Texas Athletes' Gender to be Determined by Birth Certificate

Mar 11, 2016

Credit D. Clow / Tim Archer / Tom Pennington / Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Birth certificates are now the official determinant of a student-athlete's gender for playing high school sports in Texas, reports The Texas Tribune. The new rule was passed by Texas superintendents of member districts with a hefty majority of 586 votes for and only 32 against. The measure reads: "Gender shall be determined based on a student's birth certificate. In cases where a student's birth certificate is unavailable, other similar government documents used for the purpose of identification may be submitted."

It’s a move seen by transgender advocates as hurtful and dismissive. These critics say the policy prevents transgender kids from playing sports because most do not identify with the gender on their birth certificates.

The rule’s backers say transgender girls will be far better players than those who were born female. But that has not turned out to be the case in states that have adopted less stringent transgender policies.