Transgender dooms girls’ sports? MN pioneer says relax

It’s unlikely that Minnesotans who are hyperventilating over a proposed policy on transgender athletes in Minnesota schools will be swayed by facts, but the first woman to play on a boy’s sports team in the state is taking a shot at it anyway.

Peggy Brenden, who played on the tennis team at St. Cloud Tech, has been through this before, she says of the lobbying ads from the Child Protection League, which has mobilized against the draft proposal from the Minnesota State High School League to allow transgender athletes to participate in high school sports. The MSHSL will consider the rule again tomorrow after already putting off a vote a few times.

The Child Protection League first said the rule will require transgender athletes “to take showers with your daughter,” and, in its latest ad, that it’ll lead to “your daughter” losing her shot at a scholarship. Always with the daughters.

“The question I ask is: Is the transgender participation issue really any different from the opposite-gender teammate issue the court addressed back in 1972?” Brenden writes in today’s Star Tribune. Problems of privacy and showering were cited as reasons back then not to allow her to play.

“The only change observable in the psyche of my male teammates and opponents was their heightened desire not to be beaten by a girl,” she adds. “If anything, I inspired those guys to perform at their absolute best!”

And, she hints, your daughter wasn’t going to get a scholarship anyway.

The prospect of losing a college scholarship to a transgender student is no reason to exclude a transgender athlete. The CPLA ad displayed a picture of a girl whose dream of a college scholarship was ostensibly “shattered” because a male took her position on an all-girl team.

But the vast majority of students who fall under the jurisdiction of the league are not participating in sports because it enhances their prospects of winning a scholarship or turning pro. (If that is their goal, most high school athletes are destined for disappointment, because roughly 2 percent of them win sports scholarships at NCAA colleges or universities.)

Many of the points being raised in this debate were dismissed in 1972 by Judge Miles Lord.

Brought to its base, then, Peggy Brenden and Tony St. Pierre are being prevented from participating on the boys’ interscholastic teams in tennis, cross-country, and cross-country skiing solely on the basis of the fact of sex and sex alone.

The Court is thus of the opinion that in these factual circumstances, the application of the League rules to Peggy Brenden and Tony St. Pierre is arbitrary and unreasonable, in violation of the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment.

For this reason, the application of the rule to these two girls cannot stand. The Court is therefore of the opinion that Peggy Brenden should be allowed to compete on the boys’ interscholastic tennis team at St. Cloud Technical High School for the remainder of the current school year and that Tony St. Pierre be allowed to compete on the Hopkins Eisenhower interscholastic cross-country and cross-country skiing teams for the school year 1972-73.

Brenden turned out OK. She’s a lawyer and judge now.

Related: Minn. could allow transgender athletes to pick team that suits them (Minnesota Public Radio News).

  • dag mar

    Sports in public schools in the United States is overblown, with way too much emphasis on ensuring fairness, equality, and financial support to every conceivable athletic group. I’m beginning to believe in the European model, where academics is the focus of public schools and people who want to participate in sports can join a club off-campus and do whatever they want to on their own time and dime.

  • bcdctf

    Another one sided repot by MPR. I would work as many jobs as I could so I could put my kids in private schools. Public schools are now in place just to further the lefts liberal lifestyle. Education is very low on the to do list.

    • I think the role of the transgender athlete offers the opportunity for intelligent discussion.

      But the ads here are not intelligent. They’re exaggerated nonsense to whip people into a frenzy.

      Why there’s such a fear of a more intellectual approach to a disagreement is something I can’t answer; perhaps you can.

      Private schools have always been a good option for parents who want to flee the perceived ills of public education, often having to associate with “those kids.” It’s just the definition of “those kids” that keeps changing.

      I wouild imagine “my kid might lose a scholarship” is a good mask for what their issue really is.

      Much of that, one supposes, is religion-based, and so a private school, perhaps a parochial one, is much more suitable for your kid so she/he can be with his/her kind.

      If you weren’t a little bit ashamed of all of that, you might be more inclined to use a real name as NewsCut rules require.

