NCAA Tells Texas It will move events from states that discriminate

As Texas Legislature considers anti-trans bills, NCAA announces it will not hold events in states that discriminate against trans students” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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The National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Governors said it will only hold college championships in states where transgender student-athletes can participate without discrimination. The Monday warning sets the stage for a political fight with multiple states, including Texas, that are considering bills in their legislatures that would require students to play sports with only teammates who align with their biological sex.

“Inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sport,” the NCAA statement said. “Our clear expectation as the Association’s top governing body is that all student-athletes will be treated with dignity and respect. We are committed to ensuring that NCAA championships are open for all who earn the right to compete in them.”

Texas lawmakers have filed six bills that target transgender students’ sports participation — but only two of those bills would affect colleges and university sports in addition to K-12. While most of the proposals have not yet received a hearing, one bill, which was named a Senate priority, recently advanced out of a Senate State Affairs Committee to the full chamber for a vote. It would require the University Interscholastic League, which runs K-12 sports, to amend its rules to only let students play sports with students who match their biological sex as determined at birth or on their birth certificate. If passed, it would go in effect Sept. 1.

Reps. Cole Hefner, R-Mount Pleasant, and Valoree Swanson, R-Spring, who authored the two bills affecting college and university student athletes, were not immediately available for comment. Their bills have not yet been scheduled for hearings.

Lawmakers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee have already passed bills that would bar transgender girls from participating in women’s sports. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, more than 30 states are considering similar bills that would limit transgender students sports participation.

Texas lawmakers are also considering a bill that would classify providing children with puberty suppression drugs or performing gender reassignment surgery as child abuse. Another bill would revoke a doctor’s medical license if they perform a sex reassignment surgery for the purpose of gender reassignment to people under 18 years old or prescribe “puberty blockers.” Puberty blockers are reversible drugs often used by a transgender child who wants to delay puberty, including changes such as starting a period or deepening voice. The bill would also prohibit gender-confirming surgeries and hormone therapies. The Senate State Affairs Committee heard testimony on both bills Monday, but took no action on the legislation.

The recent NCAA women’s basketball tournament was held in Texas. Multiple games in the 2022 NCAA men’s March Madness tournament are already scheduled to be played in Fort Worth and San Antonio.

During previous legislative sessions, Texas Republicans, like those in other states, unsuccessfully pursued so-called “bathroom bills” that would prevent transgender people from using the bathroom that matched their gender identity. Business leaders at the time came forward with their opposition to the anti-transgender legislation —a trend that is re-emerging this session.

The NCAA’s statement comes as corporations are vocalizing their opposition to other conservative efforts, including proposed changes to Texas voting laws. Multiple Texas based companies, including Dell and American Airlines, spoke out against the proposed law earlier this month.

LGBTQ advocates said conservatives across the country are latching onto issues related to athletics and health care as the latest way to spread fear about transgender children using inaccurate information, despite opposition from medical and athletic associations.

Equality Texas held a press conference outside the Capitol building Monday afternoon, where transgender Texans and parents of transgender children spoke about their efforts to stop the passage of anti-trans legislation.

“We hope that Texans realize what’s really happening, which is essentially adults in power bullying trans kids,” said Emmett Schelling, the executive director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas.

“What they are doing is just unconscionable. These bills are just bad lawmaking,” said Lisa Stanton, a Houston resident and the mother of a transgender girl. “Instead of focusing on issues that focus on and affect all Texans, these legislators are trying to pass bills that harm children, rather than help them.”

While the legislation has seen some traction in the upper chamber, it’s unclear whether there will be support in the House, where similar bills have yet to get assigned a committee hearing.

In the past, Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, has pushed back against bills that would weaken protections for LGBTQ people. After the Senate passed a bill in 2019 that removed nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation, the House State Affairs Committee, which Phelan chaired, had the language reinstated.

Phelan said in an interview at the time that he was “done talking about bashing on the gay community.”

