Tennessee Senate gives OK on Anti Trans Athlete Bill
Tennessee's GOP-dominant Senate advanced legislation Monday that would ban transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports. This means that athletes that are transgender will not be able to play sports in middle and high schools sports across the state. “This bill is about guaranteeing safety and a level playing field for girl athletes on middle and high school team,” said Sen. Joey Hensley, a Republican from Hohenwald,TN. The state bill SB228 is another way that legislatures have found a way to to discriminate from civic office. To be honest, none of the sponsors on the bill did not speak with any transgender or gender non-comfoming students when drafting the bill. So one question I ponder is, why do they need to establish "safety for girl athletes" with this kind of lawmaking? What is the fear that drives lawmakers to deny trans students the opportunity to participate in sports with cisgender students? Lastly, if lawmakers are thinking that they are addressing a safety issue or disadvantage for girl athletes, what is next? Feeding into the stereotype that black children shouldn't play with white because they are more aggressive? The point I make is that fear-mongered lawmaking and dictation opens pandora's box for many other personal biases and beliefs that lay contrary to what constituents want. Without a data supported cause, nobody should be allowed to strip a group or population of their rights because of a feeling. One would argue to "follow the science" in the matter of transgender identity. Moreover, why must it stop there when people living with HIV are immediately criminalized when receiving a chronic illness diagnoses? In the line of chronic illnesses in Tennessee, Heart Disease and breast Cancer are higher in the order of Tennessean deaths. However, HIV is the only one with criminal charges that govern the population criminally. Let's get it together Tennessee! We can do so much better than this kind of activity to show that we care about our communities.