Talking about transgender athletes

Our goal isn’t to change anyone’s mind about transgender athletes. We encourage the reader to ask questions that popular media narratives have neglected. Let’s be open to exploring different framings and reading a variety of stories, including the perspectives of  multiple transgender athletes across a range of sports, before coming to conclusions.

What does the science say?

Many members of the public inaccurately assume that transgender women who have undergone male puberty automatically have a significant athletic advantage over cisgender women, without taking time to educate themselves on the physical effects of hormone therapy and other aspects of the transition process. 

[Note: “transgender women” below refers to transgender women who underwent masculinizing puberty before transitioning.  This is not to deny the existence of transwomen who never went through masculinizing puberty.  The decision to omit the phrase “who have undergone male puberty before transitioning” from the section titles below was made in the interest of space.]

Do transgender women have more testosterone than cisgender women?

Short answer: Not after hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

According to Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review (2022)  by the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport:

  • “… during the first year of HRT, trans women have testosterone levels that fall in the middle of the levels seen in cis women.“
  • “Evidence directly examining the effect of testosterone suppression as it directly affected trans women’s athletic performance showed no athletic advantage exists after one year of testosterone suppression (Harper, 2015, 2021).”
  • “Post gonad removal, many trans women experience testosterone levels far below that of pre-menopausal cis women.”

According to Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport, (2022). Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review.:

Does muscle mass give transgender women an athletic advantage over cis women?

Short answer: no evidence. Btw, transgender women lose muscle mass and gain more fat as part of transitioning.

According to Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review (2022)  by the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport :

  • “transgender women athletes undergoing HRT increase their estradiol, affecting total body fat percentage, and also significantly reduces testosterone, reducing muscle mass, red blood cell count and other factors important for athletic performance”
  • “…significant disadvantages that affect trans women during and after testosterone suppression.. can include: the diuretic effects of suppressive medications, speed, endurance, or recovery as a result of reduced muscle mass while maintaining a larger body along with reduced aerobic capacity” 
  • “…there is currently no existing evidence on the measurable difference testosterone has on lean muscle mass for active (versus sedentary) individuals, and no research in the context of high-performance athletes that would help understand, for example, testosterone uptake capacities among cis and trans women athletes.”

Does lung capacity give transgender women an athletic advantage over cis women?

Short answer: Inconclusive. Btw, taller people have bigger lungs but don’t necessarily have higher endurance than shorter people with smaller lungs because they have to carry a bigger body around.

According to Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review (2022)  by the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport :

  • … Lung size is also commonly attributed as performance enhancing; however, it is never adjusted for height (taller individuals naturally have larger lungs on average) nor is it a good predictor of sport performance  ..lung size should not be used as a proxy for an individual’s endurance capacity.

Does bone density give transgender women an athletic advantage over cis women?

Short answer: Studies about bone density impact on athletic performance are inconclusive. A significant number of ciswomen have higher bone density than a significant number of cis men. Btw,  Transgender women lose bone density after starting hormone therapy.  

According to Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review (2022)  by the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport :

  • “… trans women observe a loss of muscle mass and bone density as early as 6 months into their HRT. These studies therefore support the IOC regulations that allow trans women to compete in the women’s category provided they are on hormone therapy”
  • “…bone density was used extensively as evidence of the advantage trans women retain. The claims were unsubstantiated, with no citations to demonstrate bone density as a performance enhancer”
  • “Arguments based on bone density derive from systematically racist arguments first introduced in the 1920’s while attempting to ignore this background, black women and women of color have higher bone density than white men (Leslie, 2012) removing any potential for bone density to be considered a factor for unfairness in trans athletes”

Does q-angle give transgender women an athletic advantage over cis women?

Short answer: no evidence. 

According to Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review (2022)  by the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport :

  • “the q-angle – defined as the angle between a line drawn from the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) to the center of the patella and a second line from the patella to the tibial tubercle – has often been assumed to play a role in generating power during acceleration and efficiency of a running stride. However, under investigation there appears to be no performance advantage conferred in sport as a result of q-angle”

Learn more

Canadian Center for Ethics in Sports’ 2022 publication (linked below) has a list of scientific studies conducted by different researchers on the subject of transgender sports performance. Each study is examined for baked-in biases and faulty premises.

Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review
Executive summary
Full report

No time to read?  Quite understandable. We are all busy people.  But if we have no time to educate ourselves about the issues, then we shouldn’t be spending any time unintentionally or otherwise harming some of the most vulnerable members of our communities by spreading one-sided uninformed narratives about trans people among our cis friends and family members. What we say in private conversations matters. Our role in curating the stories that we choose to spread matters.

Questioning the controversy over Lia Thomas

You may have heard some of your cisgender coworkers and neighbors voice opinions on the case of Lia Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania swimmer who happens to be transgender. The fact that multiple cisgender women swimmers have beaten Lia Thomas in competition is often conveniently ignored in transphobic narratives painting her as uniformly victorious over cisgender women.

The false narrative of Lia Thomas as exceptionally dominant in her sport falls apart on closer examination.

Did you know that multiple cisgender woman swimmers had beaten Lia Thomas in various races?

In the March 2022 NCAA championships, Lia Thomas placed last in the 100-freestyle finals and came in 5th in the 200-freestyle finals. 

Did you know the cisgender woman who placed second after Lia Thomas at the NCAA championship was less than 2 seconds slower?

 Lia Thomas did take first place in the 500-yard freestyle in the 2022 NCAA championship, but the second-placed cisgender competitor was only 1.75 seconds slower.

Did you know that Lia Thomas did NOT break any NCAA records?

You may have noticed some of your cisgender acquaintances describe Lia Thomas as “breaking record after record” in women’s swimming when, in fact, Lia Thomas did NOT break any NCAA records at the March 2022 championship event. 

Lia Thomas did break 3 pool records at the Penn vs. Cornell vs Princeton tri-meet. But at the same Sheerr Pool event, cisgender women from Princeton broke 4 pool records, and their record-breaking was not attributed to them being cisgender. Btw, Princeton beat Lia Thomas’ UPenn at that meet.

Did you know that non-transgender Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky  beat her opponents by a far bigger margin than Lia Thomas ?

If you are questioning whether it is fair for Lia Thomas to compete, are you also questioning whether it is fair for Katie Ledecky to compete when she beat the 2nd place swimmer by close to 11 seconds, surging ahead by more than half the length of the pool.

That is far more dramatic than Lia Thomas’ 2-second victory. 

But if Katie Ledecky looked less conventionally feminine, would you be more likely to question  her domination of other women in sports? Would you think it is justified to call for an investigation into whether she is intersex, if not transgender? If that’s the case, then it’s really not about the numbers or the science, it’s about outward appearances, right? Is that fair?

The importance of nuance

Many of your friends and neighbors may have weighed in on  the participation of Lia Thomas in women’s swimming events without being aware of the NCAA policy regarding testosterone levels in transgender athletes, or bothering to find out how long Lia Thomas had been on hormone therapy, or even being aware of the physical effects of hormone therapy on transwomen. 

Encourage your acquaintances to explore the issue from multiple angles, which should involved listening to scientists and transgender athletes across the gender spectrum, before coming to conclusions.

6 truths and myths about trans swimmer Lia Thomas – Outsports

Questions for discussion

Most people will not change their minds even if you present well thought-out arguments for trans inclusion. Instead, try to help our neighbors and acquaintances ask the right questions, do their own research and listen to more nuanced narratives.

What is the NCAA policy for the participation of transgender women athletes?

…transgender student-athletes must provide documentation to the CSMAS within four weeks before the selections date for their championship.

The documentation must demonstrate compliance with the 2010 NCAA policy (PDF), which calls for one year of testosterone suppression treatment. It should also document a one-time serum testosterone level that falls below the maximum allowable level for the sport in which the student-athlete is competing within four weeks of championship selections for that sport… plus meet the sport standard for documented testosterone levels at the beginning of their competition season and again six months later. 

Beginning Aug. 1, 2024, participation in NCAA sports requires transgender student-athletes to provide documentation that meets the sport-specific standard submitted twice annually (once at the beginning of competition season and the second six months following) for one year. This process will continue annually for eligible student-athletes…

Transgender Student-Athlete Participation Policy – (Jan 19, 2022)

What are the physical effects of feminizing hormone treatments on physical performance?

