Growing up, Laura Weaver loved to play sports. In 1972 when Title IX passed, Weaver was in grade school and remembers it vividly because her school introduced girls’ volleyball as a winter sport to parallel boys’ wrestling.

“Title IX made it abundantly clear that if there’s another male sport, there has to be another women’s sport,” Weaver, who’s now 59, told IWF.

Prior to Title IX, her only options were basketball and track, “neither of which I was very good at,” she said.

Volleyball, however, Weaver loved and excelled at.

“I developed a sense of teamwork, leadership, friendship with many people, respect for authority, and confidence that carried me well into college and my professional life as an engineer,” she said. “Not only were these personal skills critical, but the physical skills for staying in shape have lasted throughout my lifetime.”

Weaver lives in Tennessee and has two daughters in their 20s, both of whom also played sports. She never fathomed the day that Title IX would be used to allow biological boys on girls’ sports teams and inside girls’ locker rooms under the guise of “tolerance” and “fairness.”

Not only would this have hindered the life skills she and her daughters all developed as athletes and carried into their adult lives, but “allowing them in the locker room would have been detrimental and shocking,” she said, adding:

“It is proven that males who even take estrogen to minimize their maleness still have a physical advantage which makes the playing field uneven. To take away from deserving girls their college scholarships is another source of inequality.”

Days after taking office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that will make it much easier for males to join females’ teams, for any reason. This will take roster spots and scholarships away from women and girls, and hurt the ability of female athletes to win competitions and awards. Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives also passed the so-called “Equality Act,” which would enshrine the redefinition of “sex” to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into federal law. This would erase sex as a distinct legal category, opening up female-only spaces to biological men and take away athletic opportunities designed to increase representation for girls and given them to biological men.

In response, states including Utah, Mississippi, Georgia, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee—where Weaver is from—are working to pass bills mandating that “sex” be determined on the basis of biological sex at birth, not gender identity.

Weaver has been active in writing her lawmakers to support Tennessee HB3/SB228, which is making its way through the Tennessee legislature. 

“I have been writing my state legislators in Tennessee and the sponsors and committee members driving HB3 forward, which will ban biological males from competing in girls’ sports,” she said.

The Tennessee Senate recently voted 27-6 to pass the measure, and in February, Gov. Bill Lee voiced his support for the legislation. “I do believe that transgenders participating in women’s sports will destroy women’s sports,” Lee said.

While reaching out to lawmakers takes time, Weaver, who’s now retired, says that standing up for girls’ and women’s sports is worth it. And she’s not just writing for herself, but for her two daughters as well.

“Keep writing until they’re tired of hearing from you,” she said. “We must mobilize to protect the future of women’s sports.”

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