Did you know this about trans athletes in Kentucky? Skip to content

Did you know this about trans athletes in Kentucky?

Lots of talk these days by Repubs about “protecting our female student athletes.” It’s a useful talking point for them – but it ignores the facts. Take a look.

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Photo by Braden Collum / Unsplash

Lots of talk by Repubs about “protecting our female student athletes” and “not letting these trans boys have an unfair advantage over our girls.” To listen to the Repub leges, you’d have thought that all any boy had to do was just put on a skirt and sign up for the girls’ basketball team.

It wasn’t until I read Governor Beshear’s veto message that I realized that (a) there were already rules in place to prevent unfair advantage by trans athletes, and (b) no one on either side was talking about these rules.

So, before you or anyone else gets hot and bothered about “just put on a skirt and play as a girl,” take a read of these rules for trans athletes:

KHSAA Rules for Transgender Athletes Participation

a) Each student-athlete shall participate according to the gender as listed on their birth certificate unless they were legally reassigned.

b) Reassignment may be demonstrated through the use of a birth certificate, driver's license, passport, or other certified medical record as verified to the member school.

c) Each member school is responsible for making this initial determination for its student-athlete.

d) A student-athlete who has undergone sex reassignment is eligible to compete in the reassigned gender, provided such is not precluded by additional adopted bylaw or policy, when:

  1. The student-athlete has undergone sex reassignment before puberty, or
  2. The student-athlete has undergone sex reassignment after puberty under all of the following conditions:
    a. Surgical anatomical changes have been completed, including external genitalia changes and gonadectomy;
    b. Hormonal therapy appropriate for the assigned sex has been administered in a verifiable manner and for a sufficient length of time to minimize gender-related advantages in sports competition; and
    c. If the student-athlete stops taking hormonal treatment, they will be required to participate in the sport consistent with their birth gender.


Did you catch all that? The steps involved? The ongoing hormonal therapy to “minimize gender-related advantages in sports”?

This isn’t some spur-of-the-moment whim by a teenager. This is a serious, life-changing decision – one that is much greater than just sports, but which surely includes athletic competition if that is part of the young person’s life.

So, after finding out about these pre-existing rules, there are only two possible conclusions:

  • Either the Repubs pushing these bills hadn't done their homework and didn't know about these rules – in which case shame on them for being incompetent; or
  • The Repubs DID know about these rules, but didn't care, because having the rules already in place didn't fit their political goal of creating a talking point for the 2023 election – in which case shame on them for being cynical politicians who don't care whose lives they mess with.

Remember, the motto for the Repubs pushing this bill is “Politics uber alles.” And see Kelly Craft and Max Wise for two possible candidates who have already used this talking point.

So, when you hear a candidate, or the yahoo down the street, yakking about “letting boys compete with girls,” show them these rules. Most of them will shut up when they get to “gonadectomy.”


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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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