He’s Transgender: Which Locker Room Should He Use?

>> Wednesday, October 13, 2010

He’s a college athlete — and he’s also transgender. Which locker room should he use?

A new report says it’s time for all schools to follow these policy recommendations.

A think tank of experts, brought together by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and an initiative of the Women’s Sports Foundation, has released a report calling for the adoption of standard policies that give transgender student-athletes a fair chance to participate on scholastic athletic teams.

The number of transgender students is small but growing, the report says. It adds that gender identity is showing up more and more as a protected category in nondiscrimination policies – and says courts are increasingly interpreting sex bias laws to cover transgender people.

That means now is the time for schools to take a proactive approach by adopting appropriate policies and following best practices when it comes to enabling fair participation by transgender students, it urges.

What should colleges do? Here’s a summary of recommendations relating to sex-separated sports teams:

* All transgender students who are not receiving hormone treatment relating to gender transition should be allowed to play for same-sex teams “in accordance with [their] assigned birth gender.”
* Male-to-female transgender students who want to play on a women’s team should first have to complete a year of hormone treatment.
* Male-to-female transgender students who are taking hormone treatments should be allowed to compete on men’s teams.
* Female-to-male transgender students who take testosterone should not be allowed to compete on women’s teams but should be allowed to compete on men’s teams, and
* Female-to-male transgender students who don’t take testosterone should be allowed to participate on men’s or women’s teams.

Concerns about competitive equity are based on assumptions that are not well-founded, the report contends. And fears that males might pretend to be females to gain a competitive edge are unwarranted, it adds.

What do you think of these recommendations? [source: HigherEd Morning]


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