Bloom House in the News
Bloom House Youth Services working towards establishment of “basic center” by end of year
6.21.2021 KVOE, Tragan Trahoon
Bloom House Youth Services moving ahead with "ambitious" drop-in center project
1.26.2021 Emporia Gazette, by Ryann Brooks.
After financial collapse of women’s shelter, Emporia groups work to meet needs
1.23.2021 Kansas Reflector, by Lucy Peterson
Bloom House Board President Clara Corn discusses the agency's community role and future plans.
1.13.2021 KVOE, with Chuck Samples
Bloom House seeking permanent facilities as it helps youths in crisis, former Plumb Place residents
1.1.2021 KVOE, by Chuck Samples
Bloom House raising funds for Plumb Place displaced residents
12.21.2020 Emporia Gazette, by Ryann Brooks
9.7.2019 Emporia Gazette, by Ryann Brooks
February 12, 2021
As an organization aimed at serving vulnerable youth in our area, of which transgender youth are a part, we feel the need to make a statement regarding the recent editorial in the Emporia Gazette titled "Sports, Science, and Common Sense." which was published February 6, 2020.
Transgender youth are at a much higher risk of becoming homeless and once homeless, are at a higher risk for suicide, sex trafficking, and other dangers. Research has shown that when trans youth are supported by their communities and families the chances of them becoming homeless or attempting suicide decrease drastically.
We were saddened and disappointed to see the editorial published in our local paper, and we can imagine how hard that would be to see through the eyes of a trans student at EMS, EHS, or ESU. Not only is this article harmful to trans youth, but it perpetuated incorrect and outdated science which is harmful for the education of all readers - youth and adult alike. We at BHYS, encourage anyone interested in learning about the issue of trans athletes in competitive sports, to refer to the experts in sports and medicine.
From the National Collegiate Athletic Association:
“Concern about creating an “unfair competitive advantage” on sex-separated teams is one of the most often cited reasons for resistance to the participation of transgender student-athletes. This concern is cited most often in discussions about transgender women competing on a women’s team. Some advocates for gender equality in college sports are concerned that allowing transgender women—that is, male-to-female transgender athletes who were born male, but who identify as female—to compete on women’s teams will take away opportunities for women, or that transgender women will have a competitive advantage over other women competitors. These concerns are based on three assumptions: one, that transgender women are not “real” women and therefore not deserving of an equal competitive opportunity; two, that being born with a male body automatically gives a transgender woman an unfair advantage when competing against non-transgender women; and three, that men might be tempted to pretend to be transgender in order to compete in competition with women.
These assumptions are not well founded. First, the decision to transition from one gender to the other—to align one’s external gender presentation with one’s internal sense of gender identity—is a deeply significant and difficult choice that is made only after careful consideration and for the most compelling of reasons. Gender identity is a core aspect of a person’s identity, and it is just as deep seated, authentic, and real for a transgender person as for others. Male-to-female transgender women fully identify and live their lives as women, and female-to-male transgender men fully identify and live their lives as men. Second, some people fear that transgender women will have an unfair advantage over non-transgender women. It is important to place that fear in context. Transgender girls who medically transition at an early age do not go through a male puberty, and therefore their participation in athletics as girls does not raise the same equity concerns that arise when transgender women transition after puberty. Transgender women display a great deal of physical variation, just as there is a great deal of natural variation in physical size and ability among non-transgender women and men. Many people may have a stereotype that all transgender women are unusually tall and have large bones and muscles. But that is not true. A male-to-female transgender woman may be small and slight, even if she is not on hormone blockers or taking estrogen. It is important not to overgeneralize. The assumption that all male-bodied people are taller, stronger, and more highly skilled in a sport than all female-bodied people is not accurate.”
The Women’s Sport Foundation made the following statement:
“The Women’s Sports Foundation supports the right of all athletes, including transgender athletes, to participate in athletic competition that is fair, equitable and respectful to all. “Transgender” refers to people whose gender identity (their internal sense of themselves as male or female) does not conform to traditional expectations associated with their assigned sex at birth. Schools must be prepared to fairly accommodate these students and their families in athletics as well as other school programs.” And in response to the question of whether transgender women and girls have a physical advantage in competition against cisgender women and girls, they stated: “No. If a young person transitions from male to female prior to puberty, as in the case of some transgender people, no accommodation is necessary at all and this student should be treated as any other competitor in girls’ or women’s sports. Additionally, if a transgender student transitions after puberty, medical experts increasingly agree that the effects of taking female hormones negate any strength and muscular advantage that testosterone may have provided and places a male-to-female transgender athlete who has completed her transition in the same general range of strength and performance exhibited by nontransgender females who are competing. A female-to-male transgender athlete has no physical advantage before, during or after transition and should be permitted to participate fully on male sports teams.”
Secondly, there appears to be a great deal of confusion about the definitions of “sex” and “gender”. We at BHYS, defer to the experts again, and would like to highlight the statements of the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association.
The American Psychological Association defines gender and sex:
“Gender Identity: A person’s deeply‐felt, inherent sense of being a boy, a man, or male; a girl, a woman, or female; or an alternative gender (e.g., genderqueer, gender nonconforming, gender neutral) that may or may not correspond to a person’s sex assigned at birth or to a person’s primary or secondary sex characteristics. Since gender identity is internal, a person’s gender identity is not necessarily visible to others. “Affirmed gender identity” refers to a person’s gender identity after coming out as Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming or undergoing a social and/or medical transition process.
Sex (Sex assigned at birth): Sex is typically assigned at birth (or before during ultrasound) based on the appearance of external genitalia. When the external genitalia are ambiguous other indicators (e.g., internal genitalia, chromosomal and hormonal sex) are considered to assign a sex with the aim of assigning a sex that is most likely to be congruent with the child’s gender identity (MacLaughlin & Donahoe, 2004). For most people, gender identity is congruent with sex assigned at birth (see cisgender); for TGNC individuals, gender identity differs in varying degrees from sex assigned at birth.”
The American Medical Association affirms the Medical Spectrum of Gender, stating:
“The AMA will oppose efforts to deny an individual’s right to determine their stated sex marker or gender identity. “Sex and gender are more complex than previously assumed,” said AMA Board Member William E. Kobler, M.D. “It is essential to acknowledge that an individual’s gender identity may not align with the sex assigned to them at birth. A narrow limit on the definition of sex would have public health consequences for the transgender population and individuals born with differences in sexual differentiation, also known as intersex traits.”
American Medical Association, 11.13.2018, AMA Adopts New Policies at 2018 Interim Meeting,[Press Release]https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-adopts-new-policies-2018-interim-meeting
American Psychological Association. (2015). Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People. American Psychologist, 70(9), 832-864. doi.org/10.1037/a0039906
Also read more on the APA’s stance in this 2008 resolution:
Anton, B. S. (2009). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association for the legislative year 2008: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 64, 372–453. doi:10.1037/a0015932 located online at the following link: https://www.apa.org/about/policy/transgender.pdf
NCAA Office of Inclusion. (2011). NCAA Inclusion of Transgender Student Athletes. [Handbook]
Read the entire handbook here: https://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/Transgender_Handbook_2011_Final.pdf
Women’s Sports Foundation. (2016) Participation of Transgender Athletes in Women’s Sports. [Position Paper]
Read the entire position paper here: https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/advocacy/participation-transgender-athletes/