Oklahoma is requiring student athletes to sign ‘biological sex affidavits’

The policy comes in the wake of a law prohibiting trans youth from playing on the sports team that matches their gender

In the wake of the passage of a law barring trans youth from participating on sports teams in alignment with their gender, Oklahoma schools are now requiring “biological sex affidavits” from student athletes. 

On August 3, news of the affidavit policy’s implementation at one school district spread on Twitter after Erin Matson, executive director with abortion rights group Reproaction, shared a photo of an affidavit from Woodall Public School in Talequah, Oklahoma. 

“This has nothing to do with encouraging girls to be athletes,” Matson said in a tweet accompanying the photo. “This is totalitarianism. It is the white nationalist agenda. The anti-LGBTQ2s+ agenda. The anti-abortion agenda. It is all the same agenda.”

Under the Save Women’s Sports Act, signed into law in March, Oklahoma schools are required to implement the affidavits beginning with the upcoming school year. The affidavit requires the lawful parent or guardian of a student (or the student themself, if they are over 18) to certify the student’s legally listed sex, along with a notary’s signature. A new affidavit must be signed at the beginning of each school year. Several other school districts besides Woodall have begun to implement the forms, with local station KOAM first noting their presence in early July.  

Local advocates have spoken out against the policy, criticizing conservative legislators for singling out trans youth. “We’re furious that any student has to encounter the invasive gender oath paperwork now required by our legislators and our governor in order to maybe access sports at public schools in Oklahoma,” said Nicole McAfee, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, in a statement to Xtra

“We’re furious that any student has to encounter the invasive gender oath paperwork now required.”

McAfee noted that in legislative sessions, lawmakers suggested it was “absurd” to question the affidavit provision. “They said the paperwork wouldn’t be any different from what schools already require. It wasn’t true in theory and it isn’t true in practice.”

The sports ban, signed into law by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt in March, prohibits trans student athletes at public schools and colleges from competing on the sports team that matches their gender. Currently 17 other states have passed similar legislation—including Florida, Arizona, Idaho and Indiana, according to the Movement Advancement Project. Thus far, Oklahoma is the only one of these states to require a signed affidavit. 

 

Oklahoma legislators haven’t just targeted trans youth in sports this session—in April, Gov. Stitt signed a law that now prohibits “X” gender markers on birth certificates, the first of its kind to be implemented in the U.S. And in May, Stitt signed another law that prevents trans students from using the bathroom in alignment with their lived gender. 

Oliver Haug

Contributing editor Oliver Haug (they/them) is a freelance writer based in the Bay Area, California. Their work focuses on LGBTQ2S+ issues and sexual politics, and has appeared in Bitch, them, Ms and elsewhere.

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