The state of Alaska, along with 22 other US states, placed further restrictions on transgender girls in sports. This decision, which happened last October 9, 2023, will take effect immediately!
In Favor of Discrimination?
Last October 9, 2023, the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA), which is the board that governs Alaskan High School sports, voted in favor of the ban on transgender girls from joining female sports teams.
Board members voted five to three in favor of the ban, and the announcement made it known that the change would “take effect immediately.”
This ban will “limit participation in girls’ sports to students assigned female at birth.”
A Growing Population
In recent months, social media was flooded with videos of transgender athletes supposedly winning in sports unfairly. This sparked a debate about whether what happened was a question of “inclusiveness” or “unfair advantage.”
According to World Is One News, “There remain concerns over transgender athletes enjoying advantages in terms of their aerobic and anaerobic capacity, physicality, stamina, and overall strength when pitted against other women in the female category.”
These concerns are one of the foundations of the ban. So, upon the announcement, the ASAA released specific guidelines through bylaws.
One of those bylaws read, “If a separate high school athletics team is established for female students, participation shall be limited to females who were assigned female at birth.”
One or the Other
The rules also have specifics on school teams and their divisions based on gender.
They said, “Whenever a school has separate divisions based on s**, one team shall be limited to females who were assigned female at birth. The other team shall be open to both females and males. However, a female is ineligible to compete on both teams during the same school year.”
The ASAA further imposed restrictions when it came to coed teams. They wrote, “Any school declaring a coed team may not compete in any district, regional or state competition in the division limited to females who were assigned female at birth.”
This means that if a school opts to declare sports teams as coed to bypass the ban, they would not be able to have a second team in the sport.
The ASAA’s ban was inspired and recommended by Executive Director Billy Strickland. He pointed out that implementing the ban would bring the ASAA in line with the Board of Education’s “already-existing” ban on transgender athletes in high school sports.
He said, “We don’t want to see sports come to a scratching halt while this probably works its way through the court system.”
Closed-off Ears and Close-Minded People
In September 2023, Alaska’s Board of Education voted unanimously to “limit transgender girls’ participation” in sports. They pushed through with this decision despite receiving over 1,400 pages of complaints and listening to hours of public testimony and protests against the ban.
Clamoring to Be Heard
People clamored for their voices to be heard, arguing that the ban would further discriminate against athletes and their gender identity. They also said it would discourage participation in sports and impact students’ mental health.
Cynthia Gachupin, a parent of a student in the Anchorage School District, said in an interview with Alaska News Source, “My biggest fear is that if we let this go and we don’t show up for our youth, that it’s only going to get worse. To see that this is how Anchorage is slowly turning, or really the state of Alaska, and how Anchorage could turn into that is really disappointing, especially as a parent.”
A transgender man also spoke up in the same interview, saying, “This thing we have proposed or that’s passing that’s banning all transgender kids from exploring sports is horrible; if I even had the opportunity to be comfortable and do a sport, maybe my primary education wouldn’t have been so rough.”
Then, an Anchorage Assembly member, Felix Rivera, said, “One of the things that’s really disappointing to me is that the board gave into their base fears. They could have done better. They could have, instead of voting on this policy, tried to make youth sports more welcoming to everyone, and instead, they did the opposite, so shame on the board for that.”
A Question of Safety?
Sadly, no one really listened. Those who voted in favor of the ban claimed it would ensure competitions remained “fair” and “safe.”
Strickland said, “From a safety standpoint, we haven’t seen that yet. From a competitive standpoint, you could make the argument that, you know, the student displaced other kids off the podium.”
Meanwhile, Margo Bellamy, the president of the Anchorage School Board, expressed her disappointment in the association’s decision.
In a statement, she said, “There is no historical record in the state of Alaska that provides any data to suggest that trans-girl athletes pose a widespread threat, unfair competitive circumstances, or risk to student safety.”
Even More Problems
Like what other protesters mentioned, for Bellamy, imposing the ban would only further discrimination in schools.
She said, “ASAA should not be setting policy or interfering with local ordinances or local district policies. This bylaw change will cause school districts to discriminate based on gender or s** and force districts to either comply with unreasonable and harmful requirements or seek alternatives for noncompliance.”
Per the Movement Advancement Project, a total of 23 US states have passed laws banning transgender students from joining or taking part in sports that align with one’s gender identity.
Alaska and other US states have imposed similar bans on an institutional level.
Progressive or Not Progressive?
Apart from this, US lawmakers continue to try to pass laws that further restrict transgender rights. Alaska’s not the first state, nor would it be the last.
What do you think of the change that’s coming to Alaska? Do you agree with the ban?
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This post first appeared as The Alaska School Activities Association Banned Transgender Girls From Female Sports Teams. It’s Another Move Made to “Restrict Transgender Rights” and Stir Up More “Discrimination” in Schools! on Quote Ambition.