Yesterday the Idaho State Legislature became the first state to pass a ban on trans youth participation in both high school and collegiate athletics. This bill is part of a disturbing trend: politicians in statehouses around the country are introducing legislation to single out trans youth and bar them from the same school activities and sports as their peers.
Idaho House Bill 500 (HB500) aims to restrict transgender students from participating in athletics at both the high school and collegiate level. TLC is calling on Governor Brad Little to veto this legislation that singles out transgender youth and young people and exposes them to harm.
“Transgender youth, like most young people, simply want to play sports in order to access the rewards of good health, camaraderie, and fun that participation in athletics provides,” said Kris Hayashi, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. “Should this bill be signed into law, schools would be required to single out trans youth – who already experience high levels of bullying and harassment in schools – for further harassment or even violence.”
Transgender youth, who would be most directly impacted by this legislation, are leading the way in Idaho and nationally to oppose HB500 and other bills like it that have been introduced in over a dozen states this year. TRUTH, our joint youth media organizing program with GSA Network, demanded that Idaho’s Governor listen to the voices of trans youth and veto this harmful bill.
“As a student athlete, sports were my world. Playing softball let me challenge myself to become stronger, encouraged me to take risks and mostly let me have fun and enjoy high school with my friends,” said Juniperangelica Cordova, TRUTH Program Senior Organizer. “Anti-trans student athlete bills like HB500 deny trans youth the experiences that all students deserve. I am calling on Governor Little to listen to the voices of trans youth and veto this harmful bill.”
TLC and TRUTH recently released a resource for journalists covering this type of legislation which has been introduced in over a dozen states this year alone. You can access the resource here.