OutReach Press Release Regarding Transgender Individuals and Sports
Trans girls are girls. Trans boys are boys. Non-binary kids are non-binary. We reject the bullying legislation that has been introduced in our State and give our full support to transgender folks participating in sports on teams that align with their gender identity.
On Tuesday, there were bills introduced in the Wisconsin state legislature that would prohibit transgender student athletes from participating in organized sports at school on teams that align with their gender identity. The bills will add Wisconsin to a category of states that promote the exclusion of transgender people from participating in athletics. This bill is discriminatory legislation. This will be a setback in progression for inclusivity, human rights, and protections for transgender individuals.
LGBTQ+ youth face victimization, isolation, and harm from others who do not affirm their gender identity, and who do not consider them as a protected class under the law, in their families, in the community and at school. According to the National Coalition of Homelessness, LGBTQ+ persons face social stigma, discrimination, and often rejection by their families, which adds to the physical and mental strains/challenges – challenges that are intensified for LGBTQ+ youth. It is well known and cited that affirming trans kids is suicide prevention.
Our MATA Team, Board of Directors, and OutReach Staff are in full support of protecting ALL LGBTQ+ individuals. OutReach extends our full support to LGBTQ+ partner agencies GSAFE and Fair Wisconsin in treating transgender people with dignity and affirming safer spaces for transgender individuals to be who they are without judgment and discrimination under the law. During this time of COVID-19, there must be a greater understanding of support for marginalized groups and individuals living at risk. Support and representation are essential, and rather than having laws that discriminate against transgender youth we need laws that regard transgender identities as a protected class.
In Solidarity and Community,
Mark Hargrove, Jr
OutReach Program Director and MATA Administrator Team Member
OutReach Executive Director
OutReach Board President and MATA Administrator Team Member
OutReach Trans* Health Advocate and MATA Administrator Team Member