On June 20, I joined dozens of current and former female athletes and prominent women’s advocates in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Part of the “Take Back Title IX” summer 2024 bus tour, the event was one of many I’ve attended across the nation throughout the month of June. So why did I — and numerous others — give up our summer, rearrange our schedules, and live on a bus for weeks?

I was a three-sport female athlete throughout high school. Unfortunately, my athletic career came to an abrupt end at the beginning of my senior year, when I was severely injured in a volleyball game. A male playing on an opposing women’s team spiked a ball into my head, rendering me unconscious for about 30 seconds in a fencing position. As a result, I suffered from a concussion, permanent whiplash, and a brain bleed. Even now, the effects are tangible; with vision impairment, cognitive issues, partial paralysis on my right side, and more, my doctors aren’t sure if I will ever be the same.

I want males who identify as women to be treated with respect. Yet there is a distinct difference between their bodies and abilities and those of females. We don’t get flooded with testosterone during puberty, making us stronger and faster. We get breasts and our periods, which can make competitions harder, not easier. Is it fair to women that this unchangeable reality should be disregarded? That we should be subject to life-changing injuries in the name of “inclusion?”

I wish my experience were an isolated incident. But unfortunately, males competing in women’s sports are not rare. In addition to my story, you may have heard about runners in ConnecticutLia Thomas facing Riley Gaines in the swimming pool, or a woman’s fractured skull during an MMA fight. These high-profile examples are just the tip of an already large and growing iceberg. According to SheWon.org, there have been hundreds of competitions across the country where a male athlete has entered a competition meant for women and taken spots on teams, medals and honors on award podiums, and even scholarships meant for women athletes.

Yet this already bad situation is about to get worse. Much worse. The Biden administration has just rewritten Title IX, a law that was supposed to ensure that women have equal opportunity in education including athletics, to equate sex with “gender identity.” Basically, the new Title IX will require schools and athletic competitions to allow any athlete to opt into a competition that matches their self-proclaimed gender identity. So the best male runner from last year can switch to competing in the women’s races this year if he wants to.

Claiming that somehow this inclusion of men doesn’t threaten female athletes is ridiculous. You don’t need to dig up scientific studies — though there are plenty providing this point if you are interested. Just check out the world’s records for women’s and men’s competitions in every sport. You’ll see that men are consistently faster and stronger than women, which gives men the edge in just about every sport. That’s why we have women’s teams and men’s teams in the first place: because if we didn’t, women simply wouldn’t win and often wouldn’t even make the team.

I hear terrible stories of young girls who are questioning whether they should bother playing sports at all. They expect that they will have to play against boys and those boys will invariably beat them. They also worry the boys may even physically injure them, far more seriously than any female competitor would. Just like I was injured.

That’s why I am joining female athletes and coaches, winding our way around the country on a bus right now — to be a part of the Our Bodies, Our Sports Take Back Title IX Summer 2024 Bus Tour. What we are fighting for is bigger than any single competition. We are fighting for the future of women’s sports itself. We need every athlete, coach, parent, and women’s advocate to join us.

Our movement isn’t about being anti-trans or anti-anyone. It’s about being pro-woman and pro-reality.

We can’t let the Biden administration’s Title IX rewrite destroy women’s sports. I won’t stand by and watch female athletes pushed aside. And if you care about women and fairness, neither should you.