The trans community, while it represents less than 1% of the population, should be able to participate in organized sports. Participating in sports builds character, integrity, discipline, and teaches sportsmanship. Everyone should have an opportunity to play on a team. Along with building character, playing sports in high school can offer scholarship opportunities. For many, these opportunities are the steppingstones for a successful life and the pursuit of the American dream.
Trans people are entitled to as much respect as any other human being. However, when it comes to high school sports, we need to have a serious conversation about inclusivity versus fairness. Trans people need to be included in sports, but trans women’s physiology gives them an unfair advantage over their biological female counterparts. The goal of a sport is to have fair competition.
If the trans community wants its athletes to be showcased in high school sports, then we should embrace them in their own league because of the science. At the same time, we should allow the girls to compete against each other without having to worry about a biological male skewing the benchmarks. I think society should make a commitment that will keep sports fair and full of opportunities for all.
During high school, I had close friendships with female athletes. I reached out to my friend Ashley, who went to school with me at Air Academy High School to find out what her opinion was about trans females participating in high school sports. Her response was, “Being raised by a single mother of all girls, with low income, I had to rely on my athletics and my academics to get into college on scholarships. With trans athletes, this can make a lot of people like me miss out on those opportunities because of their physiological advantage. The biggest opportunities were getting into the division 1 and 2 spots, which award the athletic scholarships.”
As a gay man, I have always supported transgender rights. At the same time, I have always championed equal opportunity for women.
However, you cannot have equal opportunity when the competition has a dramatic physical advantage because of some physiological differences. This is true with all sports. Someone similar to Muhammad Ali’s heavyweight stature would never box with someone built like Roberto Duran, a champion lightweight.
True equal opportunity in sports stems from certain agreed-upon physiological standards. That is why we see most sports broken down into male and female leagues. Furthermore, we have “accessible leagues” that allow for competition amongst wheelchair-bound basketball teams. The separate leagues for wheelchair-bound people allow for the fostering of clean fair competition. Would it be fair to allow an able-bodied person to participate on those teams and be able to reap the same scholarship or other awards? Obviously, most of us would not agree. The logic remains the same when introducing biological males into female high school sports.
There are ways to find equitable solutions if demand exists. For instance, maybe larger urban areas could support two additional leagues, one for trans men and one for trans women? If the demand is great enough, there will be enough participants for it to be viable. If not, this is yet another example of the left creating agitation where none is warranted, all in an effort to perpetuate their negative narratives about the United States for minorities.
As for me, I believe the United States is the best place in the world for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community to live and prosper.
Garrett Flicker is the chairman of the Denver County Republican Party.