The latest on House Bill 1298: In a 65-26 vote, representatives voted to ban transgender girls from high school sports and flash their bona fides because their “convictions” — Rep. Scott Louser’s word* — tell Republicans that the current number of zero transgender girls on a girls athletic team is still too many to bear.
The North Dakota Republican Party is acting in concert with the usual suspects of culturally conservative anti-transgender national organizations. The bill is presently in the hands of the Senate.
Anyway, here’s the deal:
Since 2015, a “trans female (male to female) student” can NOT participate on any girls team according to the North Dakota High School Activities Association until “one calendar year of documented testosterone suppression treatment” has been completed. Uff da.
But many in the GOP Base think transgender teen girls are really mentally ill based on information the elites don’t want you to know. A few might be inclined to believe the American Psychiatric Association, which clearly states that diverse gender identities are not a mental disorder. The GOP Base is not so inclined, so it’s easy pickings.
And slews of Republicans in North Dakota believe any man can just claim to be a woman and shower with the girls. (Search: Mike Huckabee shower with girls story.)
It doesn’t work that way. Attempt it some time. Such “diabolical silliness,” but that’s the GOP’s attitude, and it works with the epidemiologists in the Base.
“Dad, can you spot me a few grand for feminizing hormone treatments, so I can play volleyball with the girls before I graduate?”
“When have you ever played volleyball?”
“Don’t overthink it, Dad. I’ll still have the greater lung capacity, so duh.”
“You’re only 13.”
“Well, yeah. I need to start with a therapist and a counselor, prior to seeing the psychologists, the psychiatrists and 100 other people who will try to see a lie or a doubt in my eyes before a doctor even considers adjusting my hormones. I might be ready for the senior season.”
“A therapist AND a counselor?”
“And it isn’t easy to fool those cats — and I just lost any chance of convincing you — now that I think about it. What a blonde, huh? My not being too sharp isn’t going to help.”
“It hasn’t so far.”
“My odds of pulling off this impossible scam with no likely reward is dwindling, Dad. And this is going to take way more than a few grand. How are you fixed for cash?”
“There’s an old rock tumbler in the basement. Go nuts.”
No one under 18 — the only ages directly targeted by HB 1298 — can go the testosterone suppression route without their parents, money, psychologists, doctors and permission to compete from the NDHSAA, a “nonissue,” according to their director.
No one has ever taken the NDHSAA up on its offer, admitted the HB 1298 lead sponsor, but it doesn’t seem to matter.
The 2015 NDHSAA rules are based on the transgender policy of the National Collegiate Athletic Association published 10 years ago in 2011. You couldn’t buy a mattress in a box a decade ago.
The NCAA undertook thoughtful action based on expert science, qualified testimony, data and then wrote a 40-page publication explaining the association’s rules in granular detail.
But that isn’t good enough for the legislative supporters of House Bill 1298. “A pen is not a grapefruit” is roughly what Rep. Ben Koppelman (R-West Fargo) told the supermajority in session, and they gasped. The case couldn’t be stated in more graphic detail than that. It was Trumpian.
Koppelman’s solution to the phantom problem is dirt simple compared to the educated testimony of the eggheads and witnesses who delved deep into science and personal experience and explained how HB 1298 is an unnecessary destructive idea. And probably expensive for taxpayers and businesses.
A psychiatrist with specialized and personal knowledge came to the Capitol building to tell the Republicans to their faces to inform themselves or stay ignorant. She didn’t phase one of them.
An endocrinologist, who appeared keenly concerned for the welfare of his patients corrected a Republican who suggested that transgender girls will eventually come to North Dakota when in fact, transgender people live here and always have. The estimate is 2,300 of all ages.
Our state already has the lowest per capita number of transgender citizens in the country. The NDGOP has already won the game. Cisgender people make up 99.7-percent of North Dakotans and anti-transgender legislation is an unlikely draw.
The Doctor explained how many transgender girls have never experienced maleness, or retained any male superpowers because they blocked puberty and/or were medically treated with feminizing hormones to relieve symptoms indicative of being transgender. And none of them are gunning for a girls state tennis singles championship or one of the endless spots on a cross-country team.
