MADISON- Bills proposed in the Wisconsin State Legislature that would exclude transgender students from participating in sports teams consistent with their identified genderare premised on transphobia and misconceptions about transgender athletes, the ACLU of Wisconsin said in a statement today.

Chris Ott, Executive Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, stated: 

“Transgender students participate in sports for the same reasons that other young people do: to challenge themselves, improve their fitness, and be part of a team. Excluding trans students from participating in sports teams consistent with their authentic gender identity is unfair and discriminatory. 

The intent of these bills is not to protect students in sports, but to alienate trans students and discriminate against them based on their identity. Our lawmakers should do everything they can to support trans people and ensure that they have access to the same opportunities that everyone else does. It is shameful that, instead, some are seeking to alienate them from the other students.

Despite the fact that trans people of all ages have been participating in sports consistent with their gender, at all levels for years, we simply have not seen any dominance by trans athletes at any level of competition. Athletic success is based on many disparate factors that vary sport to sport, and being transgender does not give girls who are trans an inherent advantage over girls who are not.

During this global pandemic, it is really hard to understand why some Wisconsin lawmakers have prioritized attacking trans students instead of focusing on getting COVID-19 relief to the people of Wisconsin. Countless Wisconsinites are in dire need of assistance right now, but some of our elected officials seem to care more about keeping trans youth from participating in sports than they do about addressing the suffering caused by the pandemic.”