How not to celebrate the Trans Day of Visibility

This is the day we’re supposed to increase awareness of discrimination against trans people, and I guess you could say that Governor Brad Little of Idaho is doing his part by increasing discrimination against trans people by publicly signing into law some discriminatory bills.

One measure, House Bill 500, is aimed at restricting transgender youth’s participation in sports. The other measure, House Bill 509, is aimed at banning transgender people from changing the gender marker on the their birth certificate.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement the signing of the legislation is “unacceptable, and a gross misuse of taxpayer funds and trust.”

“Idaho is leading the way in anti-transgender discrimination, and at a time when life is hard enough for everyone, Idaho’s elected leaders will be remembered for working to make their transgender residents’ lives even harder,” David said. “Shame on Gov. Little and the legislators who championed these heinous pieces of legislation.”

That’s not how you’re supposed to celebrate this day. It does make it obvious that Idaho is actively discriminating, though, so I guess that does spread the message.


HB 500, dubbed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” requires college and public schools sports teams to be designed as male, female and co-ed — and any female athletic team “shall not be open to students of the male sex.”

In the event of a dispute, a student may be required to produce a physician’s statement to affirm her biological sex based on reproductive anatomy, normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone and an analysis of the student’s genetic makeup. That would effectively ban transgender athletes from participating in sports.

I am professionally a biologist, and Lord but I hate that phrase “biological sex”. What does it mean? Can you contrast it with “non-biological sex”? Right there in the criteria are multiple kinds of evidence…what do you do when reproductive anatomy says one thing, while chromosomes say another? Why do we discount what brain and behavior says?

Shame on Brad Little and whatever repulsive little puritanical Christian lobbyists pushed this bill through.


  1. numerobis says

    what do you do when reproductive anatomy says one thing, while chromosomes say another

    It’s pretty obvious that the GOP is quite alright with such people outright dying, but merely shunning them from society will be sufficient for their bloodlust.

  2. kome says

    Why isn’t there legislation to keep the “female sex” out of male athletic teams? Why do I suspect it’s because these Republicans don’t have sexual fantasies about male athletes the same way they sexualize girls?

  3. says

    Lord but I hate that phrase “biological sex”.

    I kinda get that. If it were my field, maybe I would feel the same way. But in my work, I have found it impossible to fight for the rights that I’ve made my life’s work without fighting for a right to have private, consensual sex with whomever privately and effectively consents with you. So I end up talking about both an activity, sex, and a quality of bodies, sex, and in attempting to make sure my audiences understand when I’m talking about bodies and when I’m talking about activities, I have frequently used “biological sex”. But of course the activity certainly has biological import, and so is properly an object of study by biologists and now I’m realizing that – even if it appears to me to have been effective with my audiences – for a number of very relevant people calling it “biological” sex wouldn’t clarify the issue at all.

    I wonder what I should have been using instead?

  4. says

    I just find myself asking, “what other kind of sex is there?” It’s like a restaurant advertising “biological fine dining” — you start to wonder what those other alternatives might be, and then I imagine Guy Fieri prepping a meal of rocks and lasers.

  5. DrewN says

    If a transwoman is taking the appropriate hormones & blockers, she wouldn’t have ANY competitive advantage over women who were born that way because she wouldn’t have male levels of testosterone in her system anymore. Pure transphobia trying to disguise itself as “protecting women”.

  6. markkernes says

    Um… I think you meant to write “That’s not how…” just after the first quoted section.

  7. brightmoon says

    I grew up with a father whose favorite sentence was Girls can’t do [ insert activity here] . Nothing I did was feminine enough for him including the ballet classes I took ( dancers get muscular) . Having your life restricted like that is a horrible way to live. Shame on that so called Christian hater!

  8. lochaber says

    This is fucking ridiculous. How many trans youth out there? How many students are actually competitive-level athletes? And how many trans students are competitive-level athletes? I’m just wonder if this bill is targeting like 3 or 30 people?

    biological sex based on reproductive anatomy, normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone and an analysis of the student’s genetic makeup.

    So they are presenting three requirements for a student to classify as “female”, what happens to the students that meet only one or two of those requirements? and who is paying for this testing? (yeah, I know…)

  9. Anton Mates says

    physician’s statement to affirm her biological sex based on reproductive anatomy

    Always with the crotch inspections. Need an abortion? Get an ultrasound shoved up you. Want to play sports but somebody thinks you’re suspiciously un-girly? Have your doctor issue a public declaration of Yep-That’s-A-Proper-Vagina-Right-There. How badly do these people want to gossip about teenagers’ genitalia?

  10. Aoife_b says

    Thankfully my birth certificate idn’t from this hellhole of a state. This is what my state does instead of deal with the rapidly growing cases of COVID-19 here

  11. dangerousbeans says

    shunning us from society is the first step to being able to murder us. which they happily do

  12. charlesanthony says

    I’n not normally a person who believes in the Wrath of God, but Southern Idaho was just hit with a 6.5 earthquake.

  13. says

    ^My thoughts exactly. We don’t have to read anything into “acts of god” as atheists, but shouldn’t they give that one a tumble one time around the brainpan?

  14. says

    an analysis of the student’s genetic makeup.

    So anyone who wants to play on the girls team, cis, trans or other, has to have a genetic test?

    Also, transwomen have been able to compete int he olympics for about 15 years, and they’re not sweeping the medals.I know they want to believe that a Y chromosome makes you better at everything, but reality disagrees.