RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Critics say a new Virginia policy on transgender high school athletes is too restrictive because it applies only to students who have undergone formal sex-reassignment surgery. The Virginia High School League announced Wednesday it would allow transgender student-athletes to compete on teams opposite of their birth gender, provided their sex-reassignment surgery has minimized “gender-related advantages in sports competition.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the policy would have minimal impact because the surgery is typically performed on adults. Minors need parental consent, and it’s a medical expense usually not covered by insurance. The surgery involves the removal of external sex organs and ovaries or testes and hormonal therapy.
Advocates for gay, lesbian and transgender students say the policy is little more than symbolic, but a good first step.