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Pressekonferenz in Hartford, Connecticut im Februar 2020. Familien von High-School-Athletinnen hatten gegen die Connecticut Association of Schools geklagt. Sie fühlen sich durch die Teilnahme von Trans-Athletinnen im Frauensport diskriminiert. Sie hätten deshalb weniger Chancen auf Stipendien an Universitäten. In den USA werden zahlreiche Uni-Stipendien an Top-Athlet*innen vergeben.  (imago)

Kulturkampf is in sports in the United States

Terry Miller and Andraia Yairwood dominated the running competition at Connecticut High School three years ago. They won and broke records – not of interest outside of New England, but the two 16-year-olds are transgender girls. That is, they were born boys, but now they feel like girls. Connecticut laws allow them to compete in girls’ school sports as much as girls.

Bianca Stanescu, the mother of one of the defeated athletes, thought this was unfair. ABC’s Stanisco said that female players are at a physical disadvantage compared to transgender girls. Supporters of the two trans girls deny this, and Catherine Oakley of the Human Rights Campaign, who advocates for the rights of the LGBTQ community, says Terry and Andraya have by no means won. And besides: this is the case in sports: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and that’s what makes it challenging and fun – and frustrating.”

Who makes the rules?

Transgender women in sport, this is the latest battleground in the American Culture War. Which is more important: biological sex or perceived sex? And: Who determines the rules, the minority or the majority?

For the country’s conservatives, the issue is clear. “In sport, biology is the only thing that matters,” says Matt Sharp of the conservative Freedom Defense Alliance. The biological sex is recorded in every cell of the body. Meaning: If you were a boy when you were born, you would exercise with boys. Goal.

About 30 states have laws in place or have already passed laws banning trans girls from playing sports in school. There isn’t a single known conflict situation in many countries, but conservative politicians know this issue will resonate with their constituents.

( in School Sports in the United States – States are struggling to include trans girls
There is a lot of debate in the United States now about whether or not transgender athletes can compete against girls and women in high school and college sports. The debate has long become a political issue that even the president of the United States has interfered with.

The Biden government wants to strengthen the Equality Act

Because the new Joe Biden administration is going in exactly the opposite direction. Biden has a law in effect, the Equality Act, which will prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, for example. LGBTQ activist Kathryn Oakley feels she is in very good hands there. The President has already said that transgender rights are human rights. But so far, Biden has stayed out of discussions about the sport.

In college sports, there have long been rules regarding allowing a trans woman to participate in women’s sports, that is, when she uses medications to keep the male hormone testosterone low in her body. The NCAA Athletic Association explicitly supports transgender athletes. It has just threatened once again to withdraw from countries that pass discriminatory laws.

How can an inclusive society succeed?

How to find a solution in this ideologically charged climate? It’s tough, says law professor Dorian Coleman, who has been involved in women’s sports for decades. In order to be able to accommodate these athletes with male bodies that feel like women, she says, one must observe science, but also “respect our moral and ethical commitment to being an inclusive community.”

But being inclusive, and welcoming everyone, is very difficult for everyone in the United States right now.