What To Know About Idaho’s Legal Battle To Block Trans Student Athletes

Britni de la Cretaz
·5 mins read

The year 2020 has seen an increase in attacks to the rights of transgender people, from rollbacks on their access to healthcare to being denied use of homeless shelters based on their gender. Another place the battle for transgender rights has played out is on sports fields across the country. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 17 states introduced legislation this year that would ban trans athletes from participating in school sports. Only one of those states saw that legislation signed into law, on March 30: Idaho.

In response, the ACLU, along with Legal Voice, ACLU of Idaho, and law firm Cooley LLP, sued the state of Idaho. That case goes to court the morning of Wednesday, July 22. The bill, HB 500, known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, says that “athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex.” The bill allows students to be subjected to intrusive physical examinations. “Idaho is setting a dangerous precedent for intrusions into the lives and bodies of all youth,” Chase Strangio, Deputy Director for Trans Justice, LGBT & HIV Project for ACLU, told Refinery29 in March.

Prior to the bill’s passing, Idaho already had one of the most restrictive sets of regulations of transgender girls to participate in sports. The state required them to be on hormone replacement therapy for at least a year before they could compete in the girls’ division. (This is in line with the NCAA’s requirements for student athletes, as well.)

In the lawsuit, Hecox v. Little, the ACLU is representing Lindsay Hecox, a Boise State University student who wants to complete on the women’s track team, as well as Jane Doe, a cisgender high school student who could potentially be subjected to invasive medical screenings under the legislation.

One argument against allowing transgender girls to compete in sports is that they have an unfair advantage. But research has shown that after HRT, transgender women are no more competitive in women’s divisions than they had been in men’s divisions. Opponents also argue that allowing transgender girls to compete violates the rights of cisgender girls; others counter that this argument seemingly fails to consider the rights of transgender athletes.

“I decided to fight — for myself and for all the trans and intersex student athletes across Idaho, as well as for all Idaho girls and women athletes, who shouldn’t be subject to invasive sex verification exams in order to play school sports,” Hecox wrote in an op-ed for Teen Vogue. “By crushing my goal of competing on my college running team, it sends a message that as a transgender person I’m not worthy of fully participating in public life and social engagement.”

Idaho was the only state to pass discriminatory legislation against transgender girls participating in sports. But there are a spate of other bills attempting to do the same, and nearly a dozen states are attempting to ban transgender kids from accessing gender-affirming care. These all point to a larger trend of right-wing politicians threatening transgender rights by targeting transgender kids. Many of the bills are being pushed by a small network of conservative lobbyists, mainly made up of right-wing Christian groups. The tactic preys on the societal desire to protect children, even though all available research shows that youth with access to gender-affirming care fare far better than those without. A study published earlier this year showed that access to puberty blockers during adolescence is associated with lower lifetime suicidal ideation.

In Connecticut, similar litigation is pending. A group of cisgender students have sued, challenging the state’s interscholastic athletic conference policy that lets transgender students participate in school sports. They argue that the cisgender girls would never be able to beat the transgender girls they compete against. Meanwhile, in February, Chelsea Mitchell, one of the cisgender girls whose family filed suit, beat Terry Miller, one of the trans athletes the suit claims has an unfair advantage in the sport. According to the ACLU, the judge in this case has asked all parties — including lawyers for the cisgender plaintiffs — to avoid referring to the trans girls as “males.” In response, the cisgender plaintiffs in the lawsuit asked for a new judge, a request that is currently being considered.

Transgender girls want the right to compete in the sports they love, just like any other kid has the right to. Instead, they find themselves unwillingly thrust into a battle rooted in transmisogyny and centuries-old ideals about the need to protect women. But these arguments invalidate the womanhood — or, in this case, girlhood — of trans girls, therefore putting their well-being and existence in danger — in fact, the very opposite of protecting girls.

In response to the legislation, Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe, Chris Mosier, and dozens of other athletes and organizations have called on the NCAA to move the 2021 Men’s Basketball Championship from Idaho. In response, the NCAA said it will announce a decision in August and reiterated its stated opposition to HB 500, calling it “harmful to transgender student-athletes and conflict[ing] with the NCAA’s core values of inclusivity, respect and the equitable treatment of all individuals.”

