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Nationwide, transgender athletes are blurring the once-distinct lines between male and female in public-school sports programs that, for the most part, remain segregated by sex. One California seventh-grader is blurring the lines even further.
Junior White, who recently turned 13, is biologically male. From the start of basketball season until February, White played for his school’s boys’ squad and used boys’ restrooms and locker rooms. Then he asked for permission to use girls’ facilities but also said he identified as “gender fluid,” meaning sometimes he thinks of himself as a girl and sometimes as a boy. White currently considers himself a transgender female, according to his father, Matt.
The Antelope School District in Red Bluff gave White permission to use his school’s girls’ facilities but told him he could no longer compete on male-only athletic teams. When he complained, LGBT-friendly media rallied around White and publicized a Twitter campaign, #ISTANDWITH34—a reference to White’s jersey number. White and his friends showed up at games holding signs demanding that the district let him rejoin the boys’ basketball team.
California law requires that public schools let students compete for athletic teams and use facilities consistent with their gender identity. The law does not require that students’ choice of teams match what locker room they use.
White is 5-foot-7 and weighs 145 pounds, according to his father: “His body is built more like a man’s than a child’s,” Matt White said. “That’s all there is to it.”
White is also a standout football player who was already attracting national attention for his abilities on the gridiron before his flap with the Antelope School District made national news. According to Matt, Junior can bench-press 225 pounds and dead-lift 420.
Should Junior White compete against girls in basketball or other sports, his physical strength and aggressiveness could endanger biologically female competitors: “Let’s say he’s going for the ball in a basketball game and going as fast as he can,” Matt said. “Because he’s bigger, stronger and more toned, he’s gonna put everybody in a bad spot.”
Matt isn’t just referring to the athletes on the court but the backlash his family could face for letting Junior be out there: “If my child collides with a girl who’s, like, 80 pounds—a petite little thing—some angry person is going to believe he shouldn’t be out there. … [The girl’s] father is going to get upset, and he has every right to.”
Safety for the unborn
Chris Maragos, who plays free safety for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, is the heir apparent to veteran tight end Benjamin Watson as the NFL’s pre-eminent pro-life activist.
Maragos is involved with AlphaCare, a pregnancy help center that shares a wall with Kermit Gosnell’s now-closed abortion business. Last year he participated in a charity kickball tournament to raise money for a mobile unit that travels around Philadelphia providing free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and social services to women in need. Maragos is also vocal about pro-life issues related to AlphaCare’s mission—namely, providing support for women who otherwise might choose abortion because they feel abandoned by their families and their unborn children’s fathers.
Maragos and his wife Serah admire AlphaCare’s Christ-centered approach: He says, “Each mother with doubt in her heart … needs us, she needs Jesus, to rally around her, to soothe her pain and lift her spirits. She needs to know that she is not alone.”—R.H.