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By Lisa Cherry

Every person in America has a right to his/her own views and beliefs. But what do we do when someone's expression of their free choice infringes on the rights, safety, or privacy of other people?

 Our local community is faced with such a controversy.

A man is permitted in our women's locker room at our local university.  And as we understand it, he is not a man pursuing a sex change surgery, but rather a man who considers himself gender exploring and therefore protected by anti-gender orientation discrimination laws.

Several of us in our area want to make an appropriate Godly response to this situation, but this is very difficult for the following reasons:

1. In this case, minors were traumatized which is totally inappropriate and unacceptable, and potentially illegal. It has been suggested by some who are knowledgeable about this case that if we challenge the rule on the basis of it involving minors, the university will likely ban minors from the facility. Further, they claim college-age students are adults and "should be able to handle it." But our point is that no one should be handling this!

2. Many people I have talked with are outraged and genuinely alarmed but they are afraid to speak up.

3. If we make a big deal about it now, it will likely hit the news which could cause more people to attempt to claim the law and enter the bathrooms. Right now, I think it is fairly unknown. Could knowing there is protection for all those who claim gender as a first amendment right cause sex offenders to try a new access method? How are the police protecting us from this? 

4. But if we don't somehow rally for changes, this law interpretation appears to apply even to our churches and community buildings. (Any lawyers out there to clarify this? I know of one church that was sued on this type claim.)

5. Transsexual used to mean sex change therapy and hormones. Now it appears, to have morphed into new terms that are not well understood by the public. Transgender and Queer and Questioning. Check out these definitions from GLAAD Media Reference Guide:

Transgender An umbrella term (adj.) for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers and other gender-variant people. Transgender people may identify as female-to-male (FTM) or male-to-female (MTF). Use the descriptive term (transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, FTM or MTF) preferred by the individual. Transgender people may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically.

Transsexual (also Transexual) An older term which originated in the medical and psychological communities. While some transsexual people still prefer to use the term to describe themselves, many transgender people prefer the term transgender to transsexual. Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term, as many transgender people do not identify as transsexual. It is best to ask which term an indi­vidual prefers.

6. The LGBTQ has threatened small business owners in other parts of the country who have opposed their "rights." Click here and here. Who among us wants their name on the frontline of an organized effort?

7. College students and even many adults have now been brainwashed to believe it is their right under the First Amendment, to question the gender that  is "assigned" to them at birth, and to express their preferred “gender identity.”  So waiting for the young girls or the guys on campus to speak out and complain is pointless because it is probably not going to happen.

8. This is a serious issue for us all. The issue is not limited to one man in our university bathroom. And the efforts we use now to clarify the issues may determine our future.

9.  How do we know that sexually perverted people will not hide behind this law and approach our children in bathrooms and changing areas all over our nation? With the loose definition of transgender and queer, why couldn't any student try entering the facility on a dare? Or maybe a predator could get in to take a peep?

10. At least the Olympics and other sporting associations have put some definitions on this, but what about us in the general public? We are being pressed further every day. Is there any sort of regulating system in place to "certify" one's gender? Yes. It's called a birth certificate. But apparently we don't use them anymore! Who is going to decide this? The mentally ill? The sexually deviant? The predators?

11. Are we now as parents okay with Queer grade school teachers?   Or Transgender day care workers?   Or Cross-dressing nurses?  Or Gender transitioning youth workers?

Parents, this issue is laced with many confusing concepts. Our kids will need help understanding as they are being taught terms like "gender assignment" and "sexual orientation discovery." I was meeting with a mom in Canada last weekend whose young teen had been confused and hurt by those who came to her middle school to teach her such things.

Our gender is to be celebrated as a gift from God. 

Gender expression is not a "first amendment right" as our world wants to term it.

I will continue to seek the Lord's direction for how to respond here in my hometown. And please send your suggestions for me if you would!

My heart hurts for the confusion and pain unleashed in this issue. But I am confident our God will give us the grace, love and strength to lead our children.

