When I was in middle school, I desperately wanted to play football with all the other boys. I never got to try out for the team because I was born female. Back then I didn’t have the words to describe who I was or what was happening. I just knew I was different, and that unfortunate quality made me unwelcome in sports and among my peers.

Recently, when I learned about a proposed bill called L.D. 926, as a trans person I felt different and unwanted all over again. L.D. 926 specifically prohibits trans girls from participating in girls’ sports in Maine. That the bill singles out our trans girls is as bizarre as it is disturbing.

Proponents of the bill feel that excluding trans girls from girls’ sports will make competition more safe or more fair. But they can point to no evidence that trans girls as a group are a threat to their teammates, or that trans girls as a group dominate in their fields. The bill seeks a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

That’s because this bill isn’t really about fairness or safety at all. Indeed, there are issues in women’s sports we should be concerned with, such as lack of funding or unequal media coverage. But trans students are not the problem.

This bill would deny trans kids the many benefits of sports: physical activity, improved self-esteem, and a sense of belonging to a team. It will put Maine on the map as a place where kids are taught to fear trans girls and exclude them from their games. That’s not the message we should be sending to the next generation of Maine’s youth. Legislators ought to reject L.D. 926.


Finn Teach


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