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Woke women's roller derby league welcomes biological males who identify as female, sues county exec over trans restrictions
Image source: YouTube screenshot

Woke women's roller derby league welcomes biological males who identify as female, sues county exec over trans restrictions

A woke women's roller derby league not only welcomes biological males who identify as female but also the league is suing a Nassau County, New York, leader over restrictions on teams with transgender women.

What are the details?

The Long Island Roller Rebels — a nearly 20-year-old amateur league — is suing Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman over his February executive order meant to prevent women’s and girls' leagues and teams with transgender players from using county-run parks and fields, the Associated Press reported.

The order affects more than 100 public facilities in the county of nearly 1.4 million just east of Queens, the AP said.

The New York Civil Liberties Union is backing the league's suit, the outlet added.

“The whole point of derby has been to be this thing where people feel welcome,” Amanda Urena — the league’s 32-year-old vice president who competes as “Curly Fry” and identifies as queer — told the AP at a recent practice at United Skates of America in Seaford. “We want trans women to know that we want you to come play with us, and we’ll do our very best to keep fighting and making sure that this is a safe space for you to play.”

More from the outlet:

Sports leagues and teams seeking permits to play or practice in county-run parks must disclose whether they have or allow transgender women or girls. Any organization that allows them to play will be denied a permit, though men’s leagues and teams aren’t affected. [...]

The Roller Rebels sought a county permit this month in hopes of hosting practices and games in county-owned rinks in the upcoming season, as they have in prior years. But they expect to be denied, since the organization is open to anyone who identifies as a woman and has one transgender player already on the roster.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has demanded the county rescind the ban, saying it violates state anti-discrimination laws, the AP reported, adding that Blakeman has asked a federal judge to uphold it.

"We are protecting girls’ right to compete against other girls," Blakeman said in February. "It makes no sense for biological boys who identify as transgender to compete against girls. It’s completely unfair. Biological boys are faster, bigger, and stronger. They have a physical advantage against women."

'There is a chance I would get hurt'

The AP pointed to a 2022 Washington Post-University of Maryland Poll that found that 55% of Americans were against trans women and girls competing with other women and girls in high school sports — and 58% were opposed to it for college and professional sports.

Trinity Reed, 21, who plays lacrosse at Nassau County’s Hofstra University, told the outlet, "There is a chance [a woman] would get hurt" when competing against transgender women players.

Mia Babino, 18 — who plays field hockey at the State University of New York at Cortland and plans to transfer to Nassau County’s Molloy University — also supports the ban, the AP said: “We’ve worked very hard to get to where we are and to play at a college level."

Image source: YouTube screenshot

'You should have a safe place to be'

The outlet noted that roller derby has been an LGBTQ "haven" for decades.

“You come in here and you say, ‘I’m a trans woman. I’m a nonbinary person. I’m genderqueer.’ OK? We accept you,” Caitlin Carroll, a Roller Rebel who competes as “Catastrophic Danger," told the AP. “The world is scary enough. You should have a safe place to be.”

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Grace McKenzie — a 30-year-old transgender woman who plays for the New York Rugby Club’s women’s team — added to the outlet that children still trying to navigate their gender identities will suffer most due to the county ban.

“Cruel is the only word that I can use to describe it,” McKenzie told the AP. “Kids are using sports at that age to build relationships, make friendships, develop teamwork skills, leadership skills and, frankly, just help shield them from all the hate they face as transgender kids already.”

Emily Santosus — a 48-year old Long Island transgender woman who hopes to join a women’s softball team — told the outlet that the ban is "a solution in search of a problem. We’re not bullies. We’re the ones that get bullied.”

A roller derby league challenges ban on transgender women in sportsyoutu.be

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