Texas governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill to limit young trans people’s participation in school sports, meaning it will now become law. After being passed in a 19-12 vote in the Senate, HB 25 was approved by gov. Abbott, making Texas the 10th state to have officially barred trans kids from joining school sports teams in accordance with their gender identity, rather than their gender assigned at birth. The bill is expected to become law in January.
The success of the bill has caused concern among LGBTQ+ activists and advocacy groups, with Ricardo Martinez – chief executive officer of Equality Texas – describing it as “cruel and grotesque”. He continued: “[The bill] puts a target on the backs of transgender children and adults, erases intersex people and sends a clear message that transgender and intersex people aren’t welcome or safe in Texas.”
Despite increased hostility towards trans athletes, a 2021 study found that trans participation in sports poses no threat to cisgender youth, as there is no evidence to “support the claim that allowing transgender athletes to participate will reduce or harm participation in girls’ sports”. It argued that the recent anti-trans discourse relies on “scare tactics, stereotypes, and unwarranted claims that transgender women have a physiological advantage over cisgender women”, meaning there is no scientific reason for banning trans inclusion in school sports.