Much of sport is organized by sex or gender; however, not every student fits into or identifies with the binary of male and female.
Physical education and athletics are integral parts of the K-12 school experience. Educators recognize that a group of students, those who identify as transgender, require our attention to ensure that they have an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of participating in physical education and athletics in a safe and respectful climate.
Many transgender students, like their cisgender peers (cisgender describes a person whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth), enjoy participation in physical education classes or athletic competition and it is the responsibility of school leaders to create inclusive policies and practices that enable all students to benefit from and enjoy the same experience in these activities.Transgender students challenge parents and educators to rethink our understanding of gender as always being consistent with sex assigned at birth.
Educators and parents must be open to this challenge if we are to create educational institutions that value and meet the needs of all students, including those who identify as transgender. GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students can learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. GLSEN is the preeminent K-12 organization that prompts LGBT cultural inclusion and awareness. Find their educator resources here: https://www.glsen.org/resources/educator-resources
The purposes of this resource are:
- To provide K-12 physical educators and athletic leaders with information about transgender identity and the participation of transgender students in physical education and athletics.
- To recommend inclusive policies for including transgender students in athletics and physical education.
- To recommend best practices for transgender students' use of locker rooms, bathrooms and showers, education of coaches, implementation of dress codes and other decisions related to providing an inclusive physical education and athletic experience for transgender students.
- To provide additional resources on transgender inclusion in physical education and athletics.