At the urging of some of this column’s most loyal followers, I have decided to address the issue of transgender athletes in Indiana High School sports.

Again, we must start with some foundational ground rules.

I feel very strongly that the way God made us, and the gender He assigned to us, should be good enough for us. I understand that we live an imperfect world and transgenderism is a symptom of that.

Let me also say that I do not hate people who choose to change their gender, I feel sorry that, for whatever reason, they feel the need to make that choice. But they are no enemy of mine, nor should they be of anyone else.

It should also be noted here that the Indiana High School Athletic Association has already taken steps to address this issue. They created a policy that explains that team sports in Indiana are meant to be played by people of the same gender. That means that girls basketball teams are meant to only have girls on it and boys teams only boys. Same thing with softball and baseball. Same thing with boys track and girls track, and on and on.

The IHSAA’s policy says “a student may only participate in interscholastic competition as a member of a single-gender Athletic Team when the Gender of the Athletic Team matches the student’s Birth Gender.”

But, they also created an application process that allows a student to petition the IHSAA to waive that policy. Within that application, a student would have to prove that they have been and continue to be undergoing counseling for the physical and emotional aspects of their change.

If you think about it, being a teenager is hard enough. Then add this all to that, and…well, I cannot imagine.

So, this comes up now because the Indiana General Assembly has a bill in front of it that would ban transgender athletes from playing on teams outside of the gender on their birth certificate.

Proponents see this bill as a shield to prevent any transgender athletes from making it through the IHSAA’s filter to participate.

Opponents claim it is heavy-handed, hate-inspired and un-needed since the IHSAA already has a bylaw meant to deal with it. They also say what state lawmakers are considering won’t pass a constitutional challenge.

So, is a state law needed here?

I am not sure. Even though I watch a lot of Law and Order, an attorney I am not. I know what the GA is trying to do and I appreciate it.

The bottom line is this: we can’t have people born boys playing against girls.

The physical structure of a high school-aged boy is different than that of a girl. I probably don’t have to tell you that, but, it has to be said.

It would be unfair to add a male player who has or is in the process of changing to become a girl to a girls’ team and compete against girls.

Can anyone claim to not see why that is a problem?

I guess they can try, but I refuse to relinquish all grasp of common sense.

A lot of those people protesting HB 1041 have a simple plea: “let them play.”

I have absolutely no problem with that sentiment.

But the narrative being spun by many who are in favor of transgender students participating on the team they choose is that Indiana hates transgenders, and that they are being mean-spirited in their effort to keep them from playing sports.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Indiana, collectively, welcomes all athletes to compete in as many sports in as many seasons as they choose—

every school in every county in every region of our great state, and the governing body that oversees them all.    

But, they require that people play within certain rules and guidelines. Everyone must follow those rules and guidelines to be allowed to participate.

And, in this case, it means playing on the team made of players who matchup with your gender at birth.

That means a boy who is transitioning or has transitioned to becoming a girl can in-fact play high school sports, but they have to play as a boy, not as a girl.

I think one thing we all can agree on is that 10 years ago, none of us could have seen this situation coming.

And we can also probably agree that this all is very sad.