People using estrogen and anti-androgens as part of their hormone treatment may notice:

  • an increase in fat around the hips and thighs
  • a loss of muscle mass in the arms and legs
  • a reduction in strength
Male-to-female hormones: What to know (

Summer Tao, who transitioned at age 25, describes changes in physical strength after starting hormone therapy:

“…the estrogen I take decreased my muscle tone. I couldn’t lift the same weight as I used to; opening jars became problematic.”

Being a trans woman at the gym and in locker rooms can be terrifying for me. Here’s how I navigate those spaces and overcame some of my fears. (, Feb 2, 2023)

What are the regulations regarding transgender participation in sports in your home state / local community? Are they effective in achieving their supposed goal?

The example of Texas

In October 2021, Texas Gov.signed a bill requiring public school students compete in interscholastic athlete competitions based solely on their assigned sex at birth. Prior to that, the University Interscholastic League, which governs athletic competitions in the state’s public schools,  already required students participating in high school sports to do so in accordance with the sex listed on their birth certificates but accepted amended birth certificates. The new Texas law would not accept amended birth certificates.

Such rules that supposedly protect cis girls from “unfair” competition by barring trans girls from girls’ sports, actually force transgender boys to compete in girls’ sports, to the disadvantage of cis girls. This was seen in the case of wrestler Mack Beggs:

Beggs had asked to wrestle in the boys’ division, but the rules for Texas public high schools require athletes to compete under the gender on their birth certificate. 

Transgender Texas wrestler wins second high school girls title (

Beggs was taking testosterone as part of his transition from female to male. And when he  competed in the girls’ division in accordance with Texas rules, there was a  “fierce debate about competitive fairness”  and even a lawsuit that tried to stop him from going to the State championship.

As they say, “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

What are competition rules concerning intersex athletes? How do they affect transgender athletes?

The Texas rule  governing transgender athletes is based on gender assigned  at birth, which is usually determined by an infant’s external genitalia.  But let’s not forget people with differences in sexual development (DSD) , also known as intersex individuals.

… a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types… Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.

What is intersex? | Intersex Society of North America (

In the case of intersex individuals with androgen insensitivity syndrome, external genitalia may appear female while one’s sex chromosomes are the XY associated with males.  

Intersex people can be cisgender, i.e. they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

An example of a female athlete with androgen insensitivity syndrome is Spanish former Olympic hurdler Maria José Martínez-Patiño. She has XY chromosomes but no testosterone level advantage over women with XX chromosomes because of her androgen insensitivity. Maria José Martínez-Patiño was disqualified from competition in 1985, when she failed a chromosome test, “punished for an advantage that she did not have.” In 1988, the genetic scientist Albert de la Chapelle defended her and she was reinstated.

…by the Sydney Olympics in 2000, chromosome testing had been abandoned as a means of sex verification. Hormone-based tests seem to offer a clearer link to athletic performance…

The controversial science behind the Caster Semenya verdict | WIRED UK

In 2018, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) updated its eligibility rules for cisgender women athletes with differences of sex development (DSD), reducing the testosterone level for eligibility from 10 to 5 nmol/L but only for middle distance running events.

The regulation was regarded as unfair by some.  Amit Katwala, Oxford graduate and senior writer at Wired UK, wrote in The controversial science behind the Caster Semenya verdict:

Critics of the proposed changes have pointed out that although the IAAF found evidence that testosterone influences performance in throwing events too, they’ve only changed the eligibility criteria for middle distance running events, in a move that seems targeted at one athlete. There are athletes in other sports who are far more dominant than Semenya – the swimmer Katie Ledecky, for example, has beaten her competitors by the length of a pool at times.

This double standard concerning Katie Ledecky  was also observed by Olympic triathlete Chris Mosier, who happens to be a trans man:

“We see that Black women’s presentation is policed in terms of how they’re showing up…”

Mosier cites the example of Team USA’s Katie Ledecky, a three-time Olympic swimmer and five-time gold medalist, who is White.

“We never heard conversations or questions about Katie Ledecky when she won by over pool length in the Rio Olympics,” Mosier said. “We never heard questions of her not really being a woman that we often see with Black and Brown athletes that any level of athletic exceptionalism is automatically a flag for questioning who they really are.”

