WASHINGTON, DC – The National Center for Transgender Equality, in partnership with Athlete Ally, the GenderCool Project, InterACT, GLSEN, National Education Association, and TransAthlete, have launched the Let Us Play campaign in response to the recently proposed regulation by the U.S. Department of Education regarding the requirement for inclusion of transgender, non-binary, and intersex students in school sports under Title IX. During the public comment period, the Let Us Play campaign will call on the community to submit public comments to advocate for full inclusion for transgender, nonbinary, and intersex youth in sports.
Since Title IX’s implementing regulations were first issued in 1975, Title IX has allowed, but not required, schools to have gender-separated sports teams where “selection for such teams is based on competitive skill or the activity involved in a competitive sport.” It has also required that schools provide equal opportunity in their sports programs. This is the first time the Title IX rules would address these students’ eligibility to participate in sex-segregated athletic teams.
Given the wave of efforts around the country to enact discriminatory sports bans focused on transgender youth, the National Center for Transgender Equality believes it is crucial that there be regulations that protect trans, nonbinary, and intersex youth of all ages.
Until May 15th, the general public has the opportunity to comment on this proposed rule. Upon receiving and reviewing these comments, the Department of Education will publish a final rule, which will apply to all K-12 schools, colleges, and universities that receive federal funding.
“It is essential that we make our community’s concerns heard and push for a final rule that ensures inclusion for all trans and intersex youth of all ages,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “As a coalition, we are mobilizing the trans and intersex community, and the public at large, to comment on the Title IX ruling and advocate for equal opportunities for all youth in sports regardless of their gender identity.”
NCTE believes that sports are an integral part of education, and they teach many valuable lessons. Participating in sports gives young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to learn and play, be part of a team, and nurture relationships. The Let Us Play campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of inclusivity in athletics and encourage active participation in the dialogue surrounding this critical issue.
“Together, we can ensure that every young person, including those who are transgender or intersex, have the opportunity to pursue their athletic dreams and reach their full potential,” Heng-Lehtinen stated. “We urge the public to join the Let Us Play movement and help make a difference in the lives of countless transgender and intersex young athletes across the nation.”
Supporters can submit their public comments at www.letusplay.team until the comment period ends on May 15th, 2023.
The National Center for Transgender Equality advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice.