Minnesota State High School League accepts transgender athlete policy

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Infographic by Anna Craggs

After months of debate, the Minnesota State High School League made a decision that will change the lives of many transgender athletes. The decision to let transgender students join the sports team which best fits their gender identity was passed on Dec. 4, 2014 after hours of debate. This is a step in accepting transgender students in schools and in the community. It will allow transgender students to feel more welcome in school and in sports.

 After more than 20 speakers addressed the high school league before the vote, 18 of the 20 members voted to pass the bill which will take effect during the 2015-16 school year. This decision makes Minnesota the 33rd state to accept this policy.

 Transgender students now have the option to play on the sports team they associate their gender to be, allowing all students equal opportunities to participate in school activities and sports teams.

To be eligible to participate on the team of their choice, transgender students who want to play on the team will be required to submit statements from parents or a doctor to school officials, though they do not need to show proof of sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy.

According to Trans Student Equality Resources, 80 percent of transgender youth felt unsafe at school because of their gender expression.

This bill should be accepted by every state because all students deserve equal rights and opportunities despite their sexual orientation or their gender.”

Discrimination of any person for any reason should not be tolerated and hopefully the bill passed for transgender athletes will help with acceptance of LGBT students in school and out, whether its at the mall or on the field.

Though unclear on how many transgender students will benefit from the bill, it gives transgender students a way to feel more welcome in school and in the community. Transgender students now can try out for the team they feel they should be on.

 Despite the opposition to the passing of the bill, stating that the policy will give some transgender students an unfair advantage over other team members and even potentially taking scholarships away, they ignore the reality that transgender kids have a rightful place in public schools and on sports teams.

This bill should be accepted by every state because all students deserve equal rights and opportunities despite their sexual orientation or their gender.

The bill passed by the Minnesota State High School League allows transgender students to participate on the team their gender associates with starting next school year and is a great step towards acceptance of transgender students in schools and the community.