A person holds an Inclusive Rainbow flag Thu., May 26, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; A person holds an Inclusive Rainbow flag as about 50 protesters gather outside the Ohio Statehouse as lawmakers debate two bills aimed at health care rights. One bill is HB 454, which would ban gender-affirming health care, such as gender reassignment surgery or the prescription of hormone blockers for people who are transgender. The other is HB 480, which would ban performing abortions. Both bills are currently in committee. Mandatory Credit: Joshua A. Bickel/Columbus Dispatch News Health Bills Protest

There’s been a lot of messaging in certain political circles around whether or not it’s fair for transgender female athletes to compete against other girls and women.

It looks like that messaging is getting through to the people of Ohio.

According to a Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network poll, a majority of the state’s population does not think that transgender girls should be able to compete against other girls in high school sports.

According to the poll, 70 percent of those who responded said they disagree with letting transgender girls on hormones play on female teams. 21 percent of those polled supported transgender athletes and 9 percent were undecided.

That poll seems to mirror national sentiment on the issue as well. A Gallup poll in June showed results that the same number of Americans believe that students should only compete with athletes of their gender at birth.

While Ohio Republicans overwhelmingly felt that transgender athletes should not compete against their chosen gender, Ohio Democrats were split, with 45% supporting transgender athletes and 40% opposing their participation.

While much of the conversation on the issue has come from conservative and Republican sources, LGTBQ groups says that a lack of education around the issue is leading to people making bad assumptions.

“I think the idea people oppose is someone could show up and just pick another team. That’s not how our policy works,” Equality Ohio Policy Director Maria Bruno said. “I think most people you talk to and have longer conversations with, want to know more about the science and safety. And when you do that, people are really inclusive.”

Right now, the Ohio High School Athletic Association requires transgender girls to be on hormone therapy and submit regular blood tests that confirm their testosterone levels are below a certain amount in order to compete in sports.

Ohio Republicans have made strong pushes against the transgender community in recent months as this has become the lynchpin culture war issue for the upcoming election.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.