Will the Olympics ever truly welcome nonbinary athletes? | PBS NewsHour

Do you hold intersex and transgender athletes to the same standards?

You may or may not agree with the critics. But if  you think it is appropriate to require cisgender intersex athletes who were assigned female at birth to undergo treatment to reduce their levels of testosterone to a specified level before competing, then, as a fair-minded person, you should have no objections to transgender athletes who were assigned male at birth competing  in women’s sports after their levels of testosterone have been reduced to the same specified levels.

The supposed physical advantages retained by MTF transgender athletes who transitioned after puberty are also present in some intersex athletes who were assigned female at birth and raised as girls, according to IAAF claims:

The IAAF is not classifying any DSD (Differences of Sexual Development) athlete as male. To the contrary, we accept their legal sex without question, and permit them to compete in the female category. However if a DSD athlete has testes and male levels of testosterone, they get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in hemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty, which is what gives men such a performance advantage over women. 

IAAF denies attempting to classify Semenya as biologically male – Canadian Running Magazine

What do you know about AMAB transgender or non-binary athletes competing in men’s sports?

There are those who claim that banning assigned-male-at-birth (AMAB) women and girls from women’s sports is not discriminatory because transgender women will still be allowed to compete in men’s sports. 

But if transgender women enter men’s competitions and face discrimination, will those who banned them from women’s sports advocate just as hard for their safe inclusion in men’s sports?

Let’s take a look at the careers of some AMAB gender-non-conforming athletes in Thailand:

In 1996 Thailand watched as The Iron Ladies, a men’s volleyball team made up of gay and transgender athletes, shattered expectations and won the national championships… Just two weeks after stunning the nation with their winning combination of grace, poise, and raw talent, the volleyball stars were turned down from joining the national team because of their “cosmetics and women’s clothes.

The Iron Ladies: Thailand’s Fierce LGBT Volleyball Champions (

Chris Mosier, a transgender athlete on Team USA, shared his opinion on AMAB trans/enby participation in U.S. men’s sports in an April 2021 Sports Illustrated article:

 There is no current equivalent out athlete for AMAB nonbinary people in men’s leagues. “Sport is not safe for trans people, and it’s certainly not safe for people in men’s sports who do not perform a certain type of masculinity,” says Chris Mosier, the first trans man to qualify for the U.S. duathlon team and the founder of “There is a structure in sport that probably prevents AMAB nonbinary people from [openly] participating.”

If you are a transgender athlete, or if  you have a transgender child who wants to play sports, what kind of guidelines would you like to have in place to ensure you or your child’s safe and fair participation?

Try putting ourselves in the shoes of those community members whom we might not immediately choose to identify with. Try to move beyond a “us-vs-them” framing.

Expanding the conversation beyond transgender women athletes to other gender non-conforming athletes

There are many stories about trans-masculine athletes, non-binary athletes and intersex athletes.Learn about the full range of transgender and intersex experiences in sports to enrich your perspective and inform your opinions.

How transgender men and boys are impacted by rules aimed at transgender women and girls

The unbalanced narratives contribute to ignorant opinions held by school administrators and the general public, which have a needless and negative impact on students, as can be seen in the case of trans boy athlete Aryn Butherus:

Trans athletes are most commonly discussed in terms of the potential they have for competitive advantage, a discussion that disproportionately impacts trans girls … “The problem with trans men is that they’ve largely been invisible in the media,” Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Representation for GLAAD, says in the Netflix documentary Disclosure… they can become an afterthought….

…. “All the conversation was about protecting girls in sports,” says Kelly. “But here’s my son. He’s not going to be on your girls’ team. What are you gonna do with that?”

…When Aryn Butherus asked to switch from the girls’ basketball team to the boys’ during his sophomore year in high school in Wichita, Kansas, he says the administrator told him that trans people didn’t belong in sports because they had an unfair advantage. Butherus, who is 5’4” and was not taking testosterone at that time, was absolutely not at an advantage on the basketball court against cisgender boys who had gone through masculinizing puberty. Yet he was still denied the ability to play.

