Rebekah in the ACLU video “Meet the girl who lawmakers want to ban from playing sports”. (YouTube/Human Rights Campaign)
A 14-year-old girl who plays field hockey at school has told lawmakers considering anti-trans bills that she just wants to play sports with her friends.
In a three-minute Human Rights Campaign video, Rebekah says sports are simply “something that I really like doing”.
“I’m so much more than trans. That doesn’t make me less of a girl, doesn’t make me less of a human, either. I’m just me!” she says.
The video has been published in response to a Republican-led “legislative boom” that has seen at least 25 states introduce over 60 bills targeting transgender children, the most common being bans on trans girls and women competing in sports. More than 50 anti-trans bills across 30 states are attempting to ban trans girls and women from playing on female sports teams.
More anti-trans bills have been introduced in the first three months of 2021 than in any other year so far – and it’s no accident, legal advocates have warned. Many of them target trans girls just like Rebekah.
In the video, Rebekah plays hockey with three of her team mates.
She has been “playing field hockey for four years now,” she smiles, explaining: “The concept is so fun because like, you get to have a stick and you get to hit a ball with it.”
“I also really love the people I’m always surrounded with and the community that I create,” she says. “It’s such a tight-knit group.”
The video shows her arm in arm and hugging her friends. “When we’re on the field, my teammates, they just see me as me,” Rebekah says. “They see me as a teammate who they’re going to play with, who they’re going to win with, who they’re going to lose with, and just someone who they will work with together.”
Rebekah is a bright student who finds school easy, according to her mum, Jamie.
“Rebekah’s really good at a lot of things,” Jamie says in the video. “She aces her schoolwork with very little effort. She’s great in music and theater. She doesn’t have to try really hard. And so sports are this place where she does have to work hard. She learns a lot from not being the best, and from really having to commit to get better at something.”
But if trans girls are banned from girls sports teams – as is being proposed in dozens of US states – Rebekah will simply stop playing.