ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A non-profit organization that regulates high school sports and activities recently changed its by-laws when it comes to transgender athletes.
Previously, schools would have allowed an athlete to participate on the girls or boys sports teams based on a physical examination by a doctor.
Now, based on a change made earlier this month, the New Mexico Activities Association will allow students to participate in sports based on the gender listed on their birth certificate or amended birth certificate.
"We think athletics and activities are good for all kids, and so we're always going to go with it's good for all kids … be it transgender male, be it transgender female," said Sally Marquez, NMAA executive director.
In order to amend a birth certificate, a student would have to have medical records or a letter from a doctor who performed the sexual reassignment surgery. And that means the change probably won't be helpful to most high school transgender kids because they are usually a long way from going through the process of physically changing their sex.
New Mexico has never had to confront the issue of a transgender high school student playing sports.
However, Damian Garcia, a transgender student who was a senior at St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque last year, said he believes the new rule doesn't go far enough.
"That (birth certificate) doesn't really say who you are," Garcia said. "It's just like a document saying what you are. If you're a boy and you want to play on the boy's team, you should be allowed to."
Still, members of the NMAA were concerned that a physically developed male who wanted to play female sports would have an unfair advantage.
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