federal protections that give students the ability to use facilities based on the gender they identify with so the states must determine the school policies themselves.

“I think that transgender children should be able to play the sport, with the gender that they identify with, at that time. However, it becomes a slippery slope when discussing locker rooms and bathrooms following this topic. Perhaps the children should have their own changing rooms, so that any problems within the schools, regarding bullying and parents, can be avoided,” said junior Jade Serritella.

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