He also told legislators that sometimes social transition to gender-affirming clothing is enough to relieve anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.
It was like watching a guy trying to staple a flyer to a fire hydrant.
Yeah, whatever dude. It’s going to be two windows, no waiting. Just drop your drawers and present your papers. A total ban. That’s the only answer that will satisfy the Base.
Rep. Karen Karls (R-Bismarck) said, “Biology doesn’t get confused, even if people do.”
Biology is complicated. Most people aren’t close to being an expert. But of all the organs, especially the brain and glands that contribute to the development of a human, Karls and her allies want to make this about ONE part of a sophisticated being. Search “endocrine system.”
Assumptions made at birth are mostly right — cisgender people hold a huge lead in the standings — but science says it’s not 100 percent.
“(The ban) is about girls competing with girls, assuring equal opportunity and keeping a level playing field in girls sports,” said Rep. Kathy Skroch (R-Lidgerwood).
Girls are on a spectrum of skill for each sport they play, which is clearly evident by witnessing a game. Any game. Playing fields are never level in girls high school sports. Many times it’s been asked, “Have you seen the size of their starting center?” Yet, nobody ever suggested we weed out the talented and physically superior for the sake of level.
Skroch continued: “(The ban) upholds 50 years of progress in protecting women against discrimination — that the NDGOP isn’t necessarily against — and advocates for the preservation of the biological-based standards for female sports competition.”
Meanwhile, her Republican Party allows the biologically based issues of height, weight, speed, intelligence, coordination and a thousand other variables to run amok unchecked.
Also known as the barber of D-Ville, former Rep. Luke Simons (R-Dickinson) wrote that he wanted to protect women from men in sports, but not so much from weird jerks in the Capitol building.
More B. Koppelman: “Some have said this bill just doesn’t follow the science. We’ve got science going back well before the United States that backs this. This isn’t new science. Men and women didn’t just cease to exist. They’ve existed for a long time and we’ve been able to recognize the differences.”
This is BK’s long way of saying “A pen is not a grapefruit,” and we will take away rights from very specific individuals without due process.
Sen. Janne Myrdal (R-Edinburg) is totally unconvinced that hormone-induced physical changes like the rounding of the hips, increased body fat, reduced muscle mass, breasts and other feminine features accomplish anything to temper the athletic prowess of the average 16-year-old.
Myrdal also claims that transgender teens represent a cultural trend. Like bellbottoms, I’m guessing. She said people are “deciding” to live as a different gender — to be cool I suppose — and the “phenomenon” (Rep. Ben Koppelman’s word) is sweeping the nation.
The president of the Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota — one of the lobbyists who spoke in favor of HB 1298 at the Capitol — offered the case of Usain Bolt (not transgender, a teen, or testosterone suppressed.) and the deceased Florence Griffith-Joyner as the most typical example of male athletic supremacy in North Dakota
Bolt set the men’s world record in 2009 for the 100-meter dash at 9.58 seconds. Flo-Jo, the fastest woman ever, ran the distance 0.91 seconds slower, so therefore, newborns must make some absurd deal with the government to never kick soccer balls with Usain Bolt on a high school field.
If you have so little real-world evidence that actually pertains to teenage transgender girls that your best example involves a 6-foot-5 Jamaican band of steel, your gruel is a bit thin.
In committee, Koppelman read from a 1970 Webster dictionary, which is a rare find, and as useful as the 1970 Sears Christmas catalog. It seems his point about the word “sex” got lost sometime in the last half-century because the most current Merriam-Webster defines female and male as the “two major forms of individuals.”
Do you want an ancient set of Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedias from 1953, no disrespect intended — I loved the edition of my time — or the internet?
Gender has nothing to do with sexuality anyway. “The distinction between biological sex and gender was made by a scientist in 1955. Sixty-six years ago. The terminology became widespread in the 1970s. That’s a long time to resist reality.