“It’s completely unacceptable,” he said. “This is 2019.”

In an interview with the Tribune in January, Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, who filed the priority bill and others on the issue, argued the changes were necessary to preserve Title IX.

He said transgender girls in particular — whom he referred to in an interview as “individuals who are quote confused” — could have an unfair advantage in strength and ability.

“This is purely 100% devoted to the preservation of Title IX and allowing women to compete against women in their peer groups in that biological category, so they know they can have an equal and fighting chance based on ability and not over some political narrative of the day that undermines fairness,” he said.

Perry could not immediately be reached for comment about the NCAA action.

On Monday, Perry said during the State Affairs Committee hearing that the bills were trying to protect children who don’t possess the maturity to understand the impact of these decisions.

“God created us all in his own image. …We went outside that creation by our own accord and suffer with some of the consequences of being outside his will since the garden,” Perry said, referring to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. “This is another one of those issues that we find ourselves entangled in that unfortunately, the damage is to our most precious, precious being our children, not our personal lineage, but all of God’s children and the children in this state.”

But during testimony, at least one transgender Texan child pushed back on Perry’s arguments.

“God made me. God loves me for who I am, and God does not make mistakes,” Kai Shappley, a 10-year-old transgender girl, told the committee. Shappley and her mother, Kimberly, have fought anti-trans bills proposed by the legislature for several years now. The family moved from Pearland to Austin because of discriminatory laws that would not allow Kai to use the women’s restroom.

“I do not like spending my free time asking adults to make good choices,” Shappley said.

Duncan Agnew and Megan Munce contributed to this report.

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Arkansas Alumni Elite Runner Nikki Hiltz Comes Out As Transgender

Pan American Gold Medalist and six times NCAA all American Nikki Hiltz came out as gender non-binary on the Transgender Day of Visibility. Nikki wrote on Instagram, “Hi I’m Nikki and I’m transgender. That means I don’t identify with the gender I was assigned at birth. The word I use currently to describe my gender is non-binary. The best way I can explain my gender is as fluid. Sometimes I wake up feeling like a powerful queen and other days I wake up feeling as if I’m just a guy being a dude, and other times I identify outside of the gender binary entirely”

A post shared by Nikki Hiltz (@nikkihiltz)

“It’s complicated and complex and something I’m still trying to navigate myself, but I’ve decided it’s time to share my gender fluidity with you all. Posting this is both exciting and terrifying but I am and always will be a firm believer that vulnerability and visibility are essential in creating social change and acceptance. So here I am, once again, coming out of a closet to be my true authentic self.”

“Today I can be visible because of the many Trans folks who have paved the way for me. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you and happy trans day of visibility to my beautiful and powerful trans family.”

A post shared by Nikki Hiltz (@nikkihiltz)

Hiltz ran for the University of Oregon before transferring to Arkansas, where she finished her collegiate career. She ran onto the podium at multiple NCAA Championships, including second in the 1,500m at the NCAA Outdoors in 2017 and 2018. Hiltz graduated and turned pro in 2018, and a year later she won gold in the 1,500m at the Pan Am Games in Peru. That same year, she won the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships, and later that fall she represented the U.S. at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, where she placed 12th in the 1,500m.

The post Arkansas Alumni Elite Runner Nikki Hiltz Comes Out As Transgender appeared first on Planet Trans.

Transgender Asian American wins Student Council election At UVA

For the first time ever a transgender Asian American candidate has won an election to become the student president at a major east coast university. Abel Liu made his hometown of San Anselmo in Marin County proud as he won with 80% of the vote to become the University of Virginia student council President.

Liu said that while he didn’t make his gender identity or Asian heritage central to the race there were some who tried to turn it into a wedge issue.

“It was used to mobilize portions of the student body against me, but I was heartened to see that so many other students really rejected that narrative and rallied around a message of acceptance and inclusivity,” said Liu from the Charlottesville campus.

