Alaska Board of Education Votes to Exclude Biological Males From Girls' Sports

Juneau, Alaska. (Credit: WikiCommons/Flickr/

On August 31st, Alaska's state Board of Education voted to amend their regulations to limit transgender girls' - that is to say, boys' - participation in girls' sports. Following the vote, state regulation now requires the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) to authorize a division of sports limited to "students assigned female at birth" - that is to say, girls.


Lorri Van Diest introduced the first non-binding resolution related to the issue in March of this year, and said that it is impossible to balance inclusion with fairness because of the differences in physiology between sexes.

“I will be voting for the regulation amendment because I am part of the group which prioritizes competitive fairness and safety for high school girl athletes,” she said.

She gave a litany of examples of men’s athletic superiority over women.

In 2016, Alaska "transgender" athlete Nattaphon Wangyot, of Haines High School, who was born male, competed in the girls' track and field events but scored no higher than third place.

There was some push-back from the Board's student representative:

Student representative Felix Myers disagreed. He said the body was mistakenly discussing the idea of men participating in women’s sports rather than the issue of trans women participating in women’s sports.

Currently, he said, there isn’t a fairness issue in the state that the board needs to fix. Bill Strickland from ASAA confirmed that a fairness issue with transgender students has not yet arisen.

“When it comes back to helping protect girls’ sports, I think there’s a lot more issues that we can address here in Alaska,” Myers said.

He suggested the board look at educating coaches on how to identify eating disorders and the issue of funding parity for travel and equipment if it wants to support girls’ sports.

He rejected the idea that trans girls would join girls' sports teams to gain an unfair advantage. “I don’t think anyone would go through the strain, the bullying, the — all of the problems that come with being around kids when you’re different,” he said. “If someone is truly going to go out of their way to identify this way, that is a huge sacrifice and they are the bravest, bravest students among us.”


Riley Gaines would like a word. In her case, as well as in others, the bullying has gone in quite the opposite direction. As for the "fairness issue" that Myers claims doesn't exist, anyone who has taken Biology 101 understands the fairness issues at stake here; even prepubescent boys have a distinct advantage in bone structure and muscle density that yields measurable advantages over girls.

The push-back hasn't come solely from the student representative. Last year, the Alaska Board of Education directed the ASAA to change its bylaws to prohibit boys from joining girls' sports teams, but the AASA declined to do so unless the State Education Department required the action by voting on an official change to the state regulations governing education. Now, with the amendment to the state regulations voted in, the AASA is required to implement the policy barring boys from girls' sports teams.

Alaska joins Kansas, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Missouri in banning boys from girls' sports in 2023.  Meanwhile, the Biden Administration has proposed a federal rule allowing local school boards to act at their own discretion but draws the line at an outright ban on boys participating in girls' sports.



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