      • Precisely and poignantly correct. First of all, trans adversaries seem to be doing their utmost best to destroy any credibility they may have, if any. For example, failing to account for female to male trans players as they incite others against male to female trans players entirely. Another example is failing to, as you say, approach this discussion with valid concerns (student safety), without having to appeal to nonsensical emotion. By forgetting past school historical animus (racial, gay, etc.), they are dooming themselves to commit the same mistake, and a serious mistake it is. Indeed the fact is that 99% of these trans adversaries are religious “condemnists”, forgoing the golden rule (Love thy neighbor) and daring to convict trans students of crimes they have never committed, all the while pretending not to know that the greatest and statistically supported danger to students is from rogue sexually deviant teachers + coaches.

    • Jerry

      You certainly wouldn’t want to expose children to someone different then themselves. They might grow up to be open minded, which would be awful.

      • bcdctf

        Jerry, Bob, both of you give the suggestion that people of all colors and backgrounds do not go to private schools. I find those type of comments very racist. There is no place for these type of comments.

        • Jerry


          I was waiting for “you know who the real racists are: liberals” hand to be played. Good one. I needed the laugh.

        • Nice try, unnamed.

          What I suggest is that people use private schools to avoid people they find “distasteful.” You don’t have to be white to find people not worth associating with. It comes in all colors.

          • bcdctf

            Hi Bob, my name is Brad , didn’t know this would make you hyperventilate. So if you seen something terrible like a system that brainwashes kids, you wouldn’t try and protect your kids? I think if you didn’t that would make you a somewhat poor parent, wouldn’t you Bob?

          • BJ

            Yes we wouldn’t want brainwashed kids, just brainwashed adults!!!

          • Jerry

            Remember, it is only ok for parents to brainwash kids.

            And you seem a little stuck on “hyperventilate”. You should mix it up a bit

          • bcdctf

            Why mix it up, the first line in the piece was ‘It’s unlikely that Minnesotans who are hyperventilating over a proposed policy on transgender athletes in Minnesota schools’ I have not really been as combative as those comments disagreeing with me, but what is showing up is the true folks that hyperventilate are from the left. You know their saying, we can discuss anything as long as you agree with me.

          • But you haven’t answered the question. Your concern isn’t really that your daughter is going to take a shower with man. It’s not that your daughter is going to lose a scholarship.

            What’s your REAL concern? And how does it affect YOU?

            There’s nothing to disagree with you about or to be combative with you about because you haven’t answered those fairly fundamental questions w.r.t. your opposition to allow some kids to play sports.

          • bcdctf

            Bob, I am pretty clear that most kids will not get a sports scholarship. I responded my concerns below to Kassie. Now can you be fair and respond to the question, should it be up to the school system to do social engineering? One more, I know the left doesn’t like to answer questions, but do you think it should be the school to decide if your daughter has to take a shower or share a bathroom with someone’s son?

          • No, you really didn’t but I’ll answer yours. Title IX is a federal law and, no, I don’t think federal law should be left to the local schools to decide whether they want to follow it for the same reason I don’t think Alabama and Mississippi should’ve been left to decide what federal law they would follow.

            As to this question:

            “do you think it should be the school to decide if your daughter has to take a shower or share a bathroom with someone’s son?”

            I really don’t have answer that will please you.

            The shower/bathroom scenario you’re painting is an absurd one and a distraction from any intelligent discussion.

            Also, your kid is in private school. What do you care?

          • bcdctf

            How is Title IX currently not being followed?
            Again a lefty that wants others to answer their questions but will not be kind enough to do the same.
            How is it absurd? You mean to tell me in some places in the USA the left hasn’t already implemented the sharing of bathrooms and restrooms?
            I thought you would have a two way conversation, I thought I might have found 1 liberal that would participate in a two way conversation. Shame on me for thinking a liberal could do this.
            My kids went to public schools, back when schools were about teaching kids not brainwashing them. In fact I would not have any problem if they were in a school where they were all trans as long as the school focus on teaching not social engineering.

          • Clarification on DOE on TITLE IX w.r.t. transgender athletes


          • Serena

            Where else should the social engineering start? I believe the public school system is precisely where it should begin as this establishment is meant to be inclusive to people from all walks of life. Private schools don’t share the same burden as they decide who is accepted into their programs and therefore they decide how to run their school.

