A new house bill may affect the transgender sports community

Justin Ginther

Online Reporter

The newest addition to transgender discrimination comes from Wash. state, House Bill 2201. This bill was recently proposed by Reps. Klippert, Griffey and Young. The purpose of the bill is to prevent transgender women from participating in female-specific sports. This only applies to individual competition sports like track and field or swimming. Team-based sports like basketball aren’t addressed. Currently, the bill has only been pre-filled and hasn’t yet been introduced in the house.

Rep. Klippert argues that he’s fighting for women’s rights. His main argument is that transgender girls biologically have an advantage over their female peers. “I’m running this in support of female athletes, so they can compete against each other and not have to compete against male athletes who have different hormones flowing through their veins which gives them much more muscle capacity,” Rep. Klippert said to KEPR.

It’s also been argued that, according to Klippert, females who identify with the same sex they were assigned at birth are potentially missing out on scholarships. 

Many have been quick to argue against Klippert’s claims, stating that this bill is just an attempt to alienate the community.

“I think it’s discriminatory, I think it’s just another way they’re trying to discriminate against transgender people,” states Kayla Bentley, the president of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at Pierce College Puyallup.

Tobi Hill-Meyer, co-executive director of the Seattle-based Gender Justice League for Washington state, said to the Tri-City Herald “This bill is not based on science, if it was anything more that [sic] bias and bigotry it would have been created with input from medical experts on the issue.” 

Bentley also argues against the idea that transgender girls are potentially stealing scholarships; “It’s not like there’s a big wave of trans people invading, there’s maybe one or two trans people that are like “I want to be doing this sport with people of my gender.” 

Supposing Klippert’s claims about transgender girls are true, how could a fair and equal opportunity be presented to both cisgender and transgender girls alike? Currently, there are restrictions on the levels of testosterone that are acceptable for a transgender girl to be at in order to be eligible for competing. 

Members of the Pierce College Puyallup Gay-Straight Alliance club make crafts. Justin Ginther Photo.

However, this still alienates transgender girls at the end of the day because of what happens when they don’t meet these requirements. Are opportunities for transgender girls to compete more important than ensuring the fairest competition possible? This is again supposing Klippert’s claims have scientific backing to them. Regardless, transgender girls aren’t competing because they want to cheat or give themselves some sort of advantage, they are just trying to be who they are while pursuing something they’re passionate about, in this specific case sports.

Discrimination and resentment toward the transgender community is common today. According to the scholarly journal Injustice at Every Turn, 35% of transgender students experienced harassment and bullying from students, teachers and staff, 5% experienced physical assault and 3% experienced sexual assault.

In this same article, of the 6,450 transgender participants, 41% had attempted suicide. The general population rate for attempted suicide is 1.6%. 

To support transgender people, Bentley suggests doing small things like wearing a pin. She says small things like that can really go a long way and that students can also show their support by joining the GSA club at Pierce. 

“[The point of the GSA is] just to have space for LGBT people to come that’s just inclusive and accepting of them because a lot of people don’t have that,” says Kayla. 

For those interested in joining, the GSA meets Wednesdays from 12-1p.m. in the College Center in room 246.

“We’re all kind of realizing that we all have it hard and we all have to come out to one degree or another and so we all want to stand together,” says Kayla.

Pierce College students answer if transgender girls should participate in girls’ sports:

“Yes, because I think everyone should be included. It’s an iffy topic. If you are a man transitioning to a woman they are stronger, faster but I don’t want to un-include them.” —

-By Chanelle Arobel

“I think so, I don’t really have a problem with them. I can see the controversy, you can’t force them to wrestle in the guys’ division.” 

-By Anthony Sota

“No, because it’s the thing they are biologically male. It’s an unfair advantage, they have strengths that females don’t. I would feel that it was unfair if they were on my team. They would be quicker. A lot of the girls would feel at a disadvantage and winning all the medals. To make it fair, stay in your sport. If you’re biologically male, do these sports and biologically females stay on female sports. It feels unfair, especially since you’re trying your best. I get why they would want to play a women’s sport.”

-By Whitney Fleshfan

“It’s really difficult because a wrestler and guys are not like women. They have the advantage. It’s harder to say if it’s other sports its more round. It depends on the sport.”

-By Ben Milligan

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Justin Ginther

A new house bill may affect the transgender sports community

by Justin Ginther time to read: 4 min