Transgender Athletes In New Jersey Don’t Have To Prove Gender Anymore

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Grace Carr Reporter
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High school athletes in New Jersey don’t have to prove their gender anymore, according to new policies approved by the state’s athletic association on Wednesday.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association okayed the new policy that allows transgender student athletes to participate without any official documentation or doctor’s notice of their gender identity, according to HS Live. The athletes can participate in sports that correspondent with their gender identify.

The policy states that the student cannot change genders mid-season.

“The last year or so we’ve gotten some requests from the transgender community to make some tweaks,” the state’s atheletic association’s attorney Steve Goodell said. “They didn’t like the idea of someone having to prove the transgender status. They really made a convincing case that this is not something the students are making up to try to game the system.”

“It’s a national issue,” the athletic association’s Executive Director Steve Timko said. “It’s not just a Jersey issue. It’s something that’s come on with the times, and I think we’ve been very good about keeping up with what’s happening now versus the way it was five or 10 years ago.”

The policy update comes after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, signed a state law in July requiring schools to allow students to use the bathroom or locker room corresponds with gender identity, or provide reasonable accommodations for transgender students.

“We wanted to get ahead of this and not wait for the (state) Department of Education,” Goodell said.

Goodell isn’t worried that students will abusing the new policy. Changing gender is “a life decision,” Goodell said. “That’s not just a flippant decision they might make because they’re better in one sport than another.”

Less than half a percent of adults in New Jersey identify as transgender, according to a 2016 study by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

The athletic association also has a new policy that will let New Jersey high school teams use drones during regular season games to take pictures and videos as long as both schools agree. The footage must be made available to both the visiting and home teams shortly thereafter.

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