            If not the public school system, then where? Based on your question referencing a trans woman as someone’s “son” gives me a good idea as to where you stand on transgender rights. I’d be more than happy to explain to you in greater detail why thinking along these lines is foolish but I’m not sure if you are truly here for an intelligent conversation or simply to stir the proverbial pot.

          • bcdctf

            Hi Serena, to start off with I would not have an issue with any transgender going to school with my child if the purpose of the school is to give an education. I am sickened that schools have endangered the US by focusing on social engineering instead of education. Lets see if you would agree with this if you think it is the schools place. Lets make all teachers Christians and let them teach the kids that Trans are a mistake to society and do not follow the bible, then would you be ok with social engineering in the schools or only for what you believe. I think this is a fair question.

          • Serena

            I agree with you that a school’s primary function and focus should be on education. That said however, having an all inclusive school is beneficial for all parties involved as it creates a more open learning environment and if every student is comfortable being themselves, they will gain much more from their education.

            Your question isn’t really valid since you are bringing exclusivity into a public space and pushing an extreme. I can make the analogous statement that all schools are to hire Asian teachers and teach all kids that any person who is non Asian is wrong and goes against everything that is right in the world. No matter my religious or ethnic background, I would be in disagreement with either of those scenarios we presented, simply because it is a public school.

            But in a public school, which is open to all individuals, the thinking has to be in broader scope. I am sure there are plenty of Christian teachers in public schools and I take no issues with that, why would anyone really. As long as they perform their duty to teach the curriculum, there is nothing to be said.

            If you take a step back and look at this policy from a distance, it really changes nothing. It is not trying to change all teachers to trans teachers, it is not trying to change the curriculum to an extreme, it is simply giving trans students a greater chance at living their authentic life.

          • bcdctf

            Serena, this is where we probably have the biggest gap. I feel that the deck is stacked and the left extremists are in control of social engineering at the schools and if there are right minded teachers they do not dare let it be known. The left is very vindictive and emotionally unstable when they get challenged. In todays economy people do not dare risk their jobs. I have no problem with your last paragraph as long it is not done in the public education system. Again I could care less if the teacher is gay, trans, black, white, left, right as long as they focus on education. I am going out on a limb on my next question, I know this type of questioning triggers a person on the left but here I go. How should a teacher or you know it is their authentic life, how do you know it was not part of social engineering. I am not saying it couldn’t be, but why is it anyone’s place in the education system to make this call? Shouldn’t it be between the parents and the child? I do not trust all teachers that they know best just because they are liberal or conservative.

          • Serena

            The thing is, the loudest voices are always those from the extremes, whether from the right or the left and those are the ones that we hear. So perhaps to you and others it appears as though the deck is stacked on our side. The main issue I believe is the language we use, again, no matter if we are on the left or the right. To call all left leaning folks vindictive and emotionally unstable could very well land you in a heated argument that will lead nowhere. The same could be said if a left leaning person came in and stated that right leaning folks are all hypocrites and bigots. It would again lead to hatred being tossed back and forth with nothing being accomplished.

            You say right leaning teachers would be afraid to voice their concern and I can see your point but the converse is also true. A gay or trans teacher would also be afraid to voice their orientation or gender for the fear of reprisal and possibility of being fired (many States offer no protection whatsoever to trans folks in that regards.)

            Your last question is difficult to answer but I’ll try. A child does not on Monday go by Alice and then on Tuesday go by Bruce. There are so many intricacies that need to be taken into account. Primarily the parents of that child. Even if supportive, and more so if supportive, they will do their homework to ensure that they do right by their child. This means therapists and doctors and support groups and many many discussions with that child. And even then, take high school for instance, the fear of being different and not fitting in is huge at this age group. Why would anyone want to face this stigma and quite possibly bullying and harassment? Only those who’s convictions are authentic will endure the hardships that come with being trans. Many fear “the boy in the girls locker room” and I admit that yes, at this age, this trans girl will still have a penis (surgeries can only be done at age of consent, which is 18). Do you, or anyone, seriously think she *wants* to get naked in front of the others? Of course not, she is the one that is different and that is extremely anxiety inducing. And what about the trans boy, the one with the vagina, in a locker room full of boys with penises? Why is no one ever concerned about this boy? Again, only a trans person wishing to simply live their life would be willing enough to go through this. Sorry, this wound up being long winded but in short, you have to trust that those who tell you they are trans, are just that.