Least we forget how our liberation began when on a 2017 night torch-carrying white supremacists marched on the University of Virginia Campus to Unite the Reich.

Abel Liu’s victory comes on the heels of a February 15th student council zoom meeting that was disrupted by hate messages from ‘unaffiliated’ attendies that attacked the minorities present.

“There has always been at least one conservative voice in Student Council since I’ve been a first-year at U.Va.,” Liu said two days later at a student forum. “What’s changed is the unacceptable conduct by certain members that alienate members who are more marginalized than them [who] are really just trying to share their lived experience but now cannot because they fear death threats or national organizations with millions of dollars targeting them online.”

Student Council’s 2020-2021 representative body was the first majority-minority body in the organization’s history. Liu said that this was accomplished through focusing on diverse recruitment channels, and he hopes to continue advocating for marginalized students — a core part of his platform.

“We will be ensuring accountability for any instigators of instances of biased and targeted harassment as well as threats,” Liu said. “We will be implementing anti-racism training, and then furthermore, we’ll actually be trying to remove traditional barriers to officer-level positions in Student Council by paying first-generation low-income students, hopefully in the future, to take on those roles.”

“What matters most is solidarity across racial lines, class lines, gender lines in a fight against a common enemy of white supremacy,” he said.

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HRC places TV ad to air during Arkansas’ sweet 16 playoff game Saturday

Friday, the Human Rights Campaign announced it has purchased airtime for an ad denouncing the actions of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, among others, for passing anti-transgender legislation.

The ad will air during the University of Arkansas-Oral Roberts University March Madness Sweet 16 game this weekend.

Thursday, Gov. Hutchinson signed Senate Bill 354, an anti-transgender bill that bans transgender women and girls from participating in sports (including extracurricular and school sports at the elementary, middle, high school and collegiate level) consistent with their gender identity.

Watch the ad here

The ad has been purchased to air locally across Arkansas (Little Rock and Ft. Smith markets) as hundreds of thousands of Arkansans watch the University of Arkansas and underdog Oral Roberts University duke it out for a spot in the Elite 8 of the NCAA’s March Madness tournament.

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said, “Hutchinson’s shameful decision to attack transgender children to score a few political points is absolutely abhorrent, and rooted in nothing but his animus towards LGBTQ people. Despite numerous opportunities, not once were they able to name a single transgender athlete in the state of Arkansas. These bills are in search of a problem that does not exist and the Human Rights Campaign will be here to make sure Governor Hutchinson and any elected officials pushing for these discriminatory laws are held accountable.”

Arkansas will be playing in its first NCAA Sweet 16 since 1996 when the 10th-ranked and 3rd-seeded Razorbacks face 15th-seeded Oral Roberts on Saturday (Mar. 27) in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament. Game time is set for 7:25 pm (ET) / 6:25 pm (CT) and the contest will be televised on TBS.

The Arkansas law promulgates that transgender girls are men based on biology and have an inherent competitive advantage and should be excluded from girl’s sports.

The Supreme court ruled last year that Trans and gay people are protected from discrimination in the workplace by the basis of sex under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

President Biden issued an executive order directing the Education Department and the Attorney General to identify states and public institutions that violate Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by June 16, 2021. President Biden has put those entities on notice that they risk defunding if they refuse to comply with the law.

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Transgender student awarded $300,000 in Locker room Lawsuit

Transgender student Nick Himley has been awarded $300,000 in a discrimination lawsuit and a guarantee of meaningful reforms by the Anoka-Hennepin School District.

In 2016, the school board initially barred Nick from using the boys’ locker room, after he had been welcomed by and participated on the boys’ swim team for much of the season. Nick was singled out and forced to use segregated changing facilities that no other students were required to use. This discrimination led to bullying and threats against his family, causing Nick emotional distress and harm.

“I never want any student to experience the discrimination and cruelty I experienced from the adults at my school,” Nick said in a statement published by the ACLU.
It means a lot to see the courts protect transgender students like me. Today’s settlement agreement makes it very clear that segregating transgender students doesn’t just dehumanize us, it violates our legal rights.”

