I want to thank Ali for sending me the link for this article. I find it to be well written and informative. Ali also has a comment in the comment section which I will try to post but if you go to the link remember where this newspaper is located and be prepared for the hateful things said in the comment sections. Some people are very proud of their ignorance and bigotry. Hugs
Commentary by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — Happy Friday. On Monday, Louisiana became the 18th state to target children who just want to play sports without someone looking at their genitals.
The legislation is ironically named the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” despite the fact it does just the opposite. It expressly bans transgender students from participating on the correct sports teams because Republicans believe it gives them an unfair advantage.
Actually, the belief is that trans girls have that advantage because of their testosterone injections. Trans boys will still be allowed to play, but I imagine they’ll change their minds as soon as a trans boy starts winning enough matches/games.
Before going further, here are a few quick facts:
- Talent in sports varies as widely in the trans community as in the cis community and a person’s genetic makeup and internal and external reproductive anatomy are not useful indicators of athletic performance;
- There has never been a recorded instance of a trans person attacking someone in a bathroom or locker room and, in fact, are far more likely to be attacked by a cis person;
- No boy has ever subjected himself to the shameful ridicule and abuse that trans people suffer through for a competitive advantage in a sport;
- There are more than two biological sexes, so discriminating based on that completely ignores intersex people with more than two types of chromosomes;
- There wasn’t a single outwardly trans kid playing in Louisiana when this bill passed and that’s a common case with these sports bans.
Since it’s Pride month and these bills aren’t likely to go away until they’re declared unconstitutional, CultureCow is here to direct you to a Hulu original documentary called Changing the Game.
Changing the Game follows three high school athletes who happen to be trans and all the vitriol they have to endure from raving adults. The kids come from Texas, Connecticut, and New Hampshire and have wildly different upbringings, but one thing is consistent: they just want to compete.
Mack is from Texas and is forced to compete in the girls’ wrestling division despite transitioning far before that. This actually isn’t as uncommon as you’d believe, but Mack is a special case because he’s dominating. People complain that he has an unfair advantage and Mack agrees, but Texas’ shameful policies force him to compete in the competitions “aligned with his birth certificate.”
Andraya runs track in Connecticut under the appropriate girls’ division but suffers the same transphobia as Mack. Her state allows her to compete with her gender identity, but can’t force parents (whose kids are never concerned as they are) from making asses out of themselves.
Sarah Rose races in Nordic skiing in New Hampshire and receives some of the hate that her costars do, but to a lesser extent. Because she isn’t winning every race. Despite what conservatives would call “her competitive advantage,” Sarah Rose is a middling athlete like the vast majority of trans kids.
Changing the Game is an important documentary because it’s the first one that actually takes the issue from the kids’ point of view. Most people who support these draconian policies say they do so “to protect their children,” but never seem to care what the kids actually go through.
These athletes just want to compete like all the other kids, but they have to put up with fear-mongers and professional liars like Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan who are shameful enough to politicize their existence. What makes this film special though isn’t just the bravery these kids exhibit, but the human experiences they go through like every other teenager, whether that be love, parental relationships, or just growing up in general.
If you find yourself sympathetic to the idea that this is a left vs. right issue, you’ll also want to watch to observe Mack’s grandma. A gun-toting, Christian, Republican, police officer who hasn’t changed her mind on any issue, but still supports her grandson entirely. Be like her, and let kids play.
Unfortunately, Louisiana’s transphobic bill isn’t the only state legislation making the news.
A Texas GOP lawmaker plans to file legislation next session that would ban any event that includes drag-performers that minors could attend. This comes after years of conservative backlash to the immensely popular drag queen story hours and likely won’t pass.
Like in the above story, however, in these people’s quest to “protect the children,” no one seems to care what those children actually think.
Kids love drag story time and every queen and school or library that’s done it has raved about how fun and successful it was. The American Library Association even released an explicit statement in support of the practice, which included a list of resources for anyone hoping to bring it to their library.
Getting kids to read is the actual best way to protect them, but I guess if we did that, there’d stop being conservatives in a few decades…
People (*cough* homophobes *cough*) like to complain that drag shows are inappropriate because they can “corrupt” the children’s minds, but that doesn’t make any sense. Firstly, if your sexuality is so flimsy that it can waver after watching a grown man lip-sync to a Britney song, you probably just aren’t straight in the first place. And secondly, even if drag shows and story hours somehow turned kids gay (which they can’t because that’s stupid), so what?
Being gay is fun and nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe care less about who other people love and focus inward on why you’re so afraid that someone is more honest with themselves than you are.
And lastly, I can’t emphasize enough how small a deal drag is.
Personally, I don’t like drag that much. I love going if one of my friends is in the show, but other than that, it’s just not for me. And there are thousands and thousands of straight people who love drag yet somehow don’t come out gay. A straight drag queen even competed in RuPaul’s Drag Race recently.
This Texas lawmaker and anyone else getting so worked up over drag, should take a lesson from their kids: calm down, have some milk, and take a nap because you’re throwing an embarrassing hissy fit.
Meme of the week
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If, on the other hand, you’d like to read more from me head over to my blog, MouthfulofTeeth.com where you’ll find my favorite CultureCow articles and my other writing on politics, fiction, and anything else you’d like to read.
The Sumner Newscow continues to be the sports news and news asset that it’s always been. Everybody doesn’t like the same thing all the time, so since Culture Cow began, I’ve really appreciated it as a resource. Plus, it’s very well written, and I appreciate that.
I also appreciate the courage you and the Newscow show in posting features about issues that shouldn’t be contentious, but somehow are. I’m a Free Mom Hug giver and an ally, and I can’t wait to watch “Changing The Game.”