see: Ted Eytan via Creative Commons

The “trans sports issue” has been a hot topic for American lawmakers and in the news. Here’s my hot take on the matter: this has nothing to do with trans athletes.

In the United States, athletics are put on a pedestal so high that it’s harming our kids. If you aren’t a star student, or don’t have the funds to further your schooling, athletics may be seen as your only way to attend college or to have a career. Something that is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable game, to help keep kids in good shape, and to teach sportsmanship and cooperation has become critical for many kids’ futures. 

Kim Adamski

If you are the parent of a child and feel your kid’s only chance at a good future is sports, then of course you are going to fight tooth and nail to make sure your kid is the best. So, when you see the media latching onto the idea that trans kids in sports are outpacing and defeating the cisgender kids in droves, totally destroying any reasonable chance they have of getting into a good school or what have you, it makes sense that you’re going to get right on board. You want what’s best for your kid, right?

But what is the real issue here? Is it really that trans kids want to participate in an after-school program meant to supplement their education and enrich their lives? No — the issue is that school athletics have become so important that they can make or break a kid’s future schooling and even career.

Sports are fun! They require teamwork, cooperation, and relationship management! They should not be so high-pressure that one kid’s success means another kid’s life trajectory is completely changed. There need to be more paths to college and a career than just straight As or outstanding athletics.

Of course, I think trans kids should play sports in school if they want to. However, I think the solution that would help ALL student athletes is to make athletics less serious. When you’re just there to have a good time, a person’s sex and gender don’t matter. These are kids. Let them have fun.

Kim Adamski is a Health Educator in West Hartford.