Co-chair testifies against anti-trans bills


Senator Carney, Representative Harnett and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary, my name is Jake Kulaw and I live in South Portland. I am writing to testify in opposition of LD 926 and LD 1401 because these bills would exclude transgender girls from participating in and playing in any interscholastic sport in all Maine public schools and universities, including intramural sports. When we tell transgender girls and women that they can’t play girls sports, it sends the message that they don’t belong.


This bill mirrors efforts in other states to ban trans girls from participating in school sports and once again puts the humanity of transgender people up for public debate. This must not move forward as it is an attack on the very existence of transgender girls and women. Laws targeting transgender girls violate the US constitution and Title IX. It will also override sport governing bodies. Furthermore, this bill attempts to politicize transgender people’s lives. Maine transgender youth should not be used to advance hatred, fear and bigotry.


This bill is bad for all Mainers. There was a decision that everyone is welcome and should have equal opportunity to contribute and lead successful lives. In 2014 Maine’s Supreme Court affirmed the right to equal educational access for transgender girls in schools.


On a personal note, I was assigned female at birth. When I was in high school I was on the Boys track team as there was no Girls track team at that time. I not only made the team, I also competed with other boys on my team and in my state. I earned a starting spot, beating out some of my male teammates. Why? Not because of my gender but perhaps due to the fact that I worked hard and have a greater number of fast twitch fibers. As a high school person who was assigned female at birth I competed and beat boys in competition. Please stop making the assumption that males are inherently better or stronger than females. This is highly insulting to women and girls. Thank you for your time. Again, I strongly oppose the passage of LD 926 and LD 1401. They are fear based and centered around hatred and bigotry. All Mainers, including out transgender athletes deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I stand in solidarity with our transgender community.


Sincerely, Jake Kulaw


Jake Kulaw is a co-chair of the Maine Green Independent Party, serving through 2022.