The settlement comes after a ruling by the state Court of Appeals finding that it’s a violation of both the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the Minnesota Constitution for school districts to segregate transgender students from their peers in locker room facilities.

The school district agreed to take several steps including:

    1. Reaffirming its commitment to comply with the Minnesota Human Rights Act and not discriminate against or segregate transgender students.
    2. Developing a policy to allow every student to use all facilities consistent with their gender identity that includes a complaint procedure and a prohibition on reprisals.
    3. Training all school board members, staff and students on these policies.
    4. Affirming that students of all gender identities are valued and welcome.

ACLU Minnesota zoom press conference

In 2016, more than 55 percent of Minnesota students who identified as transgender reported having attempted suicide within the prior two years, according to a Minnesota Department of Education survey. Health risks like this are largely eliminated when transgender students are supported in their efforts to live in a manner consistent with their gender identity.

The Anoka-Hennepin School District came out with the following statement:

“The Minnesota Court of Appeals has established clarity for transgender student access to locker rooms. Since the decision, Anoka-Hennepin has modified its policy and procedures as well as training of staff and students regarding student right of access to any and all facilities consistent with their gender identity. All legal issues have been resolved. The district is committed to providing a safe and respectful learning environment for all students and families including transgender and gender-nonconforming students. The Court of Appeals notes the district’s approach in the majority opinion by stating, “We are sympathetic to all parties involved and readily acknowledge the task the school district faced as it sought to balance the privacy interests of all of its students while addressing issues that are of first impression in Minnesota.”

This the second lawsuit against Anoka-Hennepin School District over discriminatory policies regarding LGBTQ students. The first lawsuit alleged the district allowed uncontrolled bullying and created unequal access to education. Nine students committed suicide in just two years.

The district was still under a five-year federal consent decree to address anti-LGBTQ harassment when they discriminated against Nick.


The ACLU-MN is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to defend the civil liberties of all Minnesotans through litigation, community engagement and advocacy. Learn more at www.aclu-mn.org.

Gender Justice is a nonprofit legal and policy advocacy organization dedicated to advancing gender equity through the law by dismantling barriers and expanding protections so that all people can thrive regardless of their gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Learn more at www.genderjustice.us.

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The Summer of my Half Crazy Transgender Success

Kelli Busey crossing the finish line and what do I see? A child emulating me!

The word emulate means to imitate with the desire to do as well or better. It was an amazing feeling seeing her pop out at the end of that half-marathon and fly through the air.

I never learned her name. I collapsed as usual at the end of that summer marathon. The second best part was watching the winner, a lady a few years my senior scoot around me with a quarter-mile to go. She was so determined and fit all I wanted to do was to emulate her, just like that child did.

These are things we learn and love as we compete. You among premiere athletes who on their best day might have another opportunity to be all that we can be. I went on to run three more marathons that year. These days after Covid at age 63 I walk 15 kilometers weekly. And that is fine. I stay fit and I have those memories.

USA PowerLIfting
I finished in second place but nothing will match how that superior athlete and that child made me feel.

Tragically many trans athletes will never experience what I did. They feel they must hold back so that they won’t make themselves a target. They may never understand that joy of crossing the line as that child and I did. That is the damage that these anti-trans bills are inflicting, not just on us, but the children as well.

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Mississippi sends anti-trans sports bill to the Governor

The wording of Senate Bill 2536 may be vague but Governor Tate Reeves’s vow to stop “transgenderism” wasn’t as he tweeted his intent to sign Senate Bill 2536.

And that may be the undoing of this bigoted bill when it reaches the doors of the supreme court.

The bill requires the Mississippi High School Activities Association or any higher education institution that is a member of the NCAA, NAIA, or NJCCA to designate teams as:

(a) “Males,” “men” or “boys”;

(b) “Females,” “women” or “girls”; or

(c) “Coed” or “mixed.”

