Letter: Transgender Athletes Don’t Threaten Sports


Kiffer Creveling

The University of Utah and BYU marching band performed together at halftime during the game vs. the Brigham Young University Cougars at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Devin Oldroyd, News Writer


Across the country, transgender female athletes are distraught over the possibility that they may be banned from participating in their favorite sports. 

In some states, this ban has already become reality. Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and South Dakota have all recently passed bills banning transgender women and girls from participating in high school and college-level women’s sports, and other states have bills pending as well.

Transgender women and girls should not face discrimination from their state government. They already face a great amount of discrimination in numerous areas beyond sports. It seems that each year, a new issue confronts transgender individuals. There are debates over which bathroom transgender people should use, the Trump administration banned transgender people from serving in the military and crimes against transgender women of color continue at absurd rates. 

President Joe Biden lifted the ban that prevented transgender people from serving in the military, but there is still a great amount that can be done. Transgender people already face too much discrimination and they should be allowed to play on sports teams that align with their gender identity. 

A concern that supporters of these bills have is that transgender women and girls have a physiological advantage over cisgender women and girls, because of their testosterone levels. However, this concern does not have much evidence to back it up. The 2016 study “Sport and Transgender People: A Systematic Review of the Literature Relating to Sport Participation and Competitive Sport Policies concluded that there is no consistent research that shows that transgender women have an athletic advantage over cisgender women.

Besides this finding, the 2017 article “Athletic Genderfrom Law and Contemporary Problems, written by Joanna Harper, points out that transgender women in sports, as suggested by the NCAA, are typically subject to testosterone suppression, which lowers their testosterone level to be similar to that of a cisgender woman. Because of this fact, transgender women do not have an advantage over cisgender women in athletics because of higher testosterone levels.

Another concern is that transgender women and girls could dominate their high school or college sport, but there are not many cases of this happening. As an Associated Press report shows, many lawmakers can’t even share examples of this phenomenon in their own state.

Every student-athlete aims to do their very best in their sport. Transgender women and girls want the same as their teammates and fellow athletes. They are not there to cause social uproar — they just want to play sports. Why should they be blocked from doing so?

Transgender women and girls’ rights are slowly being peeled away, and they need our support. These bills should face our resistance and disapproval. We should be vocal in transgender people’s defense, and make sure our local, state and federal lawmakers know that we will stand up for our mothers, sisters and friends.


— Devin Oldroyd, University of Utah student

Submit a letter to the editor