Des Moines, IOWA – On Thursday, Feb. 10, at the Iowa Capitol, several courageous young women testified before an Iowa House education subcommittee, supporting a proposed bill to reserve girls’ sports in Iowa for biological and genetic females.
The bill is one of many proposed by states nationwide, as biological males who assert themselves as transgender have begun competing in women’s high school and collegiate athletics.
In several high-profile cases, like Penn swimmer Lia Thomas, transgender athletes have skyrocketed to the top ranks of female athletes, winning championships and smashing records along the way, leaving genetically female athletes far behind.
Ainsley Erzen, a Carlisle High School senior and national track champion at 800 meters, opened the testimony by revealing how much pressure she’s been under to remain silent about biological males competing against girls in her sport.
Nonetheless, she testified, “I refuse to live in a world where little girls like my sisters have records, titles, and scholarships robbed from them by biologically male individuals. … At the end of the day, we compete with our bodies, not our self-proclaimed identities.”
“So here I am, one girl, though scared, standing alone to speak out for the many,” she concluded, “because I know the consequences of silence and submission are far scarier than any speech I have to give, any article I have to write, any crowd I have to face, or any hate I will inevitably receive. Today, I encourage each and every one of you to find the courage within yourselves to protect every little girl that’s ever dared to work hard and dream big. Our futures are in your hands. Remember that.”
Others on Thursday, however, did not leave Erzen to stand alone.
12-year-old wrestler Poppy Malone, Kathryn Kueter of Concerned Women for America, and The FAMiLY Leader’s Rebekah Oleson, among others, joined Erzen in calling on legislators to preserve girls’ sports for girls.
Watch video excerpts of their testimony below: