13-Year-Old Sues Ron DeSantis Over Transgender Girls Sports Ban Day Before Law Takes Effect

A 13-year-old transgender girl has sued Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over a law that prevents her from competing in girls sports at public schools on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

The girl, identified as D.N. in the lawsuit, has been playing on a girls soccer team since she was 7, but as of Thursday she will no longer be allowed to.

The suit stated, "Depriving her of these opportunities will have a long-term impact on her future. It also will create a sense of shame and diminish her positive sense of self, which can have lifelong consequences." The suit also said the new law "also sends a message to D.N.'s current and future teammates that there is something wrong with her."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

'Protect Trans Students' Signs
L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, Oct. 24, 2018 in New York City. The group gathered to speak out against the Trump administration's stance toward transgender people. Last week, The New York Times reported on an unreleased administration memo that proposes a strict biological definition of gender based on a person's genitalia at birth. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Participating in sports has given her leadership skills and provided her a social network and support system, according to the lawsuit filed on her behalf by the Human Rights Campaign in a federal court in Fort Lauderdale. The girl also planned to try out for a high school volleyball team.

DeSantis signed the bill on June 1, the first day of Pride Month. The bill requires anyone participating in girls athletics to have an original birth certificate that states they are female.

"Ron DeSantis made a conscious choice to sign an anti-LGBTQ bill on the very first day that we are celebrating Pride," said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "DeSantis decided to take that day to attack the community. It was not lost on us that he did that as political theater, but this bill that he signed has real-world negative implications for transgender people in Florida."

DeSantis's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

When he signed the "Fairness in Women's Sports Act" at a Christian school surrounded by student athletes, DeSantis was asked why he was doing so on the first day of Pride Month.

"It's not a message to anything other than saying we're going to protect fairness in women's sports. We believe that it's important to have integrity in the competition and we think it's important that they can compete in a level playing field," DeSantis replied.

D.N. began taking hormone blockers to stop testosterone when she was 11 and began receiving estrogen this year, according to the lawsuit. It said because of the treatments, she has no competitive advantage because of her sex assigned at birth.

"If D.N. does not have the option to play girls' sports in high school and college, she will not be able to play sports at all and will lose the benefits of being part of the team network that has supported her emotionally and psychologically," the lawsuit said. "She may be isolated and face emotional and mental confusion and emotional distress during this critical period of her social and psychological development."

Trans and Gay Pride Flag Christopher Park
The view of a Transgender Flag in between two Pride Flags at Christopher Park Saturday in New York City. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, this year's pride march had to be canceled over health concerns. The annual event, which sees millions of attendees, marks its 50th anniversary since the first march following the Stonewall Inn riots. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images