Decorah transgender high school athlete describes “Transgender Sports Bill” as disappointing

A bill Governor Kim Reynolds signed on Thursday says transgender athletes must now compete as their birth gender.
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 6:44 PM CST
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - A bill Governor Kim Reynolds signed on Thursday says transgender athletes must compete as their birth gender. The law applies to both high school and collegiate levels and requires schools to designate sporting events as male, female or co-ed. Only students who are female according to birth certificate will be eligible to play girls sports.

“Hearing this being passed has just made me very disappointed because it is now preventing me from being who I am and being included,” Gavy Smith, a transgender high school athlete from Decorah, said.

Throughout her time in school, Smith has played many sports, including volleyball, softball, and soccer. She was planning on also taking on golfing, but Reynolds’ bill goes into effect immediately, which means Smith is no longer able to play in girls sports.

She told TV9 playing sports has been an important part of her transition process.

”When I got into the age of being able to do sports for my school, volleyball was the first thing that I wanted to do and it is the first thing that helped me through my transition because I was able to play the sports like every girl in my grade and just be included,” she explained.

Tiffany Smith, Gavy’s mother, said this is “the hardest thing as a parent that I have ever had to go through.”

“As a parent of a transgender girl, I am extremely disappointed in the Iowa legislature,” she mentioned. “Instead of protecting these children who are already facing obstacles and challenges every day, they are passing Iowa laws that further harm them.”

Governor Reynolds, on the other hand, says this is a fairness issue. She says this law is about “women having access to the fair and level playing field they deserve.”

”But what would it say about a commitment to this principle if we let actual playing fields, the courts, fields, rinks, pools and tracks of youth and collegiate sports be tilted in favor of biological males with inherit physical advantages?,” she added. “Today’s bill ensures that this question will remain a hypothetical one.”

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