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The Source: New Rule Doesn't Recognize Transgender Teens

David Martin Davies

Texas Public School Superintendents have overwhelmingly approved a new rule for the UIL - the University Interscholastic League - that requires students to play on the team that matches the gender listed on their birth certificate. The rule is being criticized by  LGBT rights advocates.

95 percent of public school superintendents in Texas who voted on the rule supported it. It requires Texas' public school athletes in middle and  high school to play on teams reflected their birth certificates. Thus a transgender transitioning student would not be able to play on the team that they identify with.

Kate Hector is the spokesperson for the UIL. She explained the rule on TPR’s The Source on Thursday.
“This is really placing into rule which is already in practice. So if there were any questions that coaches or athletic directors had they would call the UIL and this is the practice that we would advise and has been for a while and this new rule is just placing it into policy.”

The Texas rule is one of the more restrictive in the nation for transgender students. Robert Salcido is the regional coordinator for Equality Texas, an organization that works for equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

“We do get calls on a daily and a weekly basis from students who are encountering discrimination not only in sports but in other areas of being in school. Sports is just one of them that is coming up now. So we know that its happening.” 

Salcido says the rule violates the rights of transgender students, which is why 15 other states have adopted policies that allow student athletes to participate in sports based on their “gender identity.”

The new rule goes into effect on August first.

  • Kate Hector, UIL Media Coordinator
  • Robert Salcido Jr, Regional Coordinator for Equality Texas
  • Asaf Orr, Transgender Youth Project Staff Attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights