Readers Write: Blakeman takes low road on transgender athletes

Readers Write: Blakeman takes low road on transgender athletes

This week Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman issued an executive order banning transgender athletes from competing in events aligning with their gender identity at county-run facilities. Let’s be clear: This is a cynical ploy by Blakeman to score political points and incite local controversy by exploiting a red meat issue.

While the subject of trans athletes has become a polarizing one nationally, I implore our residents to avoid taking Blakeman’s bait. Instead, we should engage in discussion of this issue with respect, civility and sensitivity to our trans neighbors and their families who deserve to feel safe, welcomed and valued in our county.

I understand that this is not an easy issue. And I appreciate that concerns on both sides of this debate touch on differing notions of what constitutes fairness. With that said, we must be mindful that this legislation will affect trans youth in school and on sports teams who will be listening to and internalizing the rhetoric and tone we use.

As a lifelong resident of Nassau County who is also a member of the LGBTQ community, I know how truly accepting and tolerant our residents are. I believe we are uniquely capable of setting a positive example of discourse for the rest of the nation that avoids the divisive pitfalls and cynical politics of grievance that Bruce Blakeman is attempting to leverage to his advantage.

Brad Schwartz

Candidate for New York State Senate: District 7

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