NYSAISAA Gender Inclusion Statement
Each NYSAIS school is expected to create and promote a safe, inclusive, equitable, and just independent school environment for all members of its educational community. The New York State Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association recognizes the value of participation in interscholastic sports for all student athletes. The NYSAISAA is committed to providing all students with the opportunity to participate in NYSAISAA activities in a manner consistent with their gender identity. NYSAIS seeks to provide students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function. The prohibition against discrimination includes discrimination based on a student’s actual or perceived sex and gender. Gender includes a person’s actual sex as well as gender identity and expression.
For the purposes of these guidelines, the following definitions will apply:
- Assigned Sex at Birth: The sex designation, usually male or female, assigned to a person when they are born.
- Cisgender (pronounced / sis-gender/): An adjective to describe a person whose gender identity is congruent with (or “matches”) the biological sex they were assigned at birth. (Some people abbreviate this as “cis”).
- Gender Binary: The notion that there are only two genders; male and female. The gender binary is often considered to be limiting and problematic for those who do not fit neatly into the either/or category.
- Gender Expression: The manner in which a person represents or expresses gender to others, often through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, activities, voice, or mannerisms. All people express a gender.
- Gender Identity: A person’s deep-seated, internal sense of who they are as a gendered being – specifically, the gender with which they identify themselves. This includes a person’s gender-related appearance or behavior which may differ from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or behavior assigned sex at birth. All people have a gender identity.
- Gender non-conforming: A term used to describe people whose gender expression differs from stereotypic expectations. The term “gender variant” or “gender atypical” are also used. Gender non-conforming individuals may identify as male, female, some combination of both, or neither. Gender non-conformity is often inaccurately confused with sexual orientation.
- Medical Transition: A long-term series of medical interventions that utilizes hormonal treatments and/or surgical interventions to change a person’s body to be more congruent with their gender identity.
- Pronouns: Pronouns can be used that reflect and affirm one's gender identity. A student might use one or more sets of pronouns. Examples include she/her, he/his, they/them, ze/zir"
- Sex Assigned at Birth: The determination of a person’s sex based on the visual appearance of the genitals at birth; The sex someone is labeled at birth.
- Sexual Orientation: A person’s sexual orientation and sexual attraction to other people based on the gender of the other person. Sexual orientation is not the same as gender identity. Not all transgender youth identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, and not all gay, lesbian and bisexual youth display gender non-conforming characteristics. All people have a sