|Across the country, state legislatures have introduced bills that would ban transgender youth from participating in K-12 school sports, and in some cases in college as well. This year alone, at least 30 states have introduced this type of legislation.|
For more than 12 years, MAP has been tracking laws and policies impact LGBTQ people through our LGBTQ Equality Maps. MAP is now tracking these harmful laws that ban transgender kids from participating in school sports.
Earlier this month, Mississippi’s legislature prioritized and passed a law banning transgender youth from the opportunities and joy of participating in sports. And just last week, Arkansas and Tennessee passed similar prohibitions in denying transgender youth the same chances to build a sense of belonging with their peers on team sports. In South Dakota, the state legislature and governor are currently in negotiations about a similar bill. Legislatures in Montana, Arkansas, and Alabama may vote this week on this kind of bill.
These bills around the country would mean that a transgender girl, for example, would not be allowed to participate in sports her classmates. By telling transgender girls that they can’t play girls’ sports, or transgender boys that they can’t play boys’ sports, they miss out on this important childhood experience and all the lessons it teaches.
When school officials recognize that a transgender girl is a girl during the school day, but are forced then treat her as if she’s a boy when sports practice starts, it’s deeply harmful and disrupts the school’s policy of treating all kids fairly.
The bills being introduced around the country are blanket bans on transgender youth’s participation in sports, and they are as unnecessary as they are harmful, “solutions” in search of a problem.
From Hawai’i to Montana to Maine, see the range of states that have introduced bills targeting transgender youth, as shown on the map below created by our partners at Freedom for All Americans.