Bills aimed at preventing transgender youth from athletics are under debate in more than a dozen states in the U.S.
Transgender students' participation in women's sports in high school has become a contentious topic in the United States. Since more young people are identifying as transgender, the debate around whether transgender girls can compete on girls' high school teams has come to the forefront of these discussions.
On his first day, President Biden signed an executive order reversing the ban on transgender rights imposed by the Trump administration. Since then, there has been a surge in the introduction of bills and legislation to restrict the rights of trans people, which includes a ban on transgender students taking part in school athletics.
According to the ACLU, lawmakers in 24 states have brought in bills that would block transgender youths from participating in athletics. Most of those bills have been referred to a committee or are under discussion. Forbes had reported that by the end of January 2021, lawmakers in six states introduced bills aimed at limiting participation for transgender athletes. According to the Washington Post, the legislation was introduced in Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. However, Idaho is the only state that has successfully enacted a law banning transgender athletes from female sports, but it has been blocked in federal court.
States like Illinois and Virginia require a documented medical transition, including disclosure of hormone therapies. In Georgia and New Mexico, birth certificates are used to determine the sex of a person and their athletic eligibility. Others, like Pennsylvania, let local schools decide, and currently, ten states offer no statewide guidance for incorporating transgender athletes.