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Why This Trans Man Is Suing A Maryland Hospital

CJay Smith Fights Back On Sexual Assault In Prison

Democrats Demand Reversal Of Trans Military Ban

More From

  • Sunburned Lips Are Real — Here’s How To Prevent & Treat Them

    Sunburns are a tragic fact of life. As much as we try to avoid them with trendy visors, umbrellas at the beach, and loads of sunscreen, we still sometimes find ourselves with red, swollen patches of skin. The agony usually presents itself on our face, shoulders, or back, but there’s one area we’re not paying enough attention to: our lips. Keeping your lips hydrated is one thing; they need sun protection, too. With a lack of education and advertising push, however, you could go your whole life without making the connection. “There tends to be less awareness about protecting the lips from the sun,” says Hadley King, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. “Even if we remember to apply sunscreen to our face, we may forget to apply it to the lips.” Without the right protection, the delicate skin on our lips is susceptible to getting sunburned. Yes, that’s a real thing — and here’s everything you need to know about it, straight from the pros. How To Know If Your Lips Are SunburnedHave you ever eaten something spicy and felt that tingly, swollen-like sensation? That’s kind of what sunburned lips feel like. “Sunburned lips are red, swollen, and painful,” says Kenneth Howe, MD, of Wexler Dermatology in NYC. “They’ll be sensitive to touch, and may develop small, white blisters. The lower lip is often more affected than the upper, because the lower lip catches more light.”You should avoid popping any blisters and allow them to subside on their own. “They are the body’s way of forming a bandage,” says Dr. King. “The blister serves as a biological dressing, preventing germs from entering, and the fluid inside works to prevent further damage to the skin below and to allow the skin to heal.” If a particular blister has you worried, it’s recommended that you visit a medical professional — which can be done via telemedicine — to analyze the area. How To Treat Sunburned LipsDon’t panic: There are solutions. The recovery period typically lasts 3-5 days, and you’ll want to avoid exposing your lips to more UV rays during that time as well as take ibuprofen for relief if it’s painful (consult the packaging for proper dosage information). When it comes to soothing the area, both dermatologists recommend aloe vera, which can be more helpful when chilled in the refrigerator, says Dr. Howe. You can also relieve the inflamed area by using yogurt or a washcloth soaked in cold low-fat milk for 15 minutes at a time. “The fat content of milk cleanses and moisturizes but can hold in heat, so switch to full-fat milk as the active phase of the sunburn resolves and the dry and peeling phase begins,” advises Dr. King. You’ll also want to avoid heavy oils or petrolatum during the active stage of a burn because they can trap heat in the skin, which causes further damage. Additionally, you’ll want to steer clear of possible irritants in the area for a while, like alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids, retinoids, lip-plumping ingredients (peppermint or cinnamon oil), and spicy foods. Try to resist licking your lips, too. “The constant wetting and evaporation will damage the sensitive, newly-healing skin,” says Dr. Howe.You can expect your lips to be dry during the healing process. From that point, you’ll want to keep them moisturized to support the skin barrier while continuing to follow the tips above. It’s also essential that the dry skin is not picked at, or it will prolong the restorative process. “The old skin provides a layer of protection over the new skin,” says Dr. King. “It will come off when the new skin has sufficiently matured and is ready.” You Can Prevent Sunburned LipsYou’ll want to add lip products with SPF — like the ones the dermatologists have recommended below — to your regimen, and carry a tube around with you for reapplication. (Luckily, sun protection for the lips is easier than ever these days, considering how frequently we wear facial coverings.) You should also dedicate attention to your entire face by forming daily habits. “That means avoiding peak UV hours, seeking shade, and wearing a broad-brimmed hat that provides shade for the face, including the lips,” says Dr. King. Know The Risks There can be long-term — and even dangerous — effects of sunburned lips if you allow the skin to burn repeatedly and don’t give the sensitive area the protection it needs. Aside from the possibility of chronically swollen or misshapen lips, there is greater urgency when it comes to that area and skin cancer, according to Dr. Howe. “Skin cancer on the lips behaves much more aggressively than skin cancer in other locations on the body,” he says. “Squamous cell cancer of the fleshy portion of the lip is five times more likely to metastasize (i.e., spread) than similar skin cancers elsewhere on the body.”Dr. King adds that not only can chronically sun-damaged lips result in a condition called actinic cheilitis, but they can also change in appearance. “They may develop fine lines and lose their red color and volume,” she says.Ultimately, it’s essential to take care of your lips and protect them from the sun year-round — because chapped lips are enough to deal with without throwing sun damage into the mix.At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

  • Schools Are Changing Their Minds About Opening Campuses This Fall & Students Are Annoyed

