Statement in Solidarity
with Transgender, NonBinary, and Gendernonconforming Student Athletes.
Statement in Solidarity
with Transgender, NonBinary, and Gendernonconforming Student Athletes
Sign-on Request: Statement in Solidarity with Transgender, NonBinary, and Gendernonconforming Student Athletes
We, the undersigned, represent a broad network of elected officials, educators, students, athletes, health providers, and community leaders from across the country, standing in solidarity with transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming student athletes. On the court, the playing field, pitch, or rink, all athletes should be treated with fairness and respect.
In a May 15, 2020 letter, the US Department of Education declared that transgender student athletes in Connecticut should be barred from participation on teams that reflect their identities. More specifically, the letter targeted the participation of two Black trans girls, highlighting the continuing systemic racist policing of Black bodies. This erroneous decision relies on pseudo-science, anti-transgender and racial bias, and gross mischaracterizations of who transgender people are. Additionally, the Department’s letter contradicts the recent Supreme Court decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia (June 15, 2020), in which the Court clearly states that federal protections on the basis of sex extend to transgender people. We, the undersigned, refute and condemn the findings of the Department's letter. We urge the Department of Education, and Secretary DeVos, to rescind this decision in the name of fairness and equity.
Inclusion of transgender athletes in any sport, at any level, poses no threat to the safety or fairness for their cisgender teammates or competitors. The exclusion of these athletes, however, does grave harm to us all, fueling bias, fear, racism, and discrimination in our society and among our youth. Transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming students are at greater risk of experiencing hostile climate and discrimination in school. Over 8 in 10 transgender students experience gender-based bullying and harassment in school, and over 4 in 10 missed school in the last month because they felt unsafe. Failing to support transgender student athletes is likely to only perpetuate a culture of bias. Athletic competition is about teamwork and driving ourselves and those around us to be and do our best, on and off the field: discrimination against any athlete undermines the very spirit of sports.
Transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming student athletes are valued members of our community, and our athletic teams. We stand with them, to demand fairness and equity for all. We call upon the Department of Education, state athletic associations, local education agencies, policy makers, coaches, educators, administrators, and students, to stand with us, and support the rights of transgender athletes to participate and compete.
Both on and off the playing field, we are all equal.
Sign your name and view other signatories below.
- View our Map of State Athletic Association Guidance on Inclusion of Transgender, Nonbinary and Gendernonconforming Students
- Read our Gender Affirming and Inclusive Athletics Participation Resource
(1) Kosciw, J. G., Greytak, E. A., Zongrone, A. D., Clark, C. M., & Truong, N. L. (2018). The 2017 National School Climate Survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth in our nation’s schools. New York: GLSEN.