(2) Athletic teams or sports designated for “females,” “women” or “girls” shall not be open to students of the male sex.

The state House voted 81-28 Wednesday to pass the so-called Mississippi Fairness Act. It passed the state Senate last month, 34-9. Gov. Tate Reeves said Thursday that he will sign it.

Mississippi’s act is the first of its ilk to successfully pass through both chambers this year. Some have failed in committee, including in South Dakota on Wednesday and in Utah last month, ABC News Reports.

A similar bill also died in committee in Mississippi last year. Republican state Sen. Angela Hill, who sponsored that bill and the one that passed the House Wednesday, told ABC News she was inspired to introduce the legislation after learning about two girls’ championship-winning transgender high school runners in Connecticut, where state policy allows high school athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify. Mississippi does not have a policy regarding transgender high school athletes.

“If we do not move to protect female sports from biological males who have an unfair physiological advantage, we will eventually no longer have female sports,” she said.

Tennessee Transgender Sports Bill Advances to The House

The Tennessee Senate passed a bill last night which would force transgender students to play on the team according to the sex of their original birth certificate. On Monday evening, Senators voted 27-6 to pass SB 228. The Bill now goes to the House for a vote.

CEO of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce Joe Woolley said while this bill is directed at student-athletes, he feels a bill like this passing could mean drastic hits to our tourism and businesses wanting to do work in Tennessee.

“We’re looking at events like the Super Bowl, we’re looking at the World Cup in 2026, we all love our NCAA basketball tournaments, all three of those organizations that run those events have said they will seriously consider not bringing their events to locations that have discriminatory laws on the books,” Wooley said.

The Tennessee Democratic Party LGBTQ Caucus, Tennessee Young Democrats LGBTQ Caucus, Tennessee College Democrats, and Tennessee High School Democrats issued a joint statement Wednesday.

They say the bill discriminates against transgender students and is part of “a nationally-coordinated attack on our youth and only serves to add to the culture wars and division politics…”

Read the full statement below via News channel 5.

“Today, the Tennessee Legislature’s education committees sent a bill to the floor that would discriminate against Tennessee transgender students wishing to participate in school sports. While the TSSAA stated that no transgender students in the state of Tennessee have ever attempted to compete in a high school sport, the state of Tennessee is breaking federal Title Nine laws that already allow transgender students to play sports – putting billions in education funding at risk.

This bill is a nationally coordinated attack on our youth and only serves to add to the culture wars and division politics that don’t serve Tennesseans. The extremist right-wing politicians backing this bill want to waste taxpayer money that could be going to support teachers and schools to rather litigate an issue that does not exist. The real detriment of this legislation is the damage it will do to the population who are being attacked by it. The transgender community in Tennessee deserves better from the Legislature that is tasked to serve them.

It is also worth noting that this will have unintended consequences. A rule in Texas only allowing transgender students to compete in the league for their assigned sex led to a young trans man being forced to compete in wrestling competitions against females.

Mack Beggs won the state title twice and a scholarship. Also, a young woman in Connecticut who filed a lawsuit to ban two trans athletes from girls’ track and field lost her case, but beat the transgender athletes she was competing against.

State Government has other pressing matters to focus on. Covid relief and getting students safely back to school should be the top priority right now, not issues they conjure up to distract from their failures to lead during a crisis. We stand with the Tennesee Equality Project and demand these politicians stop their #SlateOfHate. For more information on how to take action this week, follow @tnhsdems on Instagram and watch our social media for direct action.”

One Highschool Offensive Guard is now Playing Defense against South Dakota Legislators.

Chris Wilka, a transgender high school student started at quarterback but has since moved to offensive guard. But now he’s on the defense asking South Dakota legislators to just let him play football.

Wilka is a competitor the same as Mack Beggs. Could you imagine the reaction of Tennesse parents should this hulking young man play against their girls as Mack Beggs was forced to do?