            I had asked in my initial reply to you, if not the schools, then where should social engineering take place? The parents have already done and are doing their part but for the major part of the day, that child is in the hands of the school system and if that child is not supported at school, the consequences can be dire. So if not in schools, where?

          • Kassie

            What are you protecting your kids from? Other kids who want to play sports? Other kids who want to feel safe in their schools? You keep throwing around “hyperventilate” and “brainwash” but what exactly do you not like?

          • bcdctf

            Hi Kassie, this is my biggest concern. The use of schools for social engineering.
            In Dumbing Down of America,
            this paragraph says a lot. ‘One of the interesting insights revealed by these documents is how the social engineers
            use a deliberately created education “crisis” to move their agenda forward by offering radical reforms that are sold to the public as fixing the crisis—which they never do. The new reforms simply set the stage for the next crisis, which provides the pretext for the next move forward.This is the dialectical process at work, a process our behavioral engineers have learned to use very effectively. Its success depends on the ability of the “change agents” to continually deceive the public which tends to believe anything the experts tell them.

          • By “reforms,” you mean Title IX?

            //Its success depends on the ability of the “change agents” to continually deceive the public which tends to believe anything the experts tell them.

            You mean like telling people their daughters will have to take showers with men?

          • bcdctf

            Bob, does Calif. allow the child to use what bathroom they want to?

          • yes (AB 1266)

  • DJ Wambeke

    “It’s unlikely that Minnesotans who are hyperventilating over a proposed policy on transgender athletes in Minnesota schools will be swayed by facts”
    Nice commentary there.
    MPR prides itself on being an “unbiased” news source. Why, then, does NewsCut frequently see fit to inject invective into its posts?

    • I gather you’re unfamiliar with NewsCut, which is a not a news story but a place for observations.

      The hyperventilating refers to the ridiculous accusations of the ad, which is different that an intelligent dialogue over a difference in how transgender students should be treated.

      Everyone knows nobody’s ‘daughter’ is going to be forced to take a shower with a man and anyone who claims not to know that is simply being disingenuous. No kid is going to lose a scholarship because a transgender athlete plays on her soccer team.

      So, why not be done with the nonsense and argue the point on more substantive terms?

      What are your REAL concerns? And why not state them?

      Until we get to that point in the discussion, it’s simply ridiculous to make up concerns that everyone knows are nonsense.

      • bcdctf

        Bob, if this does not pass, do you not think you will see some real hyperventilating by the left? They invented hyperventilating, goggle “the ends justify the means”,

        • Jerry

          Really? I thought that was more of a Niccolo Macheiavelli thing. Something to do with Guelphs and Ghibbellines?

          • bcdctf

            I can see where you think this, with comments like ‘can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends’ if that is what you were referring to, you weren’t real clear. He was really all over the board depending on the need. But no the playbook ‘Rules for Radicals’ is the bible of the left leadership.

      • DJ Wambeke

        “I gather you’re unfamiliar with NewsCut, which is a not a news story but a place for observations.”
        Fair enough, but they are frequently biased observations which give a certain narrative spin to the facts. NewsCut’s commentary very frequently aligns with that coming out of sites like ThinkProgress.

        FWIW, I agree with you that the claims of the ad are overblown. But isn’t that just the way (sadly) that issues are “debated” in our culture? Advocacy groups on right and left conduct media campaigns which use soundbytes to stir emotions on the issues. And in the process the substantive philosophical issues get overlooked. In this case, the real philosophical issues are whether gender norms are valuable constructs for understanding the human condition or whether they ought to be discarded altogether.

        • Curious. How long have you been reading the blog?

          • DJ Wambeke

            off & on for about a year or so.

