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Transgender Student Participation: Tricky Issue, But Sexual Practices Irrelevant

Last updated on 2015.03.11

And another thing: Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey's poopy-sex tirade veers around the corner to attack the South Dakota High School Activities Association for establishing policies on transgender student participation:

The South Dakota High School Activities Association is presently considering changing the rules to accommodate transgender kids. Forty-one percent of those who struggle with Gender Dysphoria attempt suicide, that's twenty-five times the rate of the general population– certainly tragic and urgent but not a word from the medical and psychological communities? So really, we are letting our basketball coaches sort it out while ACLU lawyers look carefully over their shoulders!?

Letting boys play girl sports is not the starting place to fix the suicide problem or the very real daily struggle these students face dealing with something they have been handed in life. Society is broken and people have broken identities. Is it really best for us to break down the one remaining thing that has been working in society to try to fix the broken in our midst? And does it really even do that, or does it merely put them in more places exposing them to additional painful ostracization all the while transferring serious anxieties to other innocent and impressionable ones in those locker rooms? We need to have compassion but there are unintended consequences to consider too [Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey, "A One Way Alley for the Garbage Truck," Facebook post, 2014.04.28].

From a pure composition teaching perspective, Hickey's digression on the SDHSAA and transgender students does not fit with his main thesis, that anal sex is unhealthy and we thus should not overturn South Dakota's ban on same-sex marriage. Accommodating the needs and desires of students who feel their psychological identity does not match their biological sex is really an entirely different issue. Transgender students may or may not be engaging in any sexual activity, and what they do with their anuses (ani?), mouths, and other equipment is (1) none of our business and (2) irrelevant to whether they are allowed to participate in basketball or volleyball. (Hey, kids, did you notice this question won't come up at all in debate, interp, one-act play, or any of the other fine arts activities the SDHSAA offers?)

Whether we assign transgender students to boys or girls sports is a sensitive topic, requiring thoughtful deliberation. Having very little experience in this area, I will tentatively suggest that, while I don't want to question anyone's chosen identity, basic hardware questions apply. If you are a female trapped in a male body, and you haven't started the physical treatments to change your body, you have a male body, and it's only fair that you compete against other male bodies.

But in the mean time, what you do with that body when you are not on the court or the track is your business. Follow training rules, be healthy... but don't let Pastor Hickey tell you that your sexual choices should affect whether or with whom you get to play ball at school.


  1. lesliengland 2014.05.02

    when did society break? cause I remember a timely front page piece in the rcj about being born male and female and his wife lovingly accepted her husband's recent sex alteration.

  2. Nick Nemec 2014.05.02

    The SDHSAA is simply trying to put a policy in place so that if the situation ever arises they will have a policy to guide them and their member schools. Refusal to consider the possibility that someday this issue might arise is akin to sticking your head in the sand to avoid danger. You might not see the danger, but it doesn't mean it isn't there, and might even make you more vulnerable to that danger.

    Rather than gripe about the discussion Rep. Hickey could better spend his time being proactive and helping the SDHSAA draft a policy to address the issue in the case it ever arises.

  3. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.02

    My first thought is, why is Hickey so obsessed with sex? That seems to be a recurring theme among many righties. Now there is an excellent topic psychiatric evaluation. Hickey, how much time have you devoted to psychiatric help for yourself? Consider this: People who feel so compelled, as you apparently are, to delve into the sexual lives of unknown others, is a very small percentage of the American population. Among clergy you are also in a minority.

    Hickey, given that information, are you sure that you are the "normal" one, and those disagreeing hundreds of thousands, if not millions are the ones who are wrong? Simple numbers in themselves are not the only determinant. But really Hickey, you need to seriously consider scheduling a session with a mental health professional. What you are doing is certainly Not Normal.

  4. Samantha 2014.05.03

    "Letting boys play girl sports is not the starting place to fix the suicide problem or the very real daily struggle these students face," Hickey continued.

    He also asked whether allowing transgender students to play sports with opposite-sex athletes actually helps, "or does it merely put them in more places exposing them to additional painful ostracization, all the while transferring serious anxieties to other innocent and impressionable ones in those locker rooms?"

    This is a very involved process with established standards to follow in regards to the treatment of transgender youth with the help from the mental health professionals, medical doctors, parents and school staff.

    Every situation is different and I'd say that chances are that there have already been a number of transgender youth that have transitioned while in school here in South Dakota. They may have switched schools or moved to another town.

    Today with the Internet, growing amount of resources, and public awareness it is much easier to get the help they need rather than 20, 30 or more years ago when the only alternative was to leave the state for treatment.

    I've seen comments lately with situations blown way out of proportion such as a 7 foot transgender youth playing girls basketball stuffing baskets taking advantage of physical abilities from the genetic sex and I just don't see this happening.

  5. Samantha 2014.05.03

    Sorry cont:

    First they would hopefully follow the guidance of the mental health professional and there are many factors to consider in regards to sports participation besides, age physical, hormonally and the exposure to protect this very vulnerable child and make this a smooth transitional environment for everyone including other students, parents and staff.

    There are so many pressures on these kids as it growing up.

  6. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.03

    I remember when Renae (?) wanted to play women's pro tennis in the 1970s. She had been a man and played on the big tennis tour. It was very controversial. She was over 6 feet tall and significantly stronger than Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and the other women on the tour. However, she was also in her 40s. There were fears that she had unfair advantages and would take over the women's tour.

    Renae was allowed to play. I remember watching her play Chrissie. She was clearly bigger, but Chrissie did beat her. Renae played intermittently for a couple of years and never was a factor.

    Just sayin'.

  7. grudznick 2014.05.04

    Mexican statehood for the tribes.

  8. grudznick 2014.05.04

    Larry, what is the context of your bloggings? I am afeared to click on them because of past perversions you linked on.

    Let there be 7 more Mexican states!

  9. grudznick 2014.05.04

    Upset you weren't at breakfast this morning, Mr. Kurtz?

  10. larry kurtz 2014.05.04

    the last parking ticket is a bench warrant by now, grud: rapid city gives me gas.

  11. grudznick 2014.05.04

    Bill was busy breakfasting with others, my other friend Bill was out of town and Bob was not "feeling well." Talley's was a zoo. Probably a good thing you didn't visit again. Next Sunday we'll shoot for the Campbell Street Cafe. It's my week to buy.

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