A full-page advertisement in Sunday's issue of the Minnesota Star Tribune had a deeply transphobic and infuriatingly close-minded message to put across to readers. Depicting two shower heads in a locker room, the ad asks: "A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU ok with that?" The image is in reference to a policy to be discussed this week by the Minnesota State High School League which would allow transgender students to join sports teams based on their gender identity.
Not only does the ad completely deny transgender students' gender identification (by referring to a person who identifies as female as "male"), it was also paid for by an entity titled the Minnesota Child Protection League, casting a sinister light on an already maligned minority group.
My Fox 9 Twin Cities reports:
It remains unknown if any transgender athletes have been barred from sports in Minnesota, but the state's high school league believes it's only a matter of time. In fact, ever since Dr. Renee Richards decided to play women's tennis nearly 40 years ago, the sports world has wrestled with transgender issues. The International Olympic Committee and NCAA both have similar policies in place...
Those like Autumn Leva, of the Minnesota Family Council, say they share the concerns about locker rooms, privacy, and the "fundamental fairness" cited in the [Minnesota] draft.
"We segregate teams for a reason -- for safety reasons, for privacy reasons," she said. "Now, you have a biological male to female taking the place of a female student. That becomes really problematic."
Yet, the MSHSL says that's why they need a policy -- to be ahead of the ball for when schools encounter such a scenario. The draft aims to provide schools a framework for identifying trans athletes and guidelines for working with doctors who may be administering hormone therapy that would equalize the playing field.
Many Minnesotans were outraged by the transphobic advertisement. CityPages.com reported about several subscribers' tweets on the issue, including "Well that's the end of me buying the Star Tribune" and "Why did @StarTribune publishers amplify that hate?" The paper has reportedly stated that the advertisement "met all the requirements of [their] ad policy."
A disturbing story to say the least. We will keep our fingers crossed for a vote in favor of the policy this Thursday.
Check out news coverage of the story, AFTER THE JUMP...