“We just want to double down on our expectations,” Miguel A. Cardona, the education secretary, told the New York Times. “Students cannot be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.”
The Impact of Exclusion
Statistics show that what “we need to do, as the adults in the room, is allow people the same opportunities and the same treatment as everyone else. And when we do that, everyone does better,” says Biancheri.
Research from the Center for American Progress (CAP) emphasizes that transgender students who are denied the opportunity to play a sport experience lower self-esteem, a lesser sense of school belonging, and higher rates of school absenteeism.
Additionally, the lack of acceptance and affirmation increases mental health risks. The Trevor Project conducted a survey in and found that 28 percent of transgender youth whose pronouns were not affirmed attempted suicide in the past year. That number decreased to 12 percent for those whose pronouns are affirmed by all or most people in their lives.
When transgender students are in welcoming and accepting environments, these negative outcomes can begin to reverse and change for the better. And, when transgender students are openly allowed to participate in sports, they experience a greater feeling of school belonging and pro-school behaviors and outcomes reports GLSEN.
Fifteen states and Washington, D.C., have long held trans-inclusive state athletic association guidance, and participation by transgender students in these areas has produced no evidence of alleged harm to cisgender athletes, according to CAP. Continue reading