Setting New Boundaries

New MSHSL guidelines allow transgender students to participate in the sports teams of gender they associate with.

Sean Cork

A new proposed Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) guideline would allow students defining themselves as transgender to participate in the gender sports team of their choice. Students must have papers showing that they have had some sort of medical procedure to be able to play on the sports team of the opposite gender.

Although this new proposed guideline tries to give transgender students equality in sports, it fails to address the issue of gender association. Some students do not have money or time to get medical procedures to change their gender. It is unfair for students who associate with another gender without medical procedures to be excluded from this guideline.

I believe all students should have the opportunity to play on the sports team they desire whether they are transgender or not. Denying the right to identify with a gender cripples the image of transgender students and negatively affects their mental health.

Denying people the chance to play their favorite sport just because they associate with a different gender is not fair or reasonable. Students can feel victimised because they associate as a transgender. Not being able to be yourself is severely detrimental to a person’s health and confidence.

Many transgender students struggle to fit in with their fellow peers. Many school administrators agree the new guidelines are a good way for students to open up for their peers and not be scared to be themselves. The new guidelines would fill the gap between associated gender and sports by allowing some transgender students to play on sport teams of the gender they define themselves as.

Although the guideline states that students associating with the opposite gender are able to play on sports teams, school administrators can decide whether it is fair for the students to be involved in the sport if they have augmented athletic ability.

If faculty believe the student would have an unfair athletic advantage against other students the faculty could deny them the chance to participate in the sports team that they want to.

The new MSHSL guidelines should be implemented to allow transgender students to be who they want to be and not be discriminated.