One girls volleyball coach in Hawaii is standing up to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association's (HHSAA) policy allowing male students to participate in female sporting activities so long as they self-identify as the opposite gender.
According to LifeSiteNews, the HHSAA adopted a policy in 2017 declaring that students are "presumed eligible to participate in HHSAA activities in a manner consistent with their school registration records, even if that differs from the sex assigned at birth." Earlier this month, that policy culminated in a biological suiting up for the Kamehameha Schools Maui girls team at the volleyball opener in Pukalani. Though most officials associated with the HHSAA either supported the student's inclusion or declined to comment on it, one girls volleyball coach — who wished to remain anonymous — told Maui News said the league puts young women at an "elevated level of risk."
"In my opinion, it's very irresponsible for the league to place these young women, who are minors, in an elevated level of risk," the coach said. "They all sign off on an assumption of risk form for an understandable amount of risk. Now, there's an elevated level of risk their daughters are going through and being put through without any notification to the parents at all."
The coach added that he takes no issue with the boy wanting to be whom he wishes and only cares about the girls' safety. "I have no problem with the kid being who (they) want to be, but now these girls are being put in an unsafe situation without giving the parents the opportunity to make an educated decision on whether they want their daughter in that position," he said.
Other athletic officials were less honest about the boy suiting up for an all-female game, which he did not play this time around.
"I'm not going to say anything about our transgender athlete," Kamehameha Maui athletic director Jon Viela told Maui News.
HHSAA executive director Chris Chun, who wrote the policy, said that it is not fully fleshed out yet to make any comment about its implementation.
"I don't feel comfortable getting into specifics or a specific sport, but safety is always a concern and competitive advantage is also a concern," he said. "Even though we have a policy, it's kind of like a guideline. It's still in its early, early transition stages."
Tiare Sua, a man presenting himself as a woman and who works at the Maui AIDS Foundation, told Maui News that it's ultimately sexist to believe that men are inherently stronger than women.
"I feel that females are stronger than men think," said Sua. "I don't like to degrade women as thinking that they are weaker than men."
The debate over transgenderism has become increasingly difficult and more toxic in 2019. Just last week, MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing even went as far as to denounce a doctor's declaration that only two genders exist as "incendiary."
"We've got an important question now," Jansing said. "What does it mean to be a mainstream Republican? It is the question that some Republicans have been asking in the age of Donald Trump, and increasingly, it seems the answer might be to make incendiary comments about women and members of the LGBT community. In Louisiana, the Republican candidate for governor, Ralph Abraham, is out with a new TV ad this week making incendiary comments about gender."
Ralph Abraham, a doctor, simply said, "I can assure you there are only two genders."