Image source: Jenni C “Empty Locker Room 2” Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

locker room 5399600012_e53843b5f3 

By Lisa Cherry

The transgender bathroom debate landed in my lap in a way that has me extremely uncomfortable.

A few weeks ago, I received a troubling message from a fellow frontline mom friend of mine. It seems our local university rec center has made a major policy shift.  They had announced to the public in August that they were building transgender changing rooms to accommodate our very vocal LGBTQ population. But last week we found out there was more changes in the air.

A group of high school girls from the local swim team made a shocking discovery as they exited the showers one evening. A male was sharing their private space!

The swim team girls involved wasted no time in expressing to the university staff their feelings of embarrassment and violation. And the staff's initial response was one of concern. But that mood rapidly changed.

Come to find out this man had been given permission by the university to be in the shower area. He, as a frequent visitor to the rec center, claimed to be uncomfortable using the men's locker room since he does not personally believe he has a gender.  He says he is “exploring his gender.” Even though he clearly has male body parts, he prefers to wear makeup and dress like a woman. And even after the university provided a new transgender locker room and shower facility, he felt discriminated against by not being allowed to enter the women's locker room.

The parents complained about the incident and a meeting was called with the university staff.   The rec center personnel said that there was nothing they would be able to do about the situation. The parents would need to "recognize the change in the times" and make the adjustment. And if they did not like the policy, the university would refund their rec center fee if the children quit the team.

My friend who told me the story knew I too would be concerned. Not only have I written the book Unmask the Predators, I have young athletes who use the building also.

This event has shaken me. For honestly, I do not know what we can now do!

The university claims there is a new federal law that makes this gender queer/questioning within this man’s legal rights. They say a new regulation went into effect in July of this year. 

I am no legal expert, but from what I have found, this is not a new law, but a new interpretation of  older laws.  Laws that prohibit discrimination based on sex are now being interpreted as also protecting “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”   Please see the following links:

United States Reaches Agreement with Arcadia, California, School District to Resolve Sex Discrimination Allegations

Know Your Rights - Transgender People and the Law

INTERIM GUIDANCE REGARDING TRANSGENDER STUDENTS, PRIVACY, AND FACILITIES

Federal Officials Protect Transgender Student Against Discrimination

When my son Lucas competed in the athletic department of this same university, he was advised in his required Diversity in Sports class that he could compete as a woman! ....if he had a sex change and two years of hormone therapy!  So I know this belief system has permeated deeply within our university and even into our community.

Tomorrow we're going to talk about seven reasons why it's hard to figure out what to do.

Image source: Jenni C “Empty Locker Room 2” Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

 

 

School bus 6324834284_a1a0dba917By Lisa Cherry

Sodomy hazing…some have called it normal, run-of-the-mill behavior

Perhaps boys will be boys, wouldn’t you agree?  

I didn’t think so. 

But parents, you need to know this: Acceptance of this perverse act is gaining ground.

I was absolutely outraged at this story about a 13 year old western Colorado boy and his family. The young athlete, a son of the school principal, was "hazed" in a shocking criminal act.  

The perpetrators, who were upper classmen, cornered their victim on a school bus after others had exited the bus at a wrestling tournament.

When the horrified father worked to protect his son, he was met with a coach who said "This happens 1,000 times a day around the U.S." 

The school superintendent gave the perpetrators a one-day, in-school suspension.

The community rose to defend not the victim, but the ones who attacked him.  He was teased repeatedly. One mother paid for T-shirts with a slogan using the initials of the suspects.

Angry that the father had reported the crime to the police, parents demanded he resign his position as principal.

This is outlandish!  Blaming the victim? Treating a brutal, perverse act as if it were a childish prank? Ostracizing a family for reporting dangerous, illegal behaviors?

We could just conclude it is an isolated incident of one mean-spirited community. But I don't think that is the explanation.

On the same day that I read that awful story, a mom contacted me who had faced a similar bullying problem.  Her 14 year old daughter had been sexually attacked by a 20 year old man who had been seen hanging around school events.

