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Transgender Athletes Allowed to Compete in Utah In Wake Of Secret Investigation Of Female Athletes

This afternoon, a judge at the Utah State Capitol made the unexpected decision to overturn the ban against transgender girls competing in female sports, a law that has been in place since July. Over 12 other Republican-dominant states instated transgender athlete bans, which is why this sudden reversal comes as a bit of a surprise. However, this decision makes more sense considering the recent secret investigation conducted by Utah parents, who asked the Utah High School Activities Association to look into the biological sex of a student athlete who got first place, resulting in their own daughters to place second and third. 

Reports from PBS shared the horribly unethical nature of this case, with “The association and the girl’s high school [determining] she indeed was female after poring through her school records dating back to kindergarten,” unbeknownst to the athlete herself, or her parents. Additionally, there was little to no evidence that she was transgender in the first place, with the legislative representative of Utah Legislature’s Education Interim Committee saying someone complained that “that female athlete doesn’t look feminine enough.” This extreme transphobic behavior that stemmed from parents who were bitter about their children losing is frankly despicable, possibly prompting the reversal of the Utah law. 

As of today, the Utah law now declares that a “panel will be allowed to ask for and assess the child’s height and weight in making decisions, about whether a transgender girl would have an unfair advantage… [the panel] will include a medical data statistician, a physician with experience about gender identity healthcare, a sports physiologist, mental health professional, collegiate athletic trainer, representative of an athletic association and a rotating member who is a coach or official in the sport relevant to each case.” Fairness is clearly something that should be valued in sports no matter what, however, it is extremely hypocritical for parents to preach “fairness,” then urge districts to exclude transgender girls from competing. This inequality exacerbates the distress that these girls must already feel as transgender individuals, which is why the overturning of this law in Utah is especially significant.

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