True colors, shining through


“You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged...
...the darkness inside you
can make you feel so small”

I had my seven-year-old looking me in the eye with tears this week, telling me that her tummy hurt and she didn’t feel that she could go to school.

Mind you, this is my daughter who has received perfect attendance awards in the past. For her to miss school, I knew something was wrong.

Imagine your child crying to you every day, telling you that the outside that he/she was born with simply doesn’t feel right.

Speaking with a long-time friend, she relayed the story of her son, who has done exactly that since he was six or seven years old. He’s always felt that he was supposed to be a girl.

His parents allowed him to make the decision how he approached things, and he chose to live as a boy through school, in large part because transitioning from a male to a female is something that has similar risk profiles regardless of the age you begin treatments.

Even if you progress all the way through puberty (admittedly information taken from his mother, not researched independently).

From what this friend explained, a young girl with similar feelings could have a more difficult decision as stopping the body from developing fully through puberty if the decision had been fully made would be the safest way to ensure the least risk. That’s why it would be advantageous for a girl who had made that choice to begin testosterone treatments at an age that would have her transitioning in her early- to mid-teens.

“I see your true colors
...so don’t be afraid to let them show”

Gov. Noem unveiled two things over the course of four days recently. First, she chose to veto House Bill 1217 through a “style and form” veto that removed any of the bill’s provisions for performance enhancing drugs along with changing plenty of the language in the bill, though it’s not likely going to be any more palatable to opponents that attempted to park the bill in Senate committee in the first place with the language changes.

For one thing, the young girl who knows she should be a boy?

She would be using testosterone to aid in her future transition, which would potentially give her significantly more strength than her competitors if she were forced to compete in sports based on the gender on her birth certificate.

While the focus has been notably on males by birth playing female sports, females using hormones to become male but forced to play female sports would certainly have an advantage that would be opposite the original bill’s intentions, even with those who were on the edge and voted for the bill reluctantly.

So if the bill won’t pass with the changes, why did Noem make the changes?

Simple. Money.

Representatives from multiple organizations throughout the state informed the governor that signing the bill would mean no more Summit League basketball tournament games at the Pentagon, many concerts lost to venues across the state, and other potential lost revenue that could cost the state millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs. Most importantly, those losing money were people who have funded Republican candidates very well in the state in the past.

So, Monday, to double down on the issue, Gov. Noem brought in two former NFL players to represent a new policy she titled “Defend Title IX Now,” meant to ensure trans-women/girls were not permitted to play in female sports.

Now, one of those players, Jack Brewer, is a former college teammate of mine, and the fact that the Securities and Exchange Commission is suing him for insider trading and is also investigating his consulting firm for creating an environment that “encourages investment fraud” is only a side note right now.

The reason Brewer and Herschel Walker were brought on board would seem to be their experience as former NFL athletes until you consider that even the most staunch Title IX defenders realize that college football is the one sport that most endangers Title IX long-term.

The final line of the initiative showed the true intentions of what Noem was proposing, stating that she reportedly hopes to gather enough states to ensure that anything that South Dakota (or another partner state) would do legislatively could not be “punished” by the NCAA. Nevermind that the NCAA choosing to host a game in any venue is a private business decision, and no initiative could force them to hold a tournament in Sioux Falls, no matter how many states Noem got signed onto her platform. Ask North Carolina how that worked out for them.

“True colors are shining through
I see your true colors.”

The REAL reason that Brewer and Walker were the athletes that were selected to be the faces of this policy by the Governor is that Brewer and Walker both are frequent guests  of the former president in Mar-a-Lago, both having visited within the last two weeks.

Noem has frequently denied future national political ambitions, but she took plenty of heat Friday from national conservatives for her veto, and, apparently, the response to save her face nationally was to bring in two disciples from her mentor’s handpicked minions to promote her latest public program, including mentioning them both when speaking with Fox News Monday evening.

I can’t for a minute begin to understand the feelings that have permeated my friend’s son since he was a little boy.

I cannot fathom the idea of feeling out of place in my own skin. I can tell you that his plight should not be a political token point to accelerate anyone’s future Senate/White House ambitions.

So, to that young man (until he chooses to be seen otherwise) and all those in his shoes:

“If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there.”

(All quotes/lyrics taken from Cyndi Lauper's 'True Colors')

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