Stock photo of high school sports.

Minnesota To Allow Transgender High School Athletes To Play On Boys Or Girls Teams

Later this week, the agency that governs high school athletics in Minnesota will institute a statewide policy that allows transgender students to choose to play on either boys’ or girls’ teams, The New York Daily News is reporting.

Depending on whom you ask, the new policy is one of two things: 1) No big deal; or 2) A legal way to allow pervy boys into the girls’ locker room.

The LGBT Sports Coalition – an advocacy group for LGBT athletes of all ages – points out that 15 other states allow transgender athletes to choose to play for boys’ or girls’ teams, and that these policies in other states are working just fine.

“Transgender youth participation in team sports at the K-12 level currently takes place in at least 15 states where state high school sports associations have passed inclusive policies. There have been no problems to date in any of those states concerning their participation, since 2008. The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is attempting to follow those successful working models.”

However, the Minnesota Child Protection League, described by The New York Daily News as “an anti-LGBT group,” has taken out a full-page ad in The Minneapolis Star Tribune opposing the policy.

Ad placed by the Minnesota Child Protection League.
Ad placed by the Minnesota Child Protection League.

Stella Morabito, writing for The Federalist, says that Minnesota’s policy to allow transgender student athletes to choose which team to play for will eventually lead to the end of separate boys’ and girls’ teams – and separate boys’ and girls’ locker rooms in high school athletics – all together.

“In this scheme, there would be no accounting for sex differences in high school sports on the field or in locker rooms, bathrooms, and hotel rooms. It forbids any camaraderie rooted in the biological reality of one’s sex, or any consideration of the reality of the opposite sex. In fact, to affirm that reality would basically be a crime. So the policy would ultimately abolish girls’ and boys’ sports alike.”

Ms. Morabito’s claim that the Minnesota policy would spell the end of separate sports teams for boys and girls does not appear to have panned out in other states that allow transgender athletes to choose their teams. According to Trans Athlete, similar policies have been in place the longest in Missouri and California – 2011 in both states – and, as of this post, both states still have separate boys’ and girls’ high school sports teams, and neither state is known to be considering eliminating gender distinctions.

The Minnesota transgender student athlete policy will go into effect on December 4.

[Images courtesy of: Marc Guberti, Minnesota Child Protection League]