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Peabody Award-winner Trey Kay brings us stories exploring all sides of the cultural issues that too often divide us.

The Right To Compete

Right to Compete

More than a dozen states have new laws banning transgender girls and women from competing on girl's and women's sports teams. Recently, three states have limited medical care or treatment that supports gender affirming therapy.

On this episode of Us & Them, the battle over gender and sports. We’ll hear from transgender athletes who say they want to be who they truly are as they compete on the playing field.

We’ll hear West Virginia State Sen. Patricia Rucker who says the new laws are not anti-trans, but rather designed to protect girls and women from unfair competition playing against transgender athletes.

A federal judge has temporarily blocked West Virginia’s transgender sports ban but at least one national organization says it wants to extend the ban to any team that receives federal funding.

This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the West Virginia Humanities Council, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and the CRC Foundation.

Subscribe to Us & Them on Apple Podcasts, NPR One, RadioPublic, Spotify, Stitcher and beyond.

Taylor Edelmann
Trey Kay
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Taylor Edelmann was a transgender athlete when he was a student at SUNY Purchase. He played from 2009 to 2013. At first, Taylor competed on the women’s volleyball team. Then, he transitioned to the men's squad.
Taylor Edelmann Newspaper Clipping
Trey Kay
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Newspaper clipping of Taylor Edelmann has a high school volleyball standout.
Taylor Edelmann and Trey Kay
Trey Kay
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Taylor Edelmann speaks with Us & Them host Trey Kay in the home where he grew up.
Senate Education Chair Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson. Jan. 15, 2019.
Will Price, WV Legislative Photography
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WV Legislative Photography
Patricia Rucker is a State Senator for West Virginia’s 16th District. She co-sponsored a bill in 2021 that is now law in West Virginia. It bans transgender girls from playing on girls sports teams. Specifically, it limits girls sports to individuals “whose biological sex determined at birth is female.” The law applies to public school and collegiate athletes.
Terry Schilling
Trey Kay
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Terry Schilling is president of American Principles Project. He says they work to pass laws that “protect and strengthen families, and protect the innocence of children.” Schilling says American Principles Project has a SuperPAC that runs campaign ads for and against candidates based on their record for “protecting or hurting families.” Schilling believes there is a transgender agenda — which he calls “transgenderism” — and he believes that it’s hurting American families.
Erica Smith Practices Field Hockey
Trey Kay
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Erica Smith and her field hockey and lacrosse teammate Ashley Maggiora are going through a summer workout.
Erica and Ashley - Summer Workout
Trey Kay
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Erica Smith and her Sweet Briar College field hockey and lacrosse teammate Ashley Maggiora are going through their summer workout.
Erica and Ashley in the Bleachers
Trey Kay
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Erica Smith and Ashley Maggiora take a break after practicing lacrosse passing.

Host of Us & Them/Independent Producer, tkay@wvpublic.org, @Trey_Kay

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