And cisgender male amateurs did something 5,000 times more than the best woman said some lawmaker. High level athletes — runners, cyclists, cross country skiers and others who train for themselves — are not typical of N.D. adolescent boys or transgender girls.
But even though the minced words from state officials will easily cut it enough to satisfy the Trump patriots, it took U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) to get down to the bottom line for the dabblers in Bismarck.
“This Bill (The Equality Act) must be struck down. It’s completely wrong. Furthermore, we are in an institution where it says in God we trust. It says in Genesis, God created us male and female — in his image he created us.”
In other words, “We have old science and Genesis. Stick that in your hat! Use your silly modern science for everything else except gender and a few other things.’’
Oh yeah, well, “Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children of the world.”
God works in mysterious ways, and none of our images are the same, so Greene isn’t privy to any inside information from God. Nobody comprehends what makes another individual tick or possesses any idea of another’s true core.
Also Greene: “Biological women cannot compete against biological men. Biological little girls cannot compete against biological little boys and they shouldn’t have to.”
It depends on who the biological boy is. A lot of them couldn’t run around the block without a snack and a quart of Gatorade. And few lads in high school are fully developed men since muscle mass is still being added after age 18. The transformation to peak manhood is observably noticeable after high school.
And 17-year-old males ordinarily have normal levels of testosterone in their system, but the normal level covers a broad range and the highest level for an individual usually doesn’t come until they’re 20.
Boys also have estrogen in varying levels, just as girls produce testosterone.
But the anti-transgender culture warriors insist that the only variable that matters are the genitals. Hormones aren’t visible — most of our system isn’t — and genitals are about as useful as eyebrows during a game. This is how simplistic the narrative has to be to reach the low-minded.
Greene goes long. “… but if she has to compete against boys in her sport, not only will they be on her playing field that she has to compete against them, they will be in her locker room, they will be in her showers, they will be in her bathrooms, they will be in her hotel room when she travels with her team.”
The anti-T’s have been warning about cisgender men storming the girls showers on the pretext that conferring rights to transgender girls will make it easy for predators, but no swarm has invaded yet.
Many think allowing transgendered teens some dignity and options for bodily functions give twitchy scum a license to commit crimes or escape a beating from grandpop.
Those types never needed an excuse. Blaming transgendered youth for the deviant deeds of cisgender wankers is a juxtaposition of ill intent.
And the days of Donald Trump loitering in teen beauty contestant dressing rooms must come to an end, people!
Speaking of the ex-prez. In case the wacky musings of MTG haven’t convinced the Base that N.D. Republicans aren’t sincere with their gentle HB 1298 talking points, let’s have honest Donald Trump explain his disdain for transgender Americans with some trademark big lies he shared at CPAC. (Conservative Political Action Conference)
“A lot of new records are being broken in women’s sports. Hate to say that, ladies, but you’ve got a lot of new records being shattered.”
Not true, but the truth is irrelevant. (Search: Big Lie)
Trump’s magical reasoning: “What coach, as an example, wants to recruit a young woman to compete if her record can easily be broken by somebody who was born a man?”
There are 50 transgender athletes in all of college sports according to an August 2020 article in the New York Times.
The number is still zero for transgender girls in North Dakota on a sports team.
Trump: “If this does not change, women’s sports as we know it will die.”
And the message is received. It might take a few thousand years for women’s sports to bleed out, but transgender teen girls will eventually prevail and disturb the natural order.
It’s all old news. The supermajority has made their disdain for transgender people crystal clear in “Platform Resolution 31,” which would make your skin crawl more than a Rep. Luke Simons story about thong underwear.
If the Legislature really wanted to support girls and “level the playing field” in sports, it would help young girls who don’t have the resources — for equipment, sports camps and travel — to participate, but that’s a genuine problem, so N.D. Republicans will instead seek to eradicate any rare instance of a transgender girl earning a spot on the softball team.
* “When voting yes brings the expected criticism, I say bring it on. Let it make you stronger in your convictions,” said Louser, the assistant majority leader of the House.” — Williston Herald