What I should have said at yesterday’s hearing for the GIRL Act.

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2020
In this Feb. 7, 2019, file photo, Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn. Miller and Yearwood are among Connecticut transgender athletes who would be blocked from participating in girls sports under a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, by the families of three athletes. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File)

Yesterday, I went down to Montgomery, with my seven-year-old daughter to speak in support of the Gender Is Real Legislative Act, or GIRL Act, by Rep. Chris Pringle

If you’re not familiar with this piece of legislation it simply says athletes must compete against those of the same gender. Those with gender dysphoria can not decide to participate in sporting events based on their chosen gender over their biological one. Let’s be clear about the type of events that this applies to competitive high school level games that help athletes gain the attention of college scouts and scholarships.

During the committee, my daughter was recognized and stated her name, age and innocently noted that she liked sports and wanted them to be fair.

While I had the following remarks written and ready to deliver, I did not do so during the meeting, so I am posting them here this evening:

My young daughter and girls like her, are the reason we need this bill. Opponents of the bill have said that opposition is about hate fear and bigotry, but they are wrong. This bill is about courage respect and fairness.

Three courageous young women’ in Connecticut filed a lawsuit last week to be able to compete in sports without the boys from their school with gender dysphoria constantly beating them due to the advantages of their biological differences.

One of those girls said it better than I ever could. “Mentally and physically we know the outcome before the race even starts. That biological unfairness doesn’t go away because of what someone believes about gender identity. All girls deserve the chance to compete on a level playing field.” She went on to say, “Our dream is not to come in second or third place but to win fair and square, all we’re asking for is a fair chance.”

If you were in the committee today my daughter said the same thing. My sweet brave daughter. I am trying to teach her that effort and hard work pays off that diligence and commitment to something matters and makes a difference. Imagine training for years for a sport only to find that the outcome is rigged by competitors who aren’t playing by the same rules or with the same tools as you?

There are biological differences between young men and young women. gender dysphoria doesn’t change the DNA or physical makeup of a person. A young man who identifies as a young woman will still have the muscle mass, body composition, and hormones of a man. He will still have the physical ability to do things that his that his female counterparts cannot do.

The young girls in Connecticut were courageous. But the fact is they shouldn’t have had to be. The adults in their lives should have protected them from the unfair situation that they’ve been placed in. 

For years the LGBTQ+ community has said that they just wanted equality and fairness. Well, forcing girls to compete against boys is patently unfair. Allowing MALE competitors with a biological advantage to malign the hopes and dreams of young women is unfair.

This isn’t about an agenda, which is what so many in the LGBTQ plus community has made it about. This is about right and wrong. And it is wrong to make these young girls’ shoulder what in some cases can be lifelong consequences of a movement that is not based in science or reality. 

Those were the remarks I meant to give, and you may wonder why I didn’t. There were those in the statehouse today, who were genuinely concerned for what my daughter might have experienced during or after the meeting if I had given that speech. Ordinarily, I would have dismissed this concern, but I went ahead and made a last-minute decision at the mic to play it safe. 

The speaker after me in support of the bill was Becky Gerritson of the Eagle Forum. She simply discussed the mountain of evidence that the biological differences between young athletes. 

After Becky’s remarks Carmarion Anderson, of the Human Rights Campaign, a transgendered female got up in opposition to the bill. It didn’t take more than a moment for me to realize that she was going to have no regard for the child in the front row just a foot from her so I took my daughter out into the hallway. I listened through the door at her remarks. She started with a direct response to my daughter and I, speaking of fairness by saying that “fairness is about allowing a child to live out their truth.”

Here’s the issue with that though truth is not subjective. Either you are a female or you are a male. Genetics has already determined a baby’s sex and reproductive organs very early on in the womb. Decades upon decades of medical and scientific literature and studies have been done on the human body. Doctors can now add or subtract breasts. Doctors can chemically change hormone levels. Doctors can even reshape one’s genitals. An individual can grow or cut hair. The list goes on but none of those cosmetic alterations actually change the biological gender of an individual.

That said, if a grown woman or man decides to pursue any or all of the above and “live their truth” that’s their choice. None of the above hurt or harm other people and a well informed adult past the age of reason can and should be able to do whatever they’d like with their body and “their truth”.

To be clear though, in the context of this bill when it is said, “let a transgendered child live their truth” what is meant is let a transgendered boy unfairly compete against and defeat girls because fairness in the LGBTQ+ community only goes one way. We’re not talking about a level playing field for the community anymore. Now we’re acknowledging and simply overlooking the inequality among competitors that puts female athletes at a disadvantage in female sports and saying our needs and our wants are more important than all others.

The final comment from today’s hearing that I want to address is this one and it’s a biggie. Mrs. Anderson said “Look at me. I could have committed suicide if I did not have opportunities.”

One thing that has never been disputed or questioned is the mental health crisis of those within the LGBTQ+ community. I’ve spent nearly 15 years as an advocate of community mental health care, and I know the statistics of depression and suicide among LGBTQ+ youth and it’s staggering. 

Even though supporters of this bill have been called hate filled bigots make no mistake about it that’s just not true. I believe, as do the overwhelming majority of supporters of this bill, that every individual is deserving of respect and kindness. This bill does nothing to promote anything contrary to that.

When I heard the speaker say that the first thing I felt was sad for her and her personal experiences if she ever felt that suicide was the best or only option. The second thing I felt however, was confusion. The mental health crisis facing LGBTQ+ youth isn’t the fault of their peers who are just living their lives. Robbing female athletes of their right to fair games is not the solution to the depression and suicidal tendencies of their transgendered classmates.

If there is bullying or victimizing of an individual that is very different than the issue at hand here and to compare the two is wrong.

Closing sporting events to competitors of the same gender is not a form of bullying or discrimination and if you think it is then you don’t understand the definition of either word. 

This is a good bill and in this overly agenda driven world its a necessary one to protect female athletes and the integrity of their sports.

 The bill passed out of the House State Government Committee with a vote of 8-4.