Stoneleigh Fellow Nadia Dowshen and her colleagues published an op-ed for The Philadelphia Inquirer outlining the harm that transgender sports bans can have in the lives of transgender youth.
For young people who come through the doors of our clinics and operating rooms, sports from dancing to wrestling offer opportunities to get the physical benefits of exercise, develop the social skills involved in teamwork and competition, and strive for goals that may have once seemed unattainable. Experiences like these can have positive benefits that last a lifetime. But now legislators across the country are trying to take that opportunity away from some of these youth because they are transgender.
Lawmakers in 27 states, including Pennsylvania, introduced bills to ban transgender children from sports participation. Some of these proposed laws even go as far as requiring unnecessary and invasive physical exams for children who identify as or may be transgender. These bills represent an unjustifiable overreach of the state into the lives of children. If enforced, these intrusions would have negative consequences for all children, but it is clear that they would be devastating for children who are transgender, nonbinary, or questioning their gender identity — including children who have already come out to their friends or family, and those who have not.