Brianna Turner plays for the WNBA with Phoenix Mercury, and recently went viral for her tweet on the hypocrisy of those who attack transgender athletes in the name of women’s sports but don’t tangibly support women athletes. She joins us today as an Athlete Ally Ambassador and shares what inspired her to be an outspoken ally to transgender youth.
Athlete Ally: What difference has basketball made in your life, and how does that shape your empathy for transgender youth being banned from the sports they love?
Brianna Turner: Basketball has been a part of my life for over 20 years. I’ve learned so many valuable lessons and have had amazing opportunities through the sport. I think that all youth should have access to sports. It’s a great way to make new friends, stay active, and learn lifelong skills such as accountability and teamwork. I have so much empathy for transgender youth potentially being banned from the sports they love just because they are their authentic selves.
What would you say to those who aren’t sure if it’s possible to support women’s sports and support transgender athletes being included in sports?
It’s very possible to support women’s sports and support transgender athletes being included in sports. Both groups are marginalized and need better support and representation in media. They also can coincide with one another. You can be an advocate for both, especially since they sometimes face similar issues.
What advice would you give to a teammate or friend who wants to be a better ally to transgender athletes, but isn’t sure where to start?
It’s important to educate yourself on terms related to gender and pronouns. It’s also good to follow transgender athletes or organizations that support transgender athletes on social media so you can stay up to date on the latest information. Above all though, be kind, because you never know what someone else could be going through.
Photos courtesy of Brianna Turner
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