Breaking News
More () »

Family of transgender girl anxiously awaits decision on controversial sports ban bill

At 3 years old, their son had transitioned to a girl. Now, she's a 9-year-old third-grader who plays soccer, volleyball and roller derby.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Nathaniel Clawson said it didn't take long to learn his second child, baby Kirin, may have been born a boy. But it has never been who Kirin really was.

Clawson remembers a moment when Kirin was 3 years old.

"Kirin mentioned a part of her body and said, 'Mom, dad, I don't think I should have this part,'" Clawson recalled. "'I don't like it very much.'"

The Clawsons soon visited their pediatrician.

"The pediatrician told us, 'It seems like gender dysphoria,'" Clawson said. "And so this isn't a case of 'mom and dad doing whatever the kid says.' This is a critical life event happened that really caught our attention and we went and asked for help."

By 3-and-a-half, Kirin had transitioned to a girl. Today she's 9 years old, a third-grader, and an athlete. She plays soccer, volleyball, and is involved in roller derby.

Credit: Clawson family

That's why the Clawsons are celebrating Governor Eric Holcomb's decision to veto a bill that would've banned Kirin and other transgender girls from playing on girls sports teams at school.

RELATED: Holcomb vetoes trans girls sports ban, says the bill 'falls short'

RELATED: Indiana House Speaker says GOP will override governor's veto of trans girls sports ban

"There were happy tears shed. There was dancing and when I told Kirin. she squealed with glee," Clawson said.

They know it probably won't last long.

So far, at least 10 other states have passed similar bans and Indiana lawmakers have the votes to override the governor's veto.

Supporters say bans are needed to ensure fair play in girls sports. They don't want athletes who were born male to be able to compete on female teams because they say biological males would have an unfair advantage.

"My daughter will never go through male puberty," Clawson countered.

He said Kirin will undergo hormone therapy to make her no different than any other girl.

"She will not have any of the muscle mass, the bone density that people are worried about."

Beyond that, he said athletics for children should be more about building a team and learning life lessons with friends than fierce competition.

"My wife basically has said — and I agree with her — that my kid's mental health is more important than your kid's trophy," he said.

Before You Leave, Check This Out