Karla Gonzales García
Colorado House Bill 1273 would create rules around participation for student athletes that disrespect the identity and needs of transgender young people. We are extremely concerned about a bill that references a student’s anatomy and talks about hormone levels. This is not only incredibly disrespectful of transgender students, but also intersex students whose anatomy and hormone levels may not match rigid definitions of male and female. But worse than that is the intent – the intent of taking away the ability of transgender students to fully participate in and enjoy the benefits of participating in youth sports programs.
The ability to fully be part of your school and to be able to be in a club or join a team is critical for the wellbeing of transgender students. Providing equal opportunities in all aspects of school programming is a core value in education. Further, studies have shown that having the opportunity to participate in sports means students have improved grades, greater homework completion, higher educational and occupational aspirations, and improved self-esteem.
Latinx students are facing inequitable opportunities that lead to inequitable lifelong outcomes. This gap has been a long-standing source of concern as differences in test scores—particularly in math, reading, and graduation rates—are found at state and national levels. We should do more to help students, not create even more difficulty for young people struggling at the intersection of racism and transphobia.
Currently, nearly 22 percent of all pre-K–12 students enrolled in América’s public schools are Latinx. I am thinking of these students who research shows us are still not making the same grades or feel like they have the same opportunities as their peers.
We need to do more and do better for Latinx young people. That includes respecting their gender identity and providing the same chance to be on a team and feel a part of your school to help strengthen the ability to succeed and thrive. This bill is mean spirited and will make worse the challenges facing transgender young people.
Karla Gonzales García, Program and Policy Director of Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.
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