Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Hot Football.

We have become a hot football being tossed from one fire to another, trans athletes are being used for political fodder by the Republicans in their campaign to divide America and the media is trying to doa hatchet job on us.

First the possible good news…
Breakthrough Reached On Trans Athletes
The New Haven Independent
By Emily Hays
September 23, 2020

New Haven Public Schools and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights have come to a tentative agreement that would allow transgender athletes to continue to play on teams of their choice — without the city losing millions of federal dollars.

On Tuesday afternoon, New Haven Public Schools received an email from the feds that the office will release a $3 million grant budgeted for the district’s magnet schools this year. The feds had previously vowed to withhold the money from New Haven as punishment for participating in a state athletic league that allows transgender students to play.

A nationally watched showdown ensued. This week it appeared to be ending, pending a needed final sign-off from top federal education officials.

“Based in part on the Title IX assurance you provided earlier today, our Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights has signed a document certifying that New Haven ‘will meet’ its MSAP non-discrimination assurances”  in the context of New Haven’s application for a year 4 grant award,” Richard Foster, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, wrote in an email sent Tuesday at 4:29 p.m. to New Haven Board of Ed officials.

But the battle is not over…
Laubin cautioned in a phone interview that the Department of Education has not changed its policy on trans athletes. It has just agreed to separate the issue back out from the magnet school grant. When the department said in late August that it would enforce what it sees as the rights of biologically female athletes, it threatened to revoke grants and pursue legal action.

Down in Washington the Republicans continue their attacks on us,
GOP senators introduce bill to punish schools allowing biological males to compete in female sports
'Title IX established a fair and equal chance for women and girls to compete'
Fox News
By Sam Dorman 
September 23, 2020

A group of Republican senators is seeking to revoke federal funding from U.S. schools that allow biological males to compete in women's sports.

Introduced on Tuesday, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act would classify that type of participation as a violation of Title IX, the federal government's statute barring sex discrimination in federally-funded schools.

“Title IX established a fair and equal chance for women and girls to compete, and sports should be no exception,” said Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who's sponsoring the bill.

She was joined by prominent conservative Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., James Lankford, R-Okla., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

“Permitting biological males to participate in women’s sports rejects the very spirit of Title IX, which was intended to create an equal playing field for women and girls," Lankford said in a press release.  "This bill upholds and reiterates congressional intent and promotes actual equality for women and girls in sports by respecting the dignity of biological female athletes across the nation.”
The bottom line is that at the very least, we must maintain control of the House. If the elections turns out to be a disaster we need control of one of the chambers in Congress because this bill can never see the light of day.

Was a hatchet job averted? Did GLAAD stave off a HBO show that would have attacked us?
HBO’s ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’ pulls planned report on trans student athletes
HBO promoted a report about transgender athletes. But why was the segment suddenly dropped from the show?
Out Sports
By Dawn Ennis
September 22, 2020

HBO pulled a heavily-promoted report from its “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” program on the debate over transgender student athletes Monday evening, fewer than 30 hours before its planned debut. No official explanation was given; a spokesperson had no comment.

A source inside the HBO show, which with this season celebrates its 25th anniversary, told me late Monday that the segment had been sent back for “re-editing.” They said they didn’t know why, or for how long, but I do have a suspicion a leading LGBTQ advocacy group had a hand in this. More about that shortly.
    • Asking leading questions — A trailblazing transgender athlete who was interviewed by Goldberg. NCAA Division I champion runner June Eastwood. said that he pressured her to provide answers that fit a predetermined narrative, such as the tired transgender trope of being “trapped in the wrong body:”
Eastwood told me she complained about it to producer Jake Rosenwasser following the interview. She said Rosenwasser assured her that her words would not be twisted in the editing of the final report. Rosenwasser did not respond to my requests for comment as of press time. If you’re interested in learning more: Toronto-based educator and public speaker Talia C. Johnson has an excellent essay on why it’s important to avoid that trope.
    • Who Goldberg Interviewed — The only expert given a voice in this report was Dr, Emma Hilton, a British biologist who has no experience in sports science, but who is a prominent activist for the campaign to ban trans women from competing in women’s sports. Not one scientist who supports inclusion, nor was anyone with solid experience in sports science heard from.
    • Deadnaming — Goldberg revealed the name Eastwood had since birth to viewers in the report, and not just once, but twice; she said she was pressured to provide consent for this. Using a trans person’s birth name is “a verbally violent offense that attempts to invalidate a person’s authentic gender identity,” I once wrote in The Advocate. If you’d like to know more, read how Laverne Cox explained it in the Washington Post.
“The deadnaming and the framing of the piece are horrendous,” Eastwood told me in an email, after she read a transcript of Goldberg’s report. “Not happy at all — feels very leading and gives transphobes more validity than they deserve. Not very nuanced if you ask me — I feel kinda sick to be honest.”
This hatchet job was derailed…
Following my interview, I did what journalists do: I sought reaction. Members of leading LGBTQ advocate organizations who viewed the transcript, including GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, the American Civil Liberties Union and others, all reacted with dismay.
“This pulled segment from HBO’s ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’ inaccurately and irresponsibly exploited the stories of transgender student athletes during a cultural moment when trans students are subjected to increasingly hostile attacks from the federal government and in state legislatures around the country,” said Adams in his statement to Outsports. “In a story that required the voices of trans people and experts who specialize in the issue of trans inclusion in sports, the producers chose to interview anti-trans activists who are known for spreading misinformation and junk science.”
Thank you Dawn for this great piece of investigating and reporting!

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