Contribution to Book
The scholarship regarding sexual orientation and gender identity in sports is twofold. First, many articles address the discrimination that LGBT athletes face in sports, particularly intercollegiate and professional. Second, the scholarship addresses a growing movement to allow transgender children to play sports with the gender that they identify with, not the gender that is on their birth certificate.
Athletes have faced discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation in many ways. Some intercollegiate athletes have been effectively forced off of the team for their sexuality. While this raises a Title IX flag, religions institutions are able to receive an exemption under Title IX. In the professional world of sports, few athletes are openly homosexual; most remain closeted until retirement. The professional sports arena has traditionally been hostile to LGBTQ athletes with some players stating that they would be uncomfortable sharing a locker room with a gay teammate. The scholarship seems to indicate, however, that there is growing acceptance of LGBT athletes.
More recent scholarship has focused on the issue of transgender students seeking to play sports. Athletes seek to play alongside teammates who share the same gender identity, even if that is not the same-sex category. Critics allege that players of a different sex will give a competitive advantage This is a growing movement, and scholars argue against the critics and instead that inclusive policies that allow transgender children to play as the gender they identify with is the appropriate resolution, and it will have the most benefit not only for the child, but also for the team and the community.
Rebecca A. Mattson, LGBTQ Athletes and Discrimination in Sport, in Sexual Orientation, Gender Identities, and the Law: A Research Bibliography, 2006-2016 (Dana Neacsu and David Brian Hold, eds., 2018).