transgender pride flag A protester holds a transgender pride flag as part of a “Protect Trans Kids rally” in Sioux Falls on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 16, 2022 in support of transgender rights. Syndication The Indianapolis Star

Ember Zelch, a transgender softball player in Ohio, says there are misconceptions about transgender athletes in sports.

And she’s not afraid to disagree with popular podcaster Joe Rogan’s take on the issue.

Reporter Pablo Torre recently hosted Zelch on his Pablo Torre Finds Out podcast. Zelch, who graduated from high school in June, played softball for a Cleveland-area school but says she struggled to meet eligibility requirements as a transgender girl.

Zelch, who came out as transgender in middle school, has spoken at the Ohio state capitol in support of transgender athletes’ rights. The Ohio house passed a bill in June that prohibits trans women and girls from participating in school sports.

As international athletic bodies, the NCAA, and high school sports teams alike wrestle with the issue of transgender athletes, Zelch said there are misconceptions about the issue.

“There were policies in place through OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association),” Zelch said. “Their policy stated that I had to be on hormone therapy for at least a year and/or I had to have a doctor say that I didn’t have a biological advantage based on sex.”

“It’s not like you show up one day and say, ‘Hey guys, I’m different now.’ And then they put you on the girls’ team,” Torre noted.

Torre then played a clip of Rogan talking about transgender athletes.

“If you gave Brock Lesnar a sex change and put him in a dress, he’s going to run through every woman who’s ever lived, in the history of women,” Rogan said, referring to the former UFC heavyweight champion.

Addressing Rogan’s comment, Zelch said, “That’s what a lot of politicians have actually told me that they’re afraid of … And I’m like, ‘Great. That’s not happening. That’s just not a thing.'”

“The thing people don’t understand is, people don’t go on this stuff (hormones) just to play sports. They go on this stuff so they fit their identity, so they can feel like themselves.”

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.