Protection for one and all


Jacob Rice

The ISU women’s basketball team listens to the national anthem at the Big 12 women’s basketball championship game, Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, MO, Mar. 12, 2023.

Ryan Murray, ISU Student

When Title IX was first enacted, it allowed hundreds of thousands of women to participate in sports without discrimination based on sex. The amendment that the Department of Education proposes would extend these protections to trans athletes. While some believe this would flood women’s sports with trans athletes, there is evidence to support the contrary. 

According to the Williams Institute, as of 2020, there are 149,750 trans youths between the ages of 13-17 living in the U.S. If all of them were trans women and played sports, they would only make up 4.4% of female high school athletes. That’s less than half the number of left-handed Americans. While the number is small, it would be a terrible mistake to deprive trans athletes of these opportunities. 

If Title IX isn’t allowed to encompass the Trans Community, then the level playing field we all want for athletes will not only never be achieved but also made worse. A prime example of this is the trans wrestler Mack Beggs. 

Mack Beggs is a trans man who, during high school, competed in the women’s division. He was forced to compete in this division because Texas policy deemed his gender based on his birth certificate. This caused any match he was in to become uneven, all because he was not allowed to compete with the gender he identified as. 

Stories like his show how important it is that this becomes a federal matter rather than a state one. This change to Title IX would provide an equal and fair opportunity for trans athletes to compete with little discrepancy nationwide. 

As an Iowan, I believe in equality, justice and fair play. It is common sense that the best way to achieve these ideals is to let people be who they are. Thankfully, Biden and his administration are making positive changes that will aid trans athletes despite those across the aisle who disagree. 

A day will come when we can accept people as they are. But until then, trans athletes won’t have to try to get through a glass ceiling to compete, but an iron gate.