Push back on transphobic thinking

GUILFORD — A wave of legislation being proposed by states in our country intentionally discriminates against and harms transgender people.

For thousands of years, indigenous people, including our own Native Americans, recognized “two-spirit” people as possessing special gifts. They were honored, not bashed and feared. How did we regress from this thoughtful and decent way of treating people who are unique?

Now, this fear has impacted sports. Regardless of gender identity, there has always been a vast difference between individuals and their natural and developed athletic abilities. Contributing to this difference is wealth and privilege: those kids from wealth often get the special coaching and the privilege of not having to work after school. Of course, there are exceptions, like the kids who struggle to rise from poverty using their athleticism, but that is not the norm.

Today, due to tremendous advances in ways to develop athletes' abilities, some are acquiring almost superhuman power and skill. Yes, much of this is due to hard work and dedication, but some is due to heredity and to being “in the right place at the right time.”

Where do we draw the line in deciding who is eligible to compete in athletic competitions? Should we exclude from competition those people who have acquired these superhuman powers, thus making it fairer for the vast majority?

Transgender people do not necessarily possess great athletic ability, so why are they being chosen to discriminate against?

I like to consider myself an open-minded and compassionate person, but transphobic thinking and actions cross the line into being intentionally hurtful, unjust and inhumane.

Please join me in pushing back on the people who are displaying such hate-based use of power.

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