A fluorescent yellow softball sails out of the in-field, toward woods that border Ponaganset High School in Scituate. The left fielder runs forward and catches the ball. This is home field for Ponaganset’s Lady Chieftains. Turns out, the team is not all ladies.
Justin Bonoyer is an outfielder for the Lady Chieftains. There’s a lot evolving in the life of this 16-year-old with a shock of bleached blonde hair. Until a few weeks ago, coaches knew Justin Bonoyer as Elise Bonoyer:
“I’m a guy, it’s the same thing as if a guy who’s not trans went and played on a girls’ softball team,” said Bonoyer.
Well, sort of. There are separate rules for trans-gender athletes. Rules so different from state to state that some athletes like those in Rhode Island can try out for any team they choose while in other states they need full sex reassignment surgery before they sign up.
After bathrooms -- locker rooms and fields may be the next transgender cultural battleground for young people. And how courts interpret title nine may be the deciding factor.