Which states allow transgender athletes to compete in sports?

Nearly one-third of transgender students now live in a state that bars them from participating in school sports, according to the nonprofit think tank Movement Advancement Project.

As educators await the highly anticipated finalization of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX rules in October, some states are advancing bans that keep transgender students from participating in school sports. How many students are impacted by such policies?

The Movement Advancement Project, a nonprofit think tank that provides timely analyses of policies related to LGBTQ+ issues, published new data this week detailing how state LGBTQ+ policies have evolved in 2023 alone. As their analysis suggests, a significant number of transgender students have no access to their school’s athletic organizations.

According to the data, 22 states in total now ban transgender students from playing school sports, which includes six new additions since this year alone. Two states in particular (Alabama and Texas) expanded their existing policies to also apply to college students. The remaining four (Wyoming, Kansas, North Dakota and Missouri) implemented entirely new policies.

With these new additions, nearly one-third (31%) of transgender youth now live in a state that bans them from participating in school sports.

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This data comes at a time when LGBTQ+ policies continue to be a hot-button topic among district and state leaders. For instance, last month, the New York State Education Department released updated guidance for schools on creating safe school environments for LGBTQ students, Lohud reports. The 42-page document covers everything from bathroom policies to instruction on how to change a student’s records when they request to be called a new name that aligns with their gender.

But this isn’t the case for every district. As mentioned previously, 22 states restrict students from participating in school sports. According to MAP’s analysis, these states include:

  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Utah
  • Arizona
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia
Micah Ward
Micah Wardhttps://districtadministration.com
Micah Ward is a District Administration staff writer. He recently earned his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama. He spent his time during graduate school working on his master’s thesis. He’s also a self-taught guitarist who loves playing folk-style music.

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