Editor: On April 14, the Florida House passed House Bill 1475, a bill that bans transgender athletes from competing in women and girl’s scholastic sports and allows genital inspections and genetic tests that ‘prove’ the athlete’s gender to the school and sports team.

HB1475 is one of the many anti-trans bills that have been passed by both state and federal governments. Reactionaries across the nation are passing bills that threaten and harm the youth in the trans community with a feeble disguise of equality in sports. HB1475 is yet another gate that allows the American government to violate and wrong the trans community.

Both the philosophical and logical reasoning behind HB1475 uses false rhetoric. Many defenders of the bill have claimed trans athletes hold a competitive advantage over cisgendered women. However, these claims have been debunked by a vast array of scientists and experts.

While trans athletes may vary in athletic ability, genetic diversity does not translate to advantages.

Dr. Joshua D. Safer of Mount Sinai Center explained that reproductive anatomy is not an indicator for athletic performance and thus, should not be treated as such.

Additionally, trans students face monumental obstacles in schools. A study showed that 22% of trans women were harassed to the point of dropping out while 10% of trans women were kicked out of school. Rather than ‘leveling the playing field’, HB1475 feeds into the issue of trans students being harassed in both school and sports, giving unfair advantages to cisgendered students.

The issue of lack of opportunity to trans students is only heightened with HB1475. Trans women are increasingly discouraged from participating in sports out of fear of being forced out of their teams. Discriminatory policy and bills cheat trans students out of college scholarships based on sporting achievements while their cisgender peers are allowed to compete in sports without question.

Florida is now exposing their students to a horrifying violation of privacy for a flawed idea of gender conformity. Trans students are being scapegoats for America’s corrupt political agenda that endorses an oligarchical system.

The bill passed in Florida is a side effect from a bastardized form of politics that upholds the idea of a sex binary, forcing students into choosing a gender born from an outdated system. HB1475 serves as an extension of a myth; one that claims trans students are not valid in schools and society alike.

HB1475 does the exact opposite of protecting students in schools. It instead is a byproduct of the American culture war, aiming to preserve traditional ideas of gender whilst alienating the trans community in schools, all the while coded in a faulty mask of fairness.

Olivia Johnson

Heritage High School