by Jui Bhatia, Managing Editor Pride month is a time for celebration and enjoyment for the queer community, but it is important to recognize that legislative attacks on LGBTQ+ students are at an all time high. More than 280 bills targeting the queer community have been filed in the United States this year alone. Over...
by Jui Bhatia, Managing Editor
Pride month is a time for celebration and enjoyment for the queer community, but it is important to recognize that legislative attacks on LGBTQ+ students are at an all time high. More than 280 bills targeting the queer community have been filed in the United States this year alone. Over half of these bills, according to NBC News, are specific attacks on transgender people for no fault of theirs and are not founded on any solid evidence.
Here in our state, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill in April banning trans women from participating in sports through any state or public school sponsored sports teams or institutions. Gov. Tom Wolf has said he would veto the bill, but this is just one example of such bills being passed all around the country.
Conservatives argue that trans women have a biological advantage over cisgender women, saying that their higher testosterone levels give them an advantage. However, a report from the National Library of Medicine proves there is no evidence for trans women having an advantage over cis women. Instead, their performance drops to a level comparable with cis women after their medical transition. Additionally, the NCAA requires trans athletes to document sport-specific levels of testosterone four weeks before their sports’ selections, eliminating any possible advantages they may have.
This holds true even in college competition. Lia Thomas, for example, is a trans woman who competed in the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championship. She won only one event, didn’t break any records or put forward a remarkable time, but was still attacked. Instead, it was a cis woman, Kate Douglass, who left with eight national titles. Using the excuse of protecting women’s sports falls short in light of statistics and precautions taken by the NCAA.
Some states have taken a broader approach to limiting the rights of queer students, such as Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill, referred to as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. Legislators aimed to give parents control over what their children learn about sexuality, preventing teachers from teaching content if it relates to queer rights and struggles. Such bills make school an unwelcome space for queer students, defeating their point of protecting students.
Nearly 79% of Americans support laws that protect the queer community, according to a Public Religion Research survey released in March, and as more states try to pass homophobic bills, it becomes all the more important to stand up for the rights of queer people across the country.
Even though June is a time for celebration, there is still work to be done. Reach out to your representatives with your support for the queer community to ensure that the measures being taken by legislators reflect public opinion.
Jui Bhatia can be reached at [email protected]
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