City Board of Ed passes policy regarding transgender athletes

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Recently reported in The Middletown Press, the school board of Middletown, CT, passed a new policy dictating the terms on which a transgender student athlete may compete.

The policy, taken from Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference rules, states that a student-athlete will compete in the sex of his or her birth certificate unless he or she has undergone sex reassignment.

A student-athlete who has undergone sex reassignment may only compete if the reassignment was completed before puberty or, if reassignment was completed after puberty, surgical anatomical changes have been complete, Governmental agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles recognize the change and

hormonal therapy has been administered to minimize gender-related sports advantages, according to the policy.

A student-athlete who has undergone a sex reassignment after puberty will only be eligible to participate in athletics two years after the surgery is complete, the policy states.

Among the school board members, there was only one dissenter:

Board of Education member Renee Johnson-Thornton cast the lone vote against adopting the policy last week, stating that she thought that requiring the student to wait two years after surgery to participate in interscholastic sports would in effect exclude students who had undergone sex-reassignment from participating altogether.

You have to have been living under a rock not to know this is a reaction to the ongoing story of Caster Semenya, the South African distance runner recently accused of being male and posing as a female.

ReneerichardsIt was a situation similar to Caster Semenya that made Tennessee the only state to pass legislation banning changing the sex designation on birth certificates in Tennessee.  I have no proof, but the year a law was passed in Tennessee, 1977, was the same year that the New York Supreme Court ruled that Renee Richards could compete in the US Open.

Considering Caster Semenya, we don’t know if she is transgender or intersex.  If intersex, we don’t know which intersex condition among the hundreds of variations.  Yet this board of education failed to consider or adopt a policy addressing that.

A woman that is 100% genetically male that has androgen insensitivity disorder (AIS) would never know it until she tried to conceive or failed to start menstruating.  Does such a person have an unfair advantage over a genetic female?  Would anyone know?

There are literally hundreds of millions of possible genetic, chromosomal, and environmental variations that benefit some people in physical competition, yet being transgender is the only one that will be singled out.

This is nothing new.  There are many professional trangender athletes.  Some are great and some aren’t that good.  They all had to fight to be able to compete.

This is just sounds like more of the same old transphobia that is so pervasive in our world.