LTTE: Young trans girls and women deserve to play sports


Kansas is one of a handful of states that have introduced anti-LGBT bills this year, specifically targeting transgender women. There have been various anti-trans bills (HB 2210, SB 214, SB 208 & SB 484) introduced in the GOP-controlled Kansas State Legislature this year. Only one of these bills, SB 484 passed the Kansas Senate on March 22, 2022, in a 24-10 vote.

The SB 484 bill proposes that student athletic teams only include members who are of the same biological sex unless designated as co-ed. The bill would prevent transgender women from competing in women’s sports in public schools that align with their gender identity.

On Friday, April 15, Governor Laura Kelly vetoed the bill. 

“We all want a fair and safe place for our kids to play and compete,” Kelly said. “However, this bill didn’t come from the experts at our schools, our athletes, or the Kansas State High School Activities Association. It came from politicians trying to score political points.”

This is not the first time the Kansas Senate has tried to pass bills such as SB 484. Last year, Governor Kelly vetoed SB 55, a bill like SB 484 and SB 208.

In a poll done by the Trevor Project, 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth—and 66% of all LGBTQ youth say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health. LGBTQ youth already experience higher rates of suicide and bullying at schools

Young trans girls and women in Kansas deserve the opportunity to play sports in their public schools without interference. The only thing bills such as SB 484 would accomplish would be to further alienate transgender children in schools from what should be safe spaces for them to be themselves.

As the November 8, 2022, election draws near, it is important to note that Governor Kelly is running for reelection. With the possibility that the Kansas Legislature will continue to propose such anti-LGBT bills, it’s important to make sure our voices are heard in this upcoming election.  Currently, the declared Republican candidate, Attorney General Derek Schmidt stated on his Twitter that he would have signed the bill.

If you are someone who believes that bills such as these should not become a reality in our state, consider registering to vote on November 8, 2022.