    Colleges and universities continue to struggle to adjust to the realities of an unending pandemic. First, it was the bungled switch to remote learning in the Spring semester that left some students with no choice but to sue their schools into refunding their remaining room and board costs. Throughout the summer, as remote learning continued, surveys affirmed that students wanted to see tuition prices reduced if classes are taught online. The schools weren’t hearing it (except for a handful of historically Black colleges and universities). The fall semester has proven to be yet another test. Many schools committed to welcoming students on campus earlier this summer, an ambitious goal even at the time. But as COVID-19 cases spiked throughout the country, many schools changed their minds. According to Inside Higher Ed, hundreds of schools are doing a U-turn on their plans to welcome students to campus in the fall. Institutions are either delaying the start of the semester, moving forward with a fully virtual schedule, or welcoming limited numbers of students to campus. Tuition costs, however, remain largely unaddressed.The pivots have been mostly announced in late July and early August. The return to campus announcements were met with skepticism and the subsequent liability waivers students were required to sign added to the apprehension. For the schools that reconsidered, tuition revisions seem modest: the University of Pennsylvania will remain closed this fall and will roll back the nearly 4% tuition increase it had intended. It also reduced its “general fee” by 10% (the fee funds a wide variety of services and resources, including counseling and wellness, multicultural resource centers, student activities, recreation and fitness, career services, learning support). Housing and dining fees will also be refunded or credited.At Harvard University, 20% of first-year students deferred while the school’s anticipated 40% of students returning to campus dropped to just 25%. The school still hopes to welcome less than half of the student body back to campus, but for those attending class online or in-person, tuition remains the same.> @austin_maguire> > The classic bait & switch coronamemes collegeproblems> > ♬ original sound – austin_maguireStudents on TikTok are joking about the bait and switch that got them to enroll in classes and pay full tuition, only to get another semester of online classes with no discount. In conjunction, all these measures are making students feel like schools are prioritizing money at the cost of students’ health and education. First, their refusal to reduce tuition for virtual teaching, then their insistence on opening campuses in the fall (despite early predictions saying a Fall spike was inevitable), then rolling back those plans while sometimes pushing tuition bumps, and once again, refusing refunds for room and board.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?How To Help Teachers Right NowHow International Students Help The U.S. EconomyA Week As An Unemployed Student In New York

  • Close Out Summer By Ticking Off This Summer Sex Bucket List

    When I look back on my life so far, I’ve had my best sex in the summer. There’s just something about the constant sunshine, the lack of clothing, and the proximity to water that makes hookups especially spicy this time of year. Don’t just take my word for it. Google searches for sex and dating-related queries tend to go up during the summer season, a 2012 Villanova University study found. Although we only have about a month or so left of this period of warm weather pleasure, there’s still time to complete (or come up with), a summer sex bucket list. Of course, this summer your list is going to look a little different due to the pandemic, says Shula Melamed, a relationship and wellbeing coach. But that might mean we need to try out new salacious sex acts now more than ever. “Anything with novelty that’s a little out of the ordinary is great, because we’ve been so structured and regimented with our routine because we haven’t been able to get out of the house,” Melamed says. “So being able to have fun and access your imagination is crucial these days.”So if you’re looking for a sexy way to mix it up this summer, add one (or all) of these to your erotic bucket list. Hook up somewhere new Whether that’s on the kitchen floor (a la When Harry Met Sally) or out in public on a balmy day, you’ll have a ball. (Just make sure you’re hidden enough that no strangers will accidentally stumble upon your tryst and see something shocking.) Skinny dipFind a secluded body of water and shed your skivvies before diving in. If you don’t have access to a lake, river, or ocean, buy a kiddie pool from Walmart, make a drink with an umbrella in it, and create your own oasis. Tease your SO If you’re at a picnic with a few friends in your bubble or sitting in a public park with your lover, lean over and whisper in their ear what you want to do to them when you get home. Create that sexy anticipation. If you want to take the teasing to another level, agree to skip hooking up for a week, but send your boo provocative messages the whole time.  Try shower sex Make your shower steamier than usual with your lover. If it’s a hot day, you can keep the water cool while things get hot between you two. Maybe bring a waterproof vibrator into the mix. Just be careful of slipping. Hook up under the stars “Lots of people from the city are renting Airbnbs for their vacation during the pandemic, so if you get into a house with a beautiful backyard that’s a little secluded, you can go outside,” Melamed says. “Make sure there are no neighbors around, put down a blanket, and have sex under the night sky.”  “It’s not like summer camp where we were sneaking behind the bushes,” Melamed says. “We’re adults now and just because it’s outside doesn’t mean it can’t be that five star experience.” In other words, you don’t have to be uncomfortable on the ground with sticks digging into your back. Get a bunch of pillows, and tea lights to set up around you. Get rose petals. “Create a hippie love nest,” she says. Alternatively, if you have access to a pickup truck, you can make a makeshift bed in the back with pillows and comforters, and drive to a secluded area where you can stargaze — or just gaze into each other’s eyes.  Do it in a tent Take “roughing it” to a new level. You can go camping or, if you don’t want to go all the way to a state park or into the woods, you can just set up a tent in your yard. Try sex on the beach If you can find a quiet area on the beach, this is a sexual fantasy so divine they named a drink after it. Just make sure you’re doing it on a towel or a rock to avoid getting sand in places.  Try temperature play When the weather is warm, there’s no better time to try incorporating temperature play into the bedroom, a practice Luna Matatas, sex and pleasure educator, previously described in detail to Refinery29. “I love using the ice cube on their body first,” Matatas says. “Dragging a cube from their lips, down their chin, across their chest, down their belly, and then picking it up with my mouth and making a show of me swirling it in my mouth, and then allowing drops of ice to dribble onto their genitals from my mouth… By time the ice cube has melted, you’ve got a cold tongue to use on their genitals.” Invent a new position Put your own spin on the classic 69, the octopus, anal, or the cradle — you’ll love trying something out of the box with your boo.  Rooftop sex Hook up with your SO on a patio chair on an empty rooftop, and enjoy those ~views~ while getting off.  Dip a toe into BDSM and kink “BDSM and role play has been becoming more popular during the pandemic because people are wanting something different when the days are so monotonous,” Melamed says. “This can add variety.” A good place to start if you’re new to the practice is trying out bondage, nipple clamps, or spanking. If you’re already into the scene, try something more vanilla to mix things up, Melamed suggests.  Incorporate food National Creamsicle Day is happening on the 14th, so you can combine temperature play by teasing your lover with the delicious treat. You can also try something like the fabled whipped cream bikini (just don’t get any in your actual vagina to avoid yeast infections). Feed each other strawberries, and ask your partner to lick some Manuka honey or chocolate sauce off your nipples.  Have sex while watching Hamilton Streaming Hamilton is the most summer 2020 activity, now that the acclaimed musical is finally on Disney+. But it’s long, so you might as well get busy whilst rewatching. For the record, “My Shot” has a great tempo for humping and pumping. Or you can use the intermission to go grab a vibrator to incorporate into your second act sex acts. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Icy Tricks That Can Transform Oral & Summer SexHot Labor Day Sex Tips To End Summer With A Bang8 Tips For A 69 Session That Blows Your Mind

  • Save BIG On Your Next Sephora Beauty Haul

    Sadly, the end of summer is approaching. But, on the bright side, you know what they say about when one door closes? An end-of-season sale opens — and Sephora just kicked one off today. From August 14 through August 23, savvy beauty shoppers can shave $15 off orders of $75 or $20 off orders of $100 using promo code WELCOMEBACK at checkout. If you’ve been slowly racking up the products in your virtual Sephora cart throughout the summer, then now’s the time to score your haul with a bonus discount. (Hot tip: get the group chat together and compile all your beauty faves in one bulk order so everyone can save big.)DashDividers_1_500x100The deal is eligible on almost everything on Sephora with a just few product exclusions to take note of: the promo code is limited to the purchase of just one Dyson item (make it count) and five Morphe items per transaction; it’s not valid on products from MAC, The Ordinary, Nudestix’s hand sanitizer and gift cards; you need to be a member of Sephora’s Beauty Insider community to be eligible for the promo — if you haven’t joined yet (it’s free!), then this sale is reason enough to get signed up.DashDividers_1_500x100As for what we’re springing for during the sale? Everything from OG skin-care classics like Ole Henriksen’s vitamin C serum to newer makeup MVPs like Tower 28 Beauty’s illuminating bronzer, Fresh’s cult-favorite soy makeup-removing face wash, and even a stay-all-day liquid eyeliner by Stila (you know, to creating that perfect feline flick for smizing from behind our masks with). Shout out your go-to Sephora beauty gets in the comments below!DashDividers_1_500x100At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?