The school officials said the sexual encounter was "pretty normal" and accused the mother of being over protective. Her daughter was displaying severe symptoms of post-abuse trauma.  And the daughter’s friends were bullying her for reporting the crime!

Parents, I think we are entering a new season of escalated danger. As sexual perversion has been "normalized," we are losing our ability to protect our own kids!

Here are three suggestions we, as parents, need to consider.

1. Parents MUST speak up! Take this story to your school officials and ask: What safeguards are in place to prevent this from happening in our school? Is "hazing" normal here?

2. Talk with your kids' coaches. Explain your concerns about this incident and ask the same question. What are their views on "normal" team teasing/bullying behaviors?

3. Recognize the danger. Pray for wisdom of how to safeguard your child's participation in activities.

What other suggestions would you have for your fellow Frontline Parents?

Will you join me in praying for the two families I mentioned above.....and for the thousands of others their stories represent?

(If you have not read our book, Unmask the Predators, we encourage you to get a copy. Parents are the best defenders of children and teens!)

Gratefully linked to    Mommy Momments  Modest Mondays   The Better Mom

0223131533.jpgBy Lisa Cherry

Last weekend my two high school age runners had a big home indoor meet
. It was fun to watch their siblings and grandparents fill the stands.

However, one problem. Dad couldn't be there. As their chief coach and fan, he hated to miss it. But with our crazy traveling tour schedule, he had commitments in San Antonio.

So he did the next best thing. FaceTime!  (Hint for those who need it: This is like Skype on a phone.)

My kids have still not lived it down!
Their coach and team members were incredulous. But through all the teasing, the message was clear. As many of the other students did not have anyone to cheer them on, dad’s love and commitment made a big statement.


The moral.....use technology to our advantage, not just to our harm!

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Gratefully linked to:Legacy Leaver    Faith Filled Friday

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It’s Family Fun Friday at Frontline Moms.

We have a tradition here at Frontline Moms.  We spend so much of the week unmasking and frontlining and aiming for the remnant, that we need a little dose of Family Fun come Friday!

So, we are inviting you to share in the fun and tell us what fun you've been up to with your family.  My co-host for this link-up is my daughter Tara at Mommy Head Adventures.  Don't miss her fun post about her birthday baking adventure!

Please leave a comment or link up your Family Fun blog post for all of us to see. Just make sure it’s family friendly, and fun.  Then check back to see what fun other families have commented or posted about.

What kind of fun?

  • Fun crafts
  • Fun kid recipes
  • Fun family outings
  • Fun mom games, or
  • Funny stories about your family

We hope you will share our fun button which you can find on the sidebar.

If you're reading this by email, just click here, scroll down to the comments form, and join in the fun.


running shoes 948893_-run-_4By Lisa Cherry

I still chuckle when I think of the time when Nathan was little, and he told someone that I had lettered in college in tennis.

Me, Miss I-cannot-hit-any-kind-of-ball-anywhere, always the last one picked on every team. A collegiate athlete?

What ever gave him such an outlandish notion? All I did in college was take a beginner tennis class to fulfill the P.E. requirement.

I finally attributed his error to the problem of kid worldview. Since all the relatives on Daddy’s side of the family were born athletes, he just assumed everyone was able to compete.

Even to this day, I wonder what God was thinking when he paired Doug and me up.

In His mercy, he gave Doug's genes dominance in this area, as we have raised a household of runners and players.

And somehow it doesn't seem to alarm them that mom is a klutz.

But that doesn’t mean I give up all forms of physical activity. It just means mine are mom-style.

So recently when I was out on the road near our house and the serious runners drove in from their early morning three-mile training run with their team, I could not resist a little fun.

As competitors, they are always looking to drop their best time.

So I shouted to them.... Hey guys, great news! I dropped my mile time down by 5 minutes.

The gasp in the car was audible. O wow mom that's great, they said.

I got it down to 20 minutes! Was my retort. 20 minutes did not compute with their 5 to 7 minute mile paradigm.

But score one for mom for at least attempting to run on their turf. Pun intended.

Linking up to Big Family Friday