The outcry against Texas Governor Gregg Abbott’s executive order that directs law enforcement officials to investigate gender affirming medical treatments for transgender youths as a crime has grown loud and intense, with many demanding LGTBQ organizations condemn the order through significant action not just words.
In an op-ed posted to SB Nation’s Outsports.com on Tuesday, March 1, Brittney Miller — 11-year veteran of the Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) and manager of the Puget Sound Pronouns — called for the 2022 event to be removed from Dallas and held in another city.
Citing the fact that the GSWS has an “economic impact” of $5 to 7 million, Miller stated the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) should find a new host city in a different state to support the transgender community.
Miller called the executive order cruel and explained how it criminalizes the mere existence of transgender people, but her most severe criticisms were reserved for NAGAAA itself.
The organization, which Miller stated is one of the “largest governing bodies of queer athletes in America,” has yet to release a statement on the issue, a decision Miller believes is indicative of how the organization views its transgender members.
“NAGAAA’s failure to release even a milquetoast statement shows we [the transgender community] are an afterthought to them,” she wrote. “If the trans community can’t count on them to stand up to bullies in the face of cruelty and intolerance, who can we count on?”
She explained that the “wait and see” approach NAGAAA seems to be employing with the executive order should be abandoned, immediately. When a state government uses its overwhelming power to criminalize gender-affirming care for transgender people, Miller emphasized that patiently waiting on that government to enforce that new standard is not the correct response.
“This must be the line for [NAGAAA],” she wrote. “If not here, where? How much harm against the trans community can they ignore? They should wield their considerable power as the national governing body of thousands of LGBTQIA+ athletes to send messages to the power structures that legislate our rights away.
“A wait-and-see approach has led us to this very moment. That approach is not defensible.”
Her op-ed featured statements from four transgender players about their understanding of the situation. Each of their comments revolved around a similar viewpoint: Abbott’s executive order will cause immediate harm — perhaps even kill — transgender people and the NAGAAA’s lack of action is disheartening and shows how “little they care about” their transgender members.
Miller noted that some may advocate for a protest during the event rather than fully withdrawing from Dallas, but, for Miller, that is still not enough.
“Some will argue that we should go to Dallas and wave the flag proudly, but that means roughly 250 softball teams, each with around 15 players, many with plus-ones, will be spending their money,” she wrote. “Wave the flag all you want, but in the end, monsters like Abbott would laugh at us on the pile of money we pour into his state during the GSWS.”
If the NAGAAA leadership fails to take action, and if the Puget Sound Pronouns (Miller’s team) qualifies for GSWS, Miller said she would not attend nor would their coach, Sara Fetters.
“It’s unfortunate for LGBTQIA+ businesses in Dallas that would benefit from the World Series, but their bottom lines are not more important than trans rights,” Miller wrote.
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