Can Transgender Student Athletes Compete in Texas?
There is a lot of debate right now about transgender student athletes. A lot of states allow these athletes the right to compete under their current gender. So, if a male identifies as a female, they can compete with other females.
This has garnered a lot of heated discussions. People think it’s unfair that male, who is generally stronger and more physical than a female, is allowed to compete in women’s sports. Transgender people argue that they should be allowed to compete as the sex they identify with.
In Texas, while the law is a bit complicated, it is clear that transgender athletes will have to overcome some serious challenges. Current law and a recent bill are proof that Texas wants to force athletes to compete based on their gender at birth.
If you feel that you’ve been treated unfairly when it comes to college athletics, you need to speak with a Houston LGBT attorney.
What is the Law in Texas for Transgender People in Student Athletics?
The State of Texas opposes the Office of Civil Rights’ transgender policies. Instead, Texas requires student athletes to compete as the gender they were assigned at birth. So, if your birth certificate states that you’re a male, then you have to compete in men’s sports.
Texas also passed a law in 2017 that bans students from competing in school sports if they’re using steroids of any kind. This includes medically prescribed steroids. This means that, essentially, most, if not all, transgender people won’t be able to compete in college or high school sports.
Texas Bill S.B. 2095 states that students who are using steroids are banned from competing in school sports if the following two things apply:
- It threatens the safety of any of the other athletes
- It substantially affects the fairness of competition amongst the other players
So, if a school finds that a transgender person on steroids has an unfair competitive advantage, they won’t be allowed to compete. The same is true if they feel their steroid use makes them dangerous to other student athletes.
It’s hard to argue that a person born as a male won’t be physically stronger than someone born as a female. Men are naturally taller and stronger than women. So, if someone was born male but identifies as a female, it would be an unfair advantage to let them play women’s basketball.
How Does the Steroid Ban Act as a Total Ban for Transgender Student Athletes?
In Texas, in order to legally change your gender, you need to get your birth certificate changed. You can only do this with a court order. And, you can’t get the court order without proving that you’ve undergone sex reassignment surgery.
It’s almost impossible to undergo sex reassignment surgery without taking steroids. This means that, even if you can get a new birth certificate, you’ll probably still fall under the steroid ban. This creates a vicious cycle.
To qualify as a female for student athletics purposes, a transgender person would need a birth certificate showing they’re female. This means they need the court order. For the court order, they have to undergo sex reassignment surgery to become a female. This will require them to use steroids. Therefore, it’s almost impossible for a transgender person to compete in school athletics.
How Can a Houston LGBT Attorney Help?
It’s very difficult to overcome the challenges facing transgender student athletes in Texas. The process to change your birth certificate is expensive and time consuming. It can take years to accomplish this.
An experienced Houston LGBT lawyer may be able to help. They can challenge the ban and argue the following things:
- You don’t pose a threat to the other athletes’ safety
- You don’t have an unfair competitive advantage
Since the law requires that the State show you pose a substantial threat, or that you have a substantially great competitive advantage, the burden is on the school. If your LGBT lawyer in Houston can prove that the school hasn’t met their burden, they may be able to get you qualified to play school sports.
Call and Speak with an Experienced Houston LGBT Lawyer Today
If you or your loved one is being denied the right to play college sports, call and speak with an experienced LGBT attorney in Houston. They can review your case and let you know if you have a shot at overcoming the bans in place for transgender student athletes.
Call Eddington & Worley and schedule your initial consultation today. You can sit down with a skilled lawyer who can answer any questions you may have.
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