Athlete Ally & Equality Texas Submit Policy Proposal to UIL Demanding Equal Access and Opportunity for Transgender Athletes

Today, Athlete Ally and Equality Texas submitted a recommended policy proposal to the University Interscholastic League which called on the organization to make Texas athletics inclusive for all athletes — regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

The recommended policy change that was submitted to UIL can be found below. Athlete Ally Executive Director Hudson Taylor said the following:

Athletics should be an environment where all participants — regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation — have equal access, opportunity and experience. Today is an important step to making that a reality in Texas, and we’re committed to working until the day that LGBT athletes are respected and protected in sports and under the law.

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Subchapter J. Non-Discrimination Policy in UIL Contests

Section 360: Non-Discrimination Policy

Amend Section 360 by adding the following underlined.

Except as provided for below, no student otherwise eligible under Subchapter M of the Constitution shall de denied because of disability, race, color, gender, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion or national origin, the equal opportunity to try out for and. If selected, participate in the Academic, Music, and Athletic Plan contests offered by the member school districts.

Strike (h) in Section 360 and replace with the following.

Gender identity shall be determined based a one’s deeply held sense of their gender.  Sex shall be defined as the classification of a person as male or female.

Add new subsection (i) to Section 360 to read as follows.

  • A student has the right to participate in athletics in a manner consistent with the sex listed on their school records. A student whose gender identity is different than the sex listed on the student’s registration records may participate in a manner consistent with their gender identity under the following conditions.
    1. Notice to the school. The student and/or parents shall contact the school administrator or athletic director indicating that the student has a gender identity different than the sex listed on the student’s school registration records, and that the student desires to participate in activities in a manner consistent with his/her gender identity.
    2. The student must provide the principal or athletic director, and UIL, the following documentation and information
      1. Current transcript and school registration information;
      2. All information required for participation and eligibility in UIL athletics
  • A written statement from the student affirming the consistent gender identity to which the student identifies;
  1. Documentation from individuals such as, but not limited to, parents/legal guardians appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction, friends and/or teachers, which affirm that the actions, attitudes, dress and manner demonstrate the student’s consistent gender identity;
  2. Written verification from an appropriate health-care professional stating that the student is undergoing clinically appropriate treatment; and
  3. Any other pertinent documentation or information which the student or parent(s)/legal guardian(s) appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction believe relevant and appropriate.
  1. Notice to the UIL. Upon receipt of notice by the school , a school administrator shall contact the UIL, which will assign a facilitator who will assist the school and student in preparation and completion of the UIL “Gender Identity Eligibility Review Process”
  2. First Level of Review. The student will be scheduled for a review hearing before a committee specifically established to preside over gender identity reviews. The UIL will schedule a hearing as expeditiously as possible but in no case later than the 15th school or business day after the first practice date for the sport which is the subject of the petition, or within reasonable time thereafter in cases of emergencies or extenuating circumstances. The Gender Eligibility Review Committee will render a written determination of the student-athlete’s eligibility to participate in a gender-segregated sport consistent with his or her gender identity.
  3. The Gender Identity Eligibility Committee. The committee will be comprised of a minimum of three of the following categories, one of which must be from the physician or mental health profession category:
    1. Physician with experience in gender identity health care and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care
    2. Psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed mental health professional familiar with the WPATH Standards of Care
  • School administrator from outside the members UIL administrative district
  1. Athletic Director from outside the member school’s UIL administrative district.
  2. An athletic coach of the sport in which the participation is desired from outside the member school’s UIL administrative district
  3. An individual selected by UIL familiar with gender identity issues.
  4. Second Level of Review. Any school, on behalf of a student athlete, which was denied participation at the First Level of Review wishing for a Second Level of Review of the Gender Identity Eligibility committee’s decision shall file notice with the Executive Director of the UIL on or before the 10th school/business day following the date of receipt of the written decision of the Gender Identity Eligibility Committee. The executive director shall schedule a Second Level of Review hearing to committee on or before the 15th school/business day following the date of receipt of the written notice, or within a reasonable time thereafter in cases of emergencies or extenuating circumstances. Written notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be delivered to the petitioner’s school, for personal delivery to the student-athlete and parent(s)/legal guardian.
  5. Final Determination of Review. When there is sufficient documentation and confirmation of a student’s consistent gender identity, the eligibility committee will affirm the student’s eligibility to participate in UIL athletics consistent with the student’s gender identity. Once the student has been granted eligibility consistent with his/her gender identity, the eligibility is binding for the duration of the student’s participation in every sport season of every school year. All discussion and documentation will be kept confidential, and the proceedings will be sealed unless the student and family make a specific request.

Add (j) to Section 360 to read

  • Changing Areas, Toilets, and Showers. Students should be able to use the locker room, shower, and toilet facilities in accordance with the student’s gender identity. Every locker room, shower, and toilet facility should have some private, enclosed changing areas, showers, and toilets for use by any athlete who desires them. When requested by a transgender student-athlete, schools should provide private, separate changing, showering, and toilet facilities for the student’s use, but transgender students should not be required to use separate facilities.

Add (k) to Section 360 to read

  • Hotel Rooms. Students should be assigned to share hotel rooms based on their gender identity, with a recognition that any student who needs extra privacy should be accommodated whenever possible.