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Civil Rights

Born as a Boy, Play School Sports as a Girl?

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Wed, Jun 12, 2013 at 2:10 PM

click to enlarge COLIN YOUNG-WOLFF FOR L.A. WEEKLY
  • Colin Young-Wolff for L.A. Weekly
Should a student born as a boy get to play on a girls' sports team or be presented as a female cheerleader in high school? Would it result in fair competition and equal access to education under the law? A bill by California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano says yes to all of the above.

Today a bill by Ammiano that would grant transgender students the right to access any part of the education system available to straight kids was approved by the Senate Education Committee. That means ...

... a majority vote by the state senate will send it to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for his signature.

The L.A. Unified School District already has such a policy in place. AB 1266 would spread the rule statewide. Ammiano's office summarizes the legislation:

AB 1266 would ensure that students who are transgender have equal access to facilities and activities like sports teams that match their gender. ... Public schools would be required to respect a transgender student's identity in all school programs, activities and facilities.

Judy Chiasson, a human relations program coordinator at LAUSD, says there have been no issues with allowing transgender students to play sports just like everyone else. She told the committee today:

We have not had any problems. On the contrary, it has solved problems.

click to enlarge COLIN YOUNG-WOLFF FOR L.A. WEEKLY
  • Colin Young-Wolff for L.A. Weekly

Ashton Lee, a 16-year-old transgender boy from Manteca, says he was forced to take aerobics class at school with girls.

All I want to do is go to school and have the same opportunity to succeed as everyone else. ... I just want to be treated the same as all the other boys, but my school forces me to take P.E. in a class of all girls and live as someone I'm not. Every day in that class leaves me feeling isolated and alone, making it extremely difficult to learn.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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