What About the Trans Athletes Who Win in Boys Sports? – InsideHook

How policies that define and police womanhood in sports impacts cisgender women, not just transgender women

Ann Peel, a former Canadian record holder for racewalking, wrote about gender double standards in sports:

… the case of South African runner Caster Semenya, the Olympic champion who was born with hyperandrogenism, a condition affecting women in which testosterone is elevated… Ms. Semenya  has endured highly invasive questions about her body, her genetic composition and her place in the sport. No one, meanwhile, muses about whether some physical anomaly disqualifies great male athletes such as Usain Bolt; we celebrate his achievements and his charming flair.…

…The IAAF would determine that Ms. Semenya has “unusually” high testosterone levels – which, it should be said, are well below the lowest threshold of a biological male – and ruled that she must chemically alter her body to continue competing, as part of broader regulations around female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels…

The female athletes of concern now are, primarily, the bodies of women of colour…

The debate in sports over the definition of womanhood is paternalistic – and hypocritical – The Globe and Mail

What are the biggest threats to the fair participation of cisgender women in sports? (Hint: it is NOT transgender women)

WNBA player Brianna Turner of the Phoenix Mercury pointed out glaring gender inequality during the 2021 NCAA Tournament:

“The men had access to a massive gym with fancy equipment, while the women had free weights and yoga mats. The women received less food, and of a lower quality and variety, than the men, and the men even received outside sponsors for catering that were not extended to women’s teams,

WNBA pro: Trans players in women’s sports are not the problem. (

In her piece for the Houston Chronicle, Turner wrote: “As a Black woman and athlete, I have faced many challenges to equality in sports. But the participation of transgender women and girls in women’s sports is not one of those challenges.”

Ann Peel, a former Canadian record holder for racewalking, also pointed out that the biggest threat to the safety of cisgender women athletes is cisgender male coaches who abuse their authority, not transgender female teammates and competitors: 

And the hypocrisy is galling. These organizations who work to “protect” women are also, in other spaces, leaving women on their own – to devastating effect.

In May, 2018, an independent investigator found that Desai Williams, one of my former teammates who went on to become a coach, violated Athletics Canada’s sexual-harassment policy with one of his athletes. Was the organization doing anything to protect the athlete he abused, or the other female athletes he coached? No: It wasn’t until October that he was finally sanctioned and prevented from coaching, because it took that long for Athletics Canada to name him.

This is too common. In February, the CBC reported that more than 222 coaches involved in amateur sport in Canada were convicted of sexual offences against more than 600 athletes under 18 in the past 20 years. This is where athletes need protection. This is where sports authorities should be spending their resources. Instead, they’re devoting it to retrograde ideas around determining who is or isn’t enough of a woman.

The debate in sports over the definition of womanhood is paternalistic – and hypocritical – The Globe

What about non-binary athletes?

Transgender athletes: Where do nonbinary people fit in? – Sports Illustrated

While many trans athletes have become political lightning rods, nonbinary people like the WNBA’s Layshia Clarendon are left out of the conversation…

The concept of nonbinary gender identity is not simply a third gender category. Rather, nonbinary identity sees gender as a spectrum:… “Nonbinary” can mean neither man nor woman. It can mean both man and woman.

Nonbinary people can be assigned female at birth (AFAB) or assigned male at birth (AMAB). They can be intersex—a term used to describe someone who is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit neatly into the boxes of “female” or “male” as the categories are typically defined. Nonbinary people can choose aspects of medical transition for themselves, like feminizing or masculinizing hormones or gender-affirmation surgeries, or they might not medically transition at all…

In Will the Olympics ever truly welcome nonbinary athletes? | PBS NewsHour,  Bria Brown-King, the director of engagement for InterACT, the largest intersex rights organization in the U.S., shared their experience as an intersex student participating in sports:

Brown-King, 29, is intersex, an umbrella term for people with variations in sex characteristics. They were assigned female at birth and grew up playing girl’s soccer and running track. They had been socialized as a girl…

Brown-King never fit in with other girls. They grew facial and body hair as a really young kid and had a massive growth spurt in elementary school. Adults commented that they would likely be a star basketball player. And then, in sixth grade, they hit 5’2” and stopped growing. They would later come to understand they have congenital adrenal hyperplasia, or high levels of testosterone that caused early puberty and some secondary sex characteristics.

