The N.C. General Assembly passed House Bill 574 — called the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act — on June 22. The bill would ban transgender women from participating in school athletics at middle school, high school and collegiate levels.
H.B. 574 is one of many pieces of legislation in the South targeting transgender young people, Adam Polaski, the communications director for Campaign for Southern Equality, said.
“The bill is an attempt to exclude transgender students and basically target them for discrimination and exclusion and further marginalization,” he said.
N.C. Rep. Allen Buansi (D-Orange) said the bill would have a disastrous impact and sends the message that transgender youth are not welcome.
He also said that if athletic participation is taken away from transgender students, they will have one fewer way to de-stress and connect with other people.
“I believe in a North Carolina that’s inclusive, and this bill does the opposite of that,” he said.
Polaski said the bill ensures that transgender people won't have access to the positive impacts of student athletics, such as health and companionship.
“I think it’s easy to get wrapped up when you’re talking about the specific details of one particular bill,” he said. “But when you zoom out, I think we’re really seeing an all-out assault on the transgender community in an attempt to make it challenging to live as a transgender person.”
He said transgender youth will see the bill as an attempt at exclusion, even if they are not interested in playing sports.