Megan Rapinoe, U.S. women's soccer star, says that banning transgender women from women's sports is nothing short of discrimination.
What are the details?
In a Sunday op-ed in the Washington Post, Rapinoe, an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community, says that transgender women — biological males who consider themselves to be female — should not be excluded from women's sports.
As such, transgender men, she adds, ought to be permitted in men's sports.
Blasting the 25 states seeking to enact laws prohibiting transgender players from participating in sports of their chosen gender, Rapinoe wrote, "These bills are some of the most intense political assaults on LGBTQ people in recent years. Sports have become another avenue to attack the rights of trans people. These efforts cause incredible harm to trans youth, who, like all kids in a global pandemic, are feeling isolated and need compassion and support."
"Even before the pandemic hit, 1 in 3 transgender youth reported attempting suicide, as one national crisis-prevention organization reported in 2019," she added.
Such bills, she explained, are only trying to "solve a problem that doesn't exist."
"Proponents of these bills argue that they are protecting women," Rapinoe continued. "As a woman who has played sports my whole life, I know that the threats to women's and girls' sports are lack of funding, resources, and media coverage; sexual harassment; and equal pay."
Anything other than permitting transgender females from competing on women's sports teams is "discrimination," she alleged.
"Adults can't present that we care about the well-being of children while actively creating environments that cause serious harm to them," Rapinoe added. "We can't make demands for a false sense of fairness while ignoring the actual needs of women and girls."
She pointed out that transgender children deserve equal chances to enjoy playing on sports teams — no matter their gender.
"Transgender kids deserve the same chances to enjoy sports; to gain confidence, self-respect and leadership skills; and to learn what it means to be part of a team," the soccer star insisted. "When we tell transgender girls that they can't play girls' sports — or transgender boys that they can't play boys' sports — they miss out on these important experiences and opportunities. And we lose the right to say we care about children."
She concluded, "Discrimination hurts everyone. We're stronger as teams, and as a country, when all people who love sports have a chance to have their lives changed for the better, just like I did. I want every transgender kid out there to know that they can live their dreams and be true to who they are. For them to realize those dreams, they need to be allowed to play."