UIL takes no action on transgender proposals

UIL addressing transgender student athletes

The committee who oversees sports in Texas schools took no action on two proposals which could impact transgender students.

The Legislative Council of the University Interscholastic League, or UIL, held its annual meeting in Round Rock Tuesday.

The two big proposals include one that would have specified that the use of testosterone for transitioning students is not a performance enhancing drug.

The other proposal would have allowed students to compete with the gender they identify with.

Right now, the policy says "gender shall be determined based on a student's birth certificate."

"I'm proud of the heritage that UIL has, that our competition brings out the best in the people, but I'm also glad that we've error on the side of always what's safe and fair and competitively safe and fair, and not just to stand on one side or the other, so I commend the staff as we wade through these difficult waters," said Greg Poole, the UIL Athletics Chairman.

Mack Beggs, a transitioning high school wrestler in Dallas, was required to compete in the girl's division, even though he identifies as a boy.

Brad O'Furey from Equality Texas said these proposals would have helped students like Beggs.

"Now we've got students like Mack Beggs, who is a boy, is a male, competing with girls, on the girls' team, that's not fair, now we want to talk about fairness and competitive advantage that doesn't seem fair to all parties involved in that situation," said O'Furey.

He said he's disappointed in the committee's choice of no action.

"It doesn’t seem like they want to even study the issue. This issue will not go away and as more and more kids come out as transgender, it will continue to be forefront," said O'Furey. 

He said he would like to committee to hear from students and parents in the schools.

"There are students and parents in Texas schools who are looking to the UIL for clarity on this issue and it’s unfortunate that the UIL has decided not to act," said O'Furey. "And it's unfortunate the UIL has decided to take no action, not even a study, I would have been happy if we were to study this."

O'Furey said they will bring up this issue again.

It's unclear if the UIL Council will take any action on it at that time.

"We will move forward with the status quo which continues to put transgender students in a situation where there is no clarity. We are telling them that we don’t want to discuss the issue and we don’t want to talk about how to create policy that allows all students regardless of their gender identity to participate in school sports in a safe and fair way," said O'Furey. 

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