The father of the injured girl shared his account of the incident with Reduxx, a news outlet, under the pseudonym 'Luis' to protect his family from potential backlash.
The incident occurred in October during a match at Half Moon Bay High School. According to Reduxx, the biological male player on the girls' team was Aaron Lester, the child of California musician John Lester and social justice activist Lisa Phelan.
Luis shared his daughter's passion for volleyball, stating, "My daughter has been involved in volleyball since she was in 4th grade. She has always been a kid with her eye on the prize." He recounted her dedication to the sport, from practicing in their backyard to eventually becoming a Team Captain at her school.
During the match, Luis noticed that one of the Half Moon Bay players was significantly stronger than the other girls. He described his initial confusion, saying, "From a distance, it seemed like a boy dressed in a girl’s volleyball uniform." After confirming with his wife that there was indeed a biological male on the opposing team, Luis expressed his frustration, stating, "I told my wife that this was not fair. I felt frustrated that, in an indirect way, I was now supporting someone’s gender confusion."
The situation escalated when Luis's daughter was injured during the game. He described the moment, saying, "I had missed the actual hit, but felt the weight of everyone staring at me, including the opposing team." His daughter was subsequently diagnosed with a concussion and was unable to play for the rest of her senior year.
Luis voiced his concerns to school officials but was told that nothing could be done to prevent biological male players from competing against girls. He expressed his dilemma, saying, "If I say something out loud, will my kid be ostracized at school? If I don’t say anything, will I be silently accepting boys playing against girls at schools?"
Luis empathized with Aaron Lester, acknowledging the challenges faced by individuals who do not identify with their biological gender. However, he questioned the extent to which empathy should override the safety of other players, stating, "But at what point does someone’s gender dysphoria cross the empathy boundary? In my case when my daughter was injured."
This incident highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the inclusion of transgender athletes in sports, particularly when it comes to biological males competing in female categories. While advocates argue for inclusivity and respect for gender identity, critics raise concerns about fairness and safety, particularly in contact sports.
As this incident illustrates, the issue is complex and fraught with emotion, impacting not only the athletes involved but also their families and communities.