Target: Steve Yaeger, Vice President Marketing and Public Relations at the Star Tribune
Goal: Stop the publication of transphobic ads against student athletes
The guidelines regarding Title IX were recently updated by the U.S. Department of Education to include protections for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a much-needed step towards equality; however, one group, Child Protection League Action (CPLA) based in Minnesota, has been publishing transphobic ads in response. These inflammatory ads claiming that trans women are a threat to cisgender women perpetuate false stereotypes and assumptions about transgender people that seek to scare rather than to inform.
The latest ad suggest that trans women will take the place of cisgender women on school sports teams. The headline reads ‘The End of Girls’ Sports?’ and continues, ‘Her dream of a scholarship shattered, your 14-year-old daughter just lost her position on an all-girls team to a male.’ Another suggests that, ‘A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU OK with that?’ These ads mis-gender people, wrongfully referring to trans women as ‘male.’ One also suggests that trans people are sexual predators, which is a common and hateful piece of misinformation that is often directed at trans women in particular.
In actuality, the proposed new policy states that female-to-male transgender students who have started testosterone treatments cannot play on all-female teams because this would give them a distinct advantage over females who are not using male hormones. Male-to-female students, however, must prove that they have started testosterone suppression therapy so that they do not have an advantage over students who were born female. When possible, school districts would be required to provide private showers and changing rooms to those who want them. It would also protect transgender athletes by making it illegal to disclose their anatomical gender.
These changes are needed to ensure that trans students can participate in school sports just like everyone else. The ad campaigns by CLPA attempt to stop this much-needed change. They are not based in factual information, and are using scare tactics to undermine this positive step towards equality.
Dear Mr. Yaeger,
Stop publishing transphobic ads by CLPA, which spread misinformation and level transphobic claims at individuals who want to participate in school athletic programs. Scare tactics used in the ads promote transphobic notions that people who are trans are trying to fool the public and harm their cisgender peers. The ads are harmful to students who are trans and imply that they are not truly members of their identified gender, which is false. These lies must stop being propagated.
Your newspaper has a responsibility to run content that is factual and fair, not hateful. The CLPA is creating ads that promote transphobia, and should not be featured in your publication. Support the trans community by refusing to run future content generated by this organization.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: LongLiveRock via Wikimedia Commons