We, the undersigned, represent a broad coalition of legal and policy experts, women’s advocates, educational associations, civil rights groups, and proponents of equality for all Americans. We strongly oppose proposed legislation that targets transgender youth for mistreatment and discrimination by seeking to ban them from participating in sports or from being able to access best practice medical care in accordance with the recommendations of those they trust.
It is unconscionable that in many states, lawmakers are proposing and passing a wave of dangerous bills that seek to ban transgender youth from participating on K-12 school sports teams and/or from being able to access best practice medical care. Transgender kids already struggle with bullying and mistreatment in schools and discrimination in public spaces and health care. These bills add to the crushing weight of discrimination in housing, public spaces, health care and more that transgender people face in our states and across the country. These bills put vulnerable transgender kids at risk of even more harassment and abuse.
Kids learn a lot of important life lessons in sports: leadership, confidence, self-respect, and what it means to be part of a team. Transgender kids want the opportunity to play sports for the same reason other kids do: to be a part of a team where they feel like they belong. For state lawmakers to discriminate against kids and ban them from playing because they’re transgender denies these kids this vitally important childhood experience and all the lessons it teaches.