The Department of Education on Wednesday took steps to legally redefine “sex” to include gender identity. In a press release, the Department announced its intention to apply Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination to transgender students. Congress passed Title IX in 1972 to expand opportunities for women and girls in education. 

Congress has passed no law that addresses how American schools should accommodate transgender students. Yet, on Wednesday, the Department unilaterally determined that schools may never take biological sex into consideration and must, instead, defer always to a student’s subjective identity. 

When it comes to single-sex athletics and intimate private spaces such as lockerooms and dorm rooms, the new policy pits accommodations for transgender girls (who were born male) against the rights of biological females, the very group Title IX was passed to protect.

Under the new policy, biological males who identify as female will be entitled to try out for and play on women’s sports teams with limited roster spots.  

Transgender activists claim that transwomen (who were born male) should be able to compete in women’s sports without restriction. But many female athletes and women’s rights advocates argue that allowing male-bodied athletes to compete with and against female athletes is unfair because the average male-bodied athlete is bigger, stronger, and faster than the average female athlete.

Professional track athlete Cynthia Monteleone and her teenage daughter Margaret have each been forced to compete against biological male athletes.

Margaret, a 16-year-old sophomore at a Catholic prep school in Maui, Hawaii, placed second behind her transgender competitor in her first and only track race before COVID-19 canceled the rest of the season. 

Now the mother and daughter are speaking out.

“It was heartbreaking to see that [my daughter] was running as fast as she could, and still, this athlete breezed right by her,” Cynthia Monteleone said of her daughter’s experience.

Independent Women’s Forum documented the Montelones’ experiences in a new video story, available here:

The administration’s newly announced guidance directly conflicts with legislation that has been filed in more than 30 state legislatures to protect girls and women’s sports. Eight states have already passed such measures.

Secretary of Education Miguel A. Cardona told The New York Times that schools should implement new policies proactively and should “not wait for complaints to come to address these issues.” 

Independent Women’s Forum opposes the inclusion of male-bodied athletes on competitive women’s teams. Help us support athletes like Cynthia and Margaret Monteleone. Sign our Fair Play Petition HERE.