            I will say that you occasionally do challenge things on the left, so I’m not trying to leave that unacknowledged. But by and large, at least with respect to issues of morality, your perspective seems to align with a “progressive” outlook.

          • You might want to spend an hour with this next time you can’t sleep.


  • Chevy Caprice

    Religious bigoted idiots will eventually lose out in the end, don’t worry.

    • bcdctf

      Careful Chevy you sound like you are hyperventilating .

      • Chevy Caprice

        Nope, just excited that the future is finally moving in. I have an old taste for cars, yet a futuristic taste for social rights.

        • Guest

          So does that mean you have a taste for social engineering to what you feel is right and this means using schools to provide this to make you feel good about yourself?

  • kevinfromminneapolis

    The MPR News article on this says 5 kids in the whole country have asked for this exemption (or whatever you want to call it). Do we really need a policy for five kids?

    • kevinfromminneapolis

      Meaning can’t it just be handled case-by-case as it arises?

      • Jerry

        But does it hurt to have a consistent policy in place for those kids?

      • BJ

        It is funny how the ‘law’ works. If something is forbidden (as it is now), then a single case can’t happen. If you read the text of the language, it is really allows a case by case basis. Hence the whole – this ad is really stupid – post and conversation.

    • Kassie

      Most of the trans people I know came out in their late 20s. Of course, most of the gay people I know came out in their late teens or early 20s, but that is not the case anymore. We see kids coming out as gay as early as the 4th grade. I know of a number of small children who are trans. These things are inherent to their being and we will see more and more kids coming out as trans and more and more parents accepting it and letting the kids transition. This policy gets ahead of that wave of kids who are growing up trans and is a good thing.

  • Excellent and well-written article. Of course the fears are way over-blown, because the tragic reality is that, as borne out by statistics, students and sexual exploitation derive from (some) schoolteachers and coaches who somehow have made it through background checks, not other students. This anti-LGB/Trans fear-mongering effort is already doomed to fail, because inferring that gender = sexual deviant (see the title that includes “child protection”) is an entirely false premise.

  • Schools receiving federal $ must comply with federal law—a conditional reality. Federal law is of course based on well, federal law, namely the U.S. Constitution. The 14th Amendment clearly states that “equal protection” is a right, never a mere privilege. All students, no matter personal attributes (race, orientation, gender), are not required to surrender such attributes at the school gate. Schools are, and always will be a microcosm of the world, even schools in areas (such as Minnesota) that have successfully operated outside of constitutional law by failing to respect students’ rights to be gay, straight, or gender non-conforming. There exists US DOE/Office for Civil Rights “case law” now since 2013 specifically relating to the rights of trans students (See Arcadia, CA, Downey, CA. & Azusa, CA School districts + transgender).

    There is no longer any debate—the era of trans student discrimination is over. The only debate left is whether school districts will comply with federal law—or not. Over and over and over, we read about parental “mutinies” that seek to overthrow federal law by trying to force school districts into continuing to operate outside of federal law. As a trans child who had no idea how to “fix” my body, I vouch for having lost an entire childhood and wish this upon no child—ever.

  • Apparently, the now-approved MSHSL transgender non-discriminatory “policy” will not be implemented until the following (2015-16) school year, an entire 9 months from now. The MSHSL, and many other federally sub$idized school districts have historically failed to respect LGBT students, namely and specifically trans students. By failing to “retroactively or currently” immediately in “ex post facto” fashion implement this policy, the MSHSL is continuing to exclude trans students, more importantly those in their final school child-development year (seniors), from benefiting from crucial and time-sensitive positive gender development during a time that can never be repeated.

    Although only a trans-advocate “of one”, I implore the MSHSL to NOT punt the ball to next year and insist that they IMMEDIATELY comply with Title IX requirements that civilly prohibit discrimination based on sex (the real core component behind a gender transition). I say this with gratitude that the MSHSL has decided to place itself on the RSH (Right Side of History) and civil law, but it was to my consternation that I read that it had given itself a 9-month “grace period” which means it will be conducting school sessions as legal scofflaws, something totally unacceptable.