…Brown-King was bullied as a young athlete by kids who didn’t think that a girl should have a six pack or biceps. They eventually stopped playing sports, and wouldn’t venture back into athletics until adulthood.

What ideas have been proposed for improving inclusion of diverse genders in sports? What are your ideas?

Alison Heather, a physiologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and her colleagues proposed a solution:

One way to address these issues, Heather and her colleagues wrote in an essay published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, would be to create a handicap system that uses an algorithm to account for physiological parameters such as testosterone, hemoglobin levels, height, and endurance capacity, as well as social factors like gender identity and socioeconomic status. “Such an algorithm would be analogous to the divisions in the Paralympics, and may also include paralympians,” they write. Instead of two divisions, male and female, there would be multiple ones and “athletes would be placed into a division which best mitigates unfair physical and social parameters.”

Trans Athletes Are Posting Victories and Shaking Up Sports | WIRED 

The Truth about Trans Athletes and Performance (

Transgender swimmer James Wilson, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, has challenged the Amateur Swimming Association to create an optional third category, so athletes who are in the process of transitioning are still recognised on the scoreboards. “Transitioning doesn’t happen from one second to the other,” Wilson says. “It’s a very long, slow process, and everybody is different. Sport is very binary, men and women. It’s black and white, but I want to be grey. I don’t care about medals – I just want to have my time recorded.”

Bria Brown-King, the director of engagement for InterACT, America’s largest intersex rights organization, shares their hopes for the future:

Their first 5K in 2018 in Montague, Massachusetts had a gender neutral category, which allowed them to compete…“My idea of a perfect future is one that’s completely genderless, but I think that we have a long way to go before we get there,” Brown-King said. “I think that it looks like accepting the fact that trans and intersex women are not born with gold medals in their hands, and that we are not going anywhere.”

Will the Olympics ever truly welcome nonbinary athletes? | PBS NewsHour

What would our world look like if we spent as much energy on ways to include people as we spend on ways  to exclude them? 

Why are we hearing so much about transgender athletes in recent years?

Effective clickbait building up to support for anti-transgender legislation

Negative stories about trans athletes outperform all other stories in engagement. With a proven formula for effective click bait, it is no wonder that media outlets continue to produce one-sided stories that erase transgender voices. Only 7% of stories mentioned the name of a trans athlete.

Chris Mosier, the first openly transgender athlete on Team USA,  points out the problematic framing used by popular media narratives in I’m A Trans Athlete. I Want the Media to Play Fair | Them

Red meat leads to donation dollars

This media feeding frenzy around trans athletes is accompanied by an unprecedented amount of anti-trans legislation being introduced in state legislatures, with 174 bills introduced in 2022, breaking the record number of anti-transgender bills previously set in 2021. 2020 too had broken the record set in previous years. 

A few years ago, anti-Sharia bills that fed on Islamophobic fears in the larger community were used in a similar way across many state legislatures. The purpose was not necessarily to pass the bills. Even in states where such bills did not stand much chance of passing, they served to mobilize a political base whose energy and donations can then be channeled to other issues not necessarily related to the minority-punching-bag-of-choice for the season.

The impact of anti-trans legislation on non-transgender people’s quality of life

Bills banning transgender student athletes from sports have next to no impact on the life of the average cisgender resident of any state.  According to a 2021 ESPN story, an estimated 0.44% of high school athletes are transgender. If we are parents who worry that our cisgender children would have to compete against a transgender schoolmate in sports, there are many more statistically significant issues affecting our children, such as being bullied at school by non-transgender peers or dating violence from non-transgender partners.  

By focusing our attention on transgender participation in sports to the detriment of other issues, these anti-trans legislative efforts hurt our larger community:

Why should I care if I am not transgender?

When our emotional responses to minority groups, whether they are transgender people, immigrants, or Muslims, are manipulated to distract us from holding our elected leaders accountable for healthcare, housing affordability and employment protections, we are the ones who lose, even if we think we are scoring a victory in further marginalizing our historically excluded relatives and neighbors through legislation..