Maya Stanton is only 10 years old, and already she has faced discrimination in her home state of Texas because she is Transgender.
The anti-Trans sports ban, which was passed in October, means that Maya has had to quit her gymnastics team for fear of them getting disqualified by officials learning that she is Trans. The Texas bill requires all individuals to play for the sports teams that align with the sex listed on their birth certificate, thereby excluding all Transgender individuals.
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Maya’s family have been fighting anti-Trans legislation in Texas as far back as 2017.
“Being that we are planning to stay in Texas, we’re going to be suing,” said Lisa, Maya’s mother. “We are not going to sit idly by and let this law make our child a second-class citizen.”
Details of the lawsuit have not yet been determined, as Lisa is waiting to see if organisations will take legal action against the state of Texas, in which case the family would attempt to join as plaintiffs. The ACLU and Lambda Legal (the group behind the recent victory of the first gender-neutral passport) are the groups specifically mentioned by Lisa.
With her family behind her, Maya spoke out at the House of Representatives against the legislation which forced her to practise gymnastics in isolation instead of with her team.
‘[These bills] make me feel like some of you don’t see me as a human, much less the girl I really am’ — 10-year-old Maya is standing up to Texas lawmakers for targeting trans kids playing sports pic.twitter.com/XTZUhvIWbr
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 20, 2021
“[These bills] make me feel like some of you don’t see me as a human, much less the girl I really am,” Maya bravely said before Texas lawmakers at a House committee meeting. “I imagine you guys yelling and shouting at me to leave Texas because I’m Trans and being myself.”
She goes on to tell her story. “I grew up doing gymnastics when I was little. As I got older, I began to like it even more, and I wanted to learn more challenging skills like round-offs and flips. Towards the end of the year, my coach began to talk to me about the next step, which was to join the team and begin competing.
The Texas House just passed an anti-trans sports bill after three failed attempts. https://t.co/94zRYrdGEP
— them. (@them) November 6, 2021
“Sadly, we realised the Houston Gymnastics Association had a rule which would block me from being a part of the team even though none of my friends or classmates care that I was Trans or even felt I had any advantage. I didn’t want to risk the association finding out I was Trans and disqualifying my team so I decided to quit gymnastics.
“It’s not fair that Trans people can’t compete on teams that match who we are … I still do gymnastics and practise my skills every day. I wish I could do it with a team instead of by myself. I deserve to be able to play sports but if I had to play on a boys’ team, I would quit.”
As eloquently put by Maya’s mother, Lisa, “These bills are a solution for a problem that does not exist.”
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