Transgender doctor speaks openly about debate over Louisiana’s transgender sports bill
The ban is “a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist” and “hurt for the sake of hurt,” physician says
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — From passage to veto and now one step closer to becoming law.
Last month, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed a ban against transgender athletes competing in organized women’s sports.
Then Louisiana senators voted 26-12 on Tuesday, July 20 to override that decision. The issue next will be considered by the state House of Representatives.
And that has many transgender advocates biting their fingernails.
“There’s something about having to be false to everyone that you know, love and care about that wears you down after a while,” Dr. Tiffany Alexis Najberg said.
Najberg, an openly transgender emergency physician, spoke openly with KSLA News 12′s Destinee Patterson about how such a ban would only further ostracize young transgender people who already struggle to fit in. Legislation like this keeps people in the box and does a lot of damage to their mental health, she said.
“Put yourself in the shoes of the people who are being legislated against. What do you think it feels like to have a legislature appear hell-bent on making something that you desperately wanted to do illegal?”
Louisiana Sen. Kirk Talbot told KSLA News 12′s sister station WVUE that a lot of people have said that Senate Bill 156 is divisive. “What’s divisive is boys playing against girls in competitive sports.”
The proposal, if lawmakers succeed in striking down the governor’s veto, would prohibit transgender athletes from playing on girls’ and women’s teams and competing against girls and women at colleges, universities and K-12 schools.
“We owe it to our women and to our young ladies who compete in sports to protect them and allow an atmosphere where they can compete,” Talbot said. “And no one’s saying that transgender athletes can’t compete. But to have transgender females competing with biological females is a problem.”
The ban is “a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist” and “hurt for the sake of hurt,” said Najberg, who played sports before transitioning.
“I was forced to play on the male team. There is nothing more uncomfortable in the place for someone like myself than the guys’ locker room.”
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