Florida Kicks Off Pride Month With a Trans Sports Ban

Written by SK Ashby

Yesterday, June 1st, officially marked the beginning of Pride Month as you may know and it's only natural that Republicans could kick off the festivities by attacking transgender children.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an unrelated school choice bill into law yesterday, but he used the opportunity to also ban transgender kids from sports programs.

"In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports," Gov. Ron DeSantis said as he signed the bill into law at a private Christian academy in Jacksonville that would not be subject to the law. "We're going to make sure that that's the reality." [...]

The measure approved by the GOP-led Legislature takes effect July 1. It says a transgender student athlete can't participate without first showing a birth certificate saying she was a girl when she was born. It's not clear whether all females must show their birth certificates, or only those whose gender is questioned. The proposal allows another student to sue if a school allows a transgender girl or woman to play on a team intended for biological females.

The original version of this law required that children undergo a genital inspection before they could join a team and that language was removed -- because that is obviously insane -- but the net effect of the law is still the same.

I've analyzed similar statements many times before and pointed out what may or may not be obvious, but when DeSanti says "girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports," what he's implicitly saying is transgender kids don't count. He's saying transgender girls aren't legitimate girls and transgender boys aren't legitimate boys.

Transgender children are rare and transgender student athletes are even more sparse. There may only be a handful in any given state. They aren't a threat to anyone, but stopping a threat that doesn't actually exist isn't the greater point of this law and others like it. The point is to make a statement against transgender existence altogether.

The law signed by DeSantis is written with a sexist double-standard that still allows for girls to join a boys sports team. And that might seem confusing given the governor's statement, but it isn't if you understand what he's really saying. Allowing girls to join a boys teams after saying "boys are going to play boys sports" makes sense if you understand that DeSantis is saying transgender girls are still boys.

This law and others like it are implicitly unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Claus of the Fourteenth Amendment.