There is no evidence that allowing transgender girls in sports will hurt other females.
Historically, similar arguments were made during the Civil Rights Era in blocking attempts to integrate public school sports by weaponizing the natural talent myth of Black athletes and suggesting opportunities for white athletes would be wrestled away from their black counterparts.
He goes on with a slippery slope argument, “They’ve (Blacks) got everything; if they take over coaching like everybody wants them to, there’s not going to be anything left for white people.”
Similarly, making a blanket yet unempirical argument that transgender girls have an unfair advantage over cis-girls exposes the slippery slope argument fallacy. Instead of reviewing what measures are currently in place to ensure equity and fairness in sports, it uses an unfounded fear that trans-girl athletes will devour all opportunities for cis-girl athletes.
The Olympics have allowed transgender athletes to complete with no restrictions since 2016 and yet cis-gender women continue to dominate in every women’s Olympic sport. The U.S. Tennis Association has allowed transgender women to compete since 1975 and we have yet to see any domination of the sport by trans women.
In the meantime, only additional harm can occur. First and foremost, transgender youth in Utah remain at extremely high risk for suicide. According to a national survey on LGBTQ youth mental health, 52% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported that they’d seriously considered suicide within the past year (Trevor Project, 2020).
Instead, I encourage Rep. Birkeland, the Utah Legislature and Gov. Spencer Cox to don their referee jerseys to adjudicate non-discrimination and inclusion for all of Utah’s athletes.
Max Chang, Millcreek, is a community leader advocating the equity, diversity and inclusion in both the arts and education.