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Trans athlete Chris Mosier obliterates bill that would force girls into genital exams before playing school sports

Vic Parsons March 5, 2020
Chris Mosier at the starting line

Chris Mosier at the starting line of the 50km race walking Olympic trial. (Instagram/Chris Mosier)

Transgender athlete Chris Mosier has slammed an Idaho anti-trans bill that would force teen girls whose gender is questioned to undergo genital exams before playing school sports.

Mosier, who in January claimed a historic first when he became the first openly trans athlete to qualify for and compete in an Olympic trial, recently returned to Idaho to challenge a series of anti-trans bills.

One of them, House Bill 500, would ban trans girls and women from competing in women’s sports, and would force any girl or woman whose gender is called into question to undergo medical exams to “prove” their sex, include blood tests and a genital exam.

The bill is purportedly about “fairness in women’s sport”, and has been argued for as protecting girls and women from “unfair” competition from trans athletes.

Separately, a lawsuit in Connecticut seeking to bar trans girls from student sports on the basis they have an unfair physical advantage was seriously undermined last month, when one of the cisgender girls bringing the case beat her trans rival in a race.

While the Idaho bill would bar trans girls and women from women’s sports teams, it would not affect trans boys or men.

Idaho High School Activities Association and NCAA policy currently means that trans girls and women can play on girls and women’s sports teams once they’ve been taking testosterone-suppressing medication for 12 months.

The Republican-backed bill is similar to another anti-trans bill, also introduced by Republicans, in New Hampshire, which seeks to bar trans athletes from sports and could force teen girls to undergo genital exams, blood tests and chromosome analysis to “prove” their sex.

On March 3, Chris Mosier went to a rally at the Idaho Capitol to protest the bill. He said: “This is one of the only states in the country that is saying it wants to do genital exams… to determine if [students] are girl enough to play a sport.

“This is an entry point for further discrimination, not only against the transgender community, not only against transgender youth but more discrimination to women and girls, to communities of colour to racial minorities to religious minorities and to anyone who is not straight, cisgender, and white.”

“The thing about these bills is that they are intended to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist. It is a problem in the eyes of the legislators.”

Chris Mosier, who is sponsored by Nike, said he feels it’s his duty to speak out against House Bill 500.

“There are so many great people in this state, on the ground doing work to combat these bad bills,” he said.

“My role as an athlete with this platform and social media is that I have the opportunity to amplify the message that other people are sending.”

The bill, which is among a slew of anti-LGBT+ legislation being proposed in the US, has already passed the Idaho House in a 52-17 vote, and is now headed to the state senate.

If it passes in the senate, Idaho could become the first US state to explicitly ban trans athletes from competing in sports according to their gender identity.

“I don’t think this is what Idaho wants to be known for,” Mosier said.

“To be the first state in the country to write discrimination into law in such an extreme way. HB 500 is an extreme bill. To write discrimination into law for the rest of the country to see, it’s not a good look for Idaho.”

The trans athlete, who made history in 2016 as the first trans person to be selected for Team USA, added that trans people in Idaho had already suffered from having to watch the bill be debated and progress through the legislature.

They “are watching lawmakers debate whether or not they are real,” Mosier said.

“Regardless of what happens with this bill, some of the damage has already been done.”

More: anti lgbt, anti-trans bills, trans inclusion, trans women in sports

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