Several sweeping pieces of anti-trans legislation are on the brink of or have been signed into law, including preventing trans children from participating in team sports for their identified gender.
American soccer star Megan Rapinoe, an internationally decorated athlete, blasted these bills in an opinion piece she penned for The Washington Post.
I'm all for addressing the real threats to women's sports. Let's start with #EqualPay, and not shutting out trans k… https://t.co/e5iE2B6SDD— Megan Rapinoe (@Megan Rapinoe)1616962075.0
"Being able to play sports as a child shaped my life's path. It taught me so much more than is seen on the field and brought me so much joy," began Rapinoe.
"Every child deserves to have that experience. That's why I believe that all kids, including transgender youth, should be able to participate in sports they love."
@mPinoe People fear what they don’t understand. And the saddest thing is, they won’t even try.— Scott Andrews (@Scott Andrews)1616962503.0
@Ashworth101 @mPinoe With other boys of course — Mack Beggs won the Texas girls high school state wrestling competi… https://t.co/rojH3TJOLq— Nicole Maria (@Nicole Maria)1617039973.0
@mPinoe Getting to coach trans and nb kids made me a better coach. And not 1 single opponent ever had an issue. If… https://t.co/OAA8wXv47g— Heidi (@Heidi)1616963687.0
@SweetT44336775 They really believe teenaged boys will pretend to be girls to play on girls’ sports teams. Most tee… https://t.co/ZReij3ad2n— Nick (@Nick)1616971249.0
@mPinoe Thanks for the fine, emphatic and empathetic opinion piece. Sorry the WashPost comments (and some here too,… https://t.co/4YtM5MITv9— Patrick Mulcahey (@Patrick Mulcahey)1616965818.0
These bills, which Rapinoe rightly labels as "some of the most intense political assaults on LGBTQ people in recent years," are being enacted under the false pretense cis men will say they identify as trans women in order to infiltrate women's teams, placing those women at risk and also getting an unfair advantage in competition.
Proponents also make the false claim transgender girls have an advantage over cisgender girls because of testosterone and puberty. But trans children have either not begun puberty or if allowed the safe, reversible treatment medically supported for minors—puberty blockers and hormone therapy—a trans child will not go through the puberty that doesn't match their identity.
These bills also completely ignore the existence of transgender boys and men and statistics for the trans girls and women who have been competing in sports for years.
Like the right-wing's last target—bathrooms—it's much ado about nothing.
Rapinoe swiftly fired back at these concerns:
"Proponents of these bills argue that they are protecting women. As a woman who has played sports my whole life, I know that the threats to women's and girls' sports are lack of funding, resources and media coverage; sexual harassment; and unequal pay."
@mPinoe I read your opinion article this morning and cried from joy while reading. Thank you, a million times, than… https://t.co/TUXHnR6zqc— Michelle Leah Forbes 🏳️🌈💙💜💓 (@Michelle Leah Forbes 🏳️🌈💙💜💓)1617046344.0
@mPinoe outstanding article 🙏🏼 i just double-checked & transgender people & kids are protected under both the ADA… https://t.co/GlAOEpQqNP— Kireau (@Kireau)1616963315.0
@mPinoe Thank you so much for speaking out about this, from the proud Mom of a transgender son and athlete.— Melissa CK (@Melissa CK)1616972135.0
@mPinoe You are deeply appreciated. It’s really good to have your voice heard. Thank you.— Katie Smith (@Katie Smith)1616979776.0
Rapinoe, who is a lesbian, cited she knew what it was like to be "singled out and treated differently" for her identity.
She continued to express this was especially heinous when applied to kids.
"Adults can't pretend that we care about the well-being of children while actively creating environments that cause serious harm to them. We can't make demands for a false sense of fairness while ignoring the actual needs of women and girls."
“As someone who has played sports with someone who is trans, I can assure you all is well, nothing is spontaneously… https://t.co/ZCnyvd3e97— Human Rights Campaign (@Human Rights Campaign)1616599224.0
@HRC @MuellerSheWrote @mPinoe This hits close to home thanks @mPinoe keep fighting for real equality.— bl_natsec (@bl_natsec)1616728877.0
@HRC @cmclymer @mPinoe Was afraid of spontaneous combustion and now it’s all been sorted. Let ‘em play. (And honest… https://t.co/MraoFceqCW— Allison (@Allison)1616725179.0
@HRC @mPinoe Yes, people who identify as trans should be allowed to play. Men and women, boys and girls should be w… https://t.co/YZ6OX6bgT2— Malia (@Malia)1616990268.0
@HRC @mPinoe Amazing! Great feature for In Her Words as well! 👏🏼— LGBTQ+ Media Lens Blog (@LGBTQ+ Media Lens Blog)1616620662.0
Rapinoe summed up the issue eloquently.
"You may not know that a person in your life is trans—you may not be aware of the fullest self within your co-worker, friend, relative or even the child playing in your living room."
"Trans people contribute meaningfully to our society: our schools, neighborhoods, communities and families. Trans people deserve dignity, respect and opportunity."
"These bills are an attack on the humanity and belonging of trans people, and that's why this issue is important to me as a member of the LGBTQ community."
Let's hope the country heeds her words.