Hi everyone and welcome to another chapter of Transitions. Today, I am exploring the impact of recent legislation related to trans youth, while attempting to debunk some myths related to misinformation which is floating around regarding the experience of those whom are trans feminine, trans masculine, non-binary, two spirit, or identify in any way as gender diverse – meaning in a way other than cis-gender (identifying as the gender you were assigned at birth).
The reality which we see being supported as result of policy and legislation like that recently passed in states including Arkansas – emboldens and empowers a false narrative that trans youth do not have a place within their communities. Further, that their contributions and efforts, themselves as individuals are less than others around them who are not gender diverse. Globally we see efforts being undertaken to erase and invalidate those who are transgender, non-binary, two spirit, or identify in any way as gender diverse – by way of systematically striping away the rights and humanity of individuals.
One of many fallouts of recent legislation which has been passed prevents trans girls or boys from playing on the female/male team in school, instead, they are forced to participate on the team which correlates to the gender they were assigned at birth.
I want to start by explaining that the concept behind these bills and what is shared with people is that the physicality of a girl of trans experience is allowing her to have an “advantage” over a cisgender girl. Now, escalating this more, their parents are being told that they are sharing locker rooms with boys and that this poses a threat to those girls. To debunk these myths, focusing first on the scientific factors, trans youth in sports are undergoing HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) and for those who do not know, when someone goes through HRT, the body mass changes completely.
The medical professional care team of a transgender or gender diverse individual can include but is not limited to: primary care physician, endocrinologist, psychologist, psychiatrist, counsellor, therapist, social worker – a combination some or all being involved in the ongoing care of a transgender or gender diverse individual. These highly educated and experienced individuals provide ongoing information to patients who undergo hormone replacement therapy, while ensuring those within their care are fit to undergo treatment. Should adjustments need to be made or termination of treatment be decided as result of personal decision or out of medical need (i.e blood clots, etc.) the care team will guide the individual through the process.
Lilly Velez | Before & After
For a trans feminine individual, hormone therapy often includes estrogen and potentially progesterone which most commonly result in effects which physically feminize the body such as decreasing muscle mass, redistribution of fat around the hips and breasts. Often, to maintain muscle tone trans feminine individuals or those who are undergoing therapy which involves female hormones such as estrogen and/or progesterone – need to introduce or increase their physical activity which develops and builds up muscle and strength, although this is not a requirement to be healthy rather is a personal preference of the individual.
For further reference regarding the effects of hormone therapy, please note the images below which highlight in detail the various results:
With this information shared, I want to point out that a girl of trans experience now has the same level of strength, muscle mass, and endurance as a cisgender girl, therefore, the so-called “advantage” is nonexistent.
Athletes undergo random tests to ensure the hormone levels are in line with the norms for such sport and to check that no spikes of endurance or consumption of steroids are happening, so this balances the plains even more as trans athletes have been allowed to practice their desired sports in line with their gender identity and have proven to be in line with the cisgenders practicing the same sport, which is one of the many reasons why the Olympics allow people of trans experience to participate as well.
Regarding the fear embedded in parents stating that their daughters are sharing the locker rooms with boys, is a false statement and it creates a hateful environment, especially because a girl of trans experience is a girl, and deserves to be treated as such and to not be discriminated against.
Additionally, there is an underlying point that people are not seeing. We are promoting equality and cheering on all women's successes in sports, from women becoming CEOs of sports teams, to the first woman kicker in a college football team, to the first female referee to be on a Super Bowl, yet with this bill, we are saying that a girl of trans experience should not be playing in a girl’s team because she has advantages over other girls due to the male sex assigned to them at birth. So we are saying that even though we are promoting equality, we are accepting bills that go against that equality and stating that being male means having an advantage in sports.
Nevertheless, countless women can run circles around men in many areas, including sports, proving that the so-called advantage is just a social stigma placed from years of being told that men are the stronger sex and women are the weaker sex.
I want to conclude with a special invitation to join me and make an act of inclusion during your week. Whether it’s including someone you disagree with or someone you don’t necessarily see eye to eye with or even calling someone you haven't spoken to in years, these small acts of kindness will help make us better people and will help promote diversity and love amongst all.
I love you all and thank you for your time.
Join the conversation and reach out to Lilly at; firstname.lastname@example.org
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