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MI Bill Would Ban Trans School Athletes From Joining Teams Of Their Gender Identity

Kaine St. Amour
Kaine St. Amour at a tennis match playing on the girls team at East Kentwood Highschool because he was not allowed to compete on the team that matches his gender identity.

A bill introduced in the state legislature would ban transgender and intersex school athletes from playing on a team that corresponds with their gender identity.

The bill, introduced by Republican State Senator Lana Theis of Brighton Township, would require school athletes to play on a team of their sex assigned at birth.

Theis said the bill would allow girls to compete on a “level playing field.”

“Something must be done to preserve the legacy of Title IX — a staple of American society," Theis said in a press release. "So, very simply, my bill will ensure that, in school sports in Michigan, student athletes will compete against one another according to their biological sex — females against females, and males against males.”

Kaine St. Amour is an intersex and trans athlete. He said the legislators supporting the bill don't know as much about biology as they're saying.

“Biology and sex are very, very, very fluid, there are countless possibilities for how a person can be born," he said. "If you were to look at my genetics, for example, you wouldn't know what to do with me. I only have one X chromosome. So what do you do with that person?”

In high school, St. Amour was an avid baseball and tennis player, but said he wasn't allowed to compete on the boys' teams.

"I was told I couldn't play because I have a genetic condition and that happens to be an intersex condition. And they literally just were like, 'no, you'd have an advantage,'" he said. 

St. Amour said the bill would create confusion as to who is allowed on a team. He would like to see legislation that includes and protects trans and intersex athletes from having to go through what he did.

“I think the bill was drafted without consideration of a-trans men, b-intersex people, and c-girls who just look a little bit more masculine," he said. "I think it's complete and utter nonsense, and I'm older, but my experience was just as bad without this bill."

Instead of crafting bills to exclude athletes like him from playing, St. Amour said he would like to see legislation that includes and protects trans and intersex athletes.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education and Career Readiness.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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