In a fit of sanity yesterday, the Legislature’s interim committee on the South Dakota High School Activities Association declared itself pointless and refused to recommend either of the draft bills proposed by conservatives to razz transgender students.
This interim committee came into being because the SDHSAA enacted a sensible policy last year laying out a clear approval process for transgender students to join the sports teams that match their gender identity. SDHSAA is still tweaking that policy, but culture-warrior Republicans want to strip SDHSAA of its school-district-based authority and make transgender kids drop their pants for genital inspection. (Good grief, the things some Republicans make me write.)
Rep. Roger Hunt (R-25/Brandon) captures the angst of a dying generation in one despairing cry:
“We’re just changing our whole culture. This is one step in that direction,” Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon, said about allowing the SDHSAA policy to stay in place [Bob Mercer, “Legislative Panel Lets Athlete Transgender Policy Rest,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2015.10.30].
For once, Roger Hunt is right. Yes, Roger, we are changing our culture. In your South Dakota, people who look and think like you set the standards and bully those who don’t fit. In our South Dakota, a kid with a girl brain in a boy body gets to choose her pronouns, her bathroom, and her basketball team. In our (our, as in all of us) South Dakota, we won’t call that kid a misfit; we’ll call her a South Dakotan and say, “Play ball!”
Yes, Roger, we are changing our culture… for the better.