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Sports‘Denying humanity’: Advocates discuss law that bans trans athletes from female sports teams | #sports | #elderly | #seniors

‘Denying humanity’: Advocates discuss law that bans trans athletes from female sports teams | #sports | #elderly | #seniors

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In mid-March, Mississippi lawmakers passed a law banning transgender girls and women at public schools and colleges from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity. It was necessary, Gov. Tate Reeves said the day he signed the bill, because Democratic President Joe Biden, by issuing an executive order banning gender-identity-based discrimination in school sports, was “encouraging transgenderism amongst children.” 

The bill’s author, Sen. Angela Burks Hill, R-Picayune, said several high school softball coaches told her they were concerned about trans female students participating on teams with cisgender girls.

“They told me that it is imminent, that it’s going to happen in Mississippi,” Hill told the Picayune Item. 

Yet when asked by reporters, neither Hill nor Reeves could name a single instance of a trans student in Mississippi outcompeting — or even playing on the same team as — their cis female classmates. 

“This law is a solution in search of a problem,” the president of Human Rights Campaign said in a statement. The ACLU of Mississippi is now working to find trans athletes who could serve as plaintiffs in a legal challenge against the law; otherwise, it will take effect July 1. 

Mississippi Today recently spoke with five advocates for trans rights in Mississippi about gender identity and religion in the Deep South, the political origins of Senate Bill 2536, and their vision for a more trans-inclusive state. What follows is a conversation, which has been edited and condensed for length, between Dr. Jemma Cook, a trans woman who co-chairs the Jackson MS Democratic Socialists of America; Calandra Davis, a queer Black woman who organizes with Black Youth Project 100; Elizabeth Henry, a cis woman and college chaplain working with trans students in Jackson; Misty Kendrick, a cis parent of a teenage trans girl; and Jensen Luke Matar, a trans man and the ACLU of Mississippi’s Equality Advocacy Coordinator. 

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