Virginia Adds Transgender Athlete Policy - - ABC13

Virginia Adds Transgender Athlete Policy


Lynchburg, VA - Until now, the Virginia High School League hasn't had a policy regarding the participation of transgender athletes. Now, however, the Commonwealth is one of 18 states with an inclusive sports policy.

"We believe there is the reality of transgendered students attending our schools and being interested in participating in sports," said Virginia High School League Executive Director Ken Tilley.

The VHSL decided to create the policy as a proactive measure after they started receiving inquiries from transgender students this year.

"We'll now be able to deal with an individual who will go as far as seeking to participate," Tilley said.

Although it's modeled after other states' policies, Virginia's policy is being called one of the most restrictive in the country.

"There are conditions that need to be met and if the student meets those conditions, then eligibility would be considered," Tilley said.

In order to play, students must have undergone a sex reassignment before or after puberty, a procedure rarely performed on minors.

They must also undergo hormonal therapy to get rid of any gender-related advantages.

For Lynchburg College's Gay-Straight Alliance Secretary Cecilia McBrien the policy is more symbolic… a positive step toward expanding the rights of transgender students.

"Though the restrictions are in place... regardless, it shows good support and shows a starting place," McBrien said.

Lynchburg City Schools says they do their best to comply with VHSL rules and regulations and will adhere to this policy as they do with other policies.

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