Transgender Sports Bill in Florida

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Sarah Ogilvie, Staff Writer

Recently, the Floridan government has been making decisions about a proposed law to prevent people who are not “biological females” from competing in girls’ and women’s sports from elementary through college. While at first this seems like a law to protect women’s sports, it becomes evident that this would affect transgender athletes, especially in college. The original bill would require athletes to submit to genetic and hormone testing and genitalia examination, but there has been a new revision of the bill that removes the genitalia examination. This bill has also brought attention to several bills that have been put into effect in recent years in other states to limit transgender participation in women’s sports. Currently, there are similar bills in Idaho and Mississippi, both limiting the participation of transgender women in sprots. The sponsor of the Floridan bill, Kaylee Tuck, said: “We don’t need to wait until there’s a problem in Florida for us to act,” acknowledging that there is currently no problem in Florida with trans women and girls participating in sports. The NCAA already has rules and restrictions around transgender people competing in sports and most of these focus on hormones, which are a big part of the difference between men and women’s sports. This discriminatory bill doesn’t actually protect any women, but it has a significant potential to harm trans people. The potential impact on the mental health of trans youth could be devastating. In research published by the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, a connection was shown between participation in sports, especially team sports, as an adolescent and lower rates of anxiety and depression. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, trans adolescents were much more likely to have anxiety and depression than their cisgender counterparts. Limiting trans participation in sports with this bill is unprompted, and could cause many serious health problems for transgender youth.