Utah parent accuses girl’s basketball player of being trans

4 min read

Utah parent accuses girl’s basketball player of being trans

Incident at Utah Junior Varsity Basketball Game

In the shadow of Utah’s mountainous landscapes, an incident unfolded at a junior varsity basketball game that led to a father being barred from attending future events. This restriction was imposed following an episode where the father vehemently protested during a game, claiming one of the players on the rival team was transgender. Jeff Haney, representing Canyons School District, shared with The Salt Lake Tribune that this disruptive event occurred on January 19. He recounted that the father…

Father Challenges Player’s Gender Eligibility

“was vocally challenging the eligibility of the player based on his perception of the student-athlete’s gender.”

Father’s Allegations and School’s Response

The individual in question, whose identity remains undisclosed, is said to have approached the principals of both his daughter’s school and the rival school. In these interactions, he was reassured that all players, including the 17-year-old girl at the center of his allegations, had fulfilled the Utah High School Athletics Association’s (UHSAA) criteria for participation. According to UHSAA policies, student-athletes must submit a birth certificate affirming their gender. Additionally, transgender students are required to demonstrate that they have been undergoing hormone therapy for a minimum of one year.

The Confrontation and Ensuing Ban

“I wasn’t born yesterday, I know that’s a boy and you better be able to prove yourself because I am going to the top,” the man insisted after the game, according to one principal.

Rising Tensions Over Student Athletes’ Gender in Utah

The episode on January 19 is merely the most recent example of parental scrutiny over a student athlete’s gender in Utah, following the 2022 enactment of H.B. 11. This legislation, which prohibits transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports in grades K–12, is presently suspended due to a legal challenge by the families of three transgender students.

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Previous Incidents and Public Scrutiny

In 2022, the parents of two competitors, who finished second and third in a Utah track event, insisted that the UHSAA investigate the gender of the first-place winner. David Spatafore, a UHSAA representative, revealed receiving other complaints that the student did not “look feminine enough.” But Spatafore confirmed, “The school went back to kindergarten and she’d always been a female.”

The Broader Implications of These Incidents

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, similar incidents have occurred, though the UHSAA has not disclosed their frequency.

Concerns Over Legislation and Gender Policing

Marina Lowe, from Equality Utah, stated, “These incidents are a preview of what we’re going to see, especially now that we’re putting in place even more legislation that essentially allows the public to sit in a place of judgment or assessment of people’s physical characteristics and whether they’re feminine enough or masculine enough to be in certain spaces.”

The Potential Harm of Gender Policing

LGBTQ+ advocates warn that laws banning transgender athletes and regulating bathroom use could lead to policing of gender presentation. States like Idaho have included genital examinations in their sports bans. These procedures would subject scrutinized students to unnecessary and invasive examinations.

“This doesn’t just harm the trans community. It really harms us all,” Lowe remarked. “Because once we get in the business of policing someone’s appearance… all of us are going to be subject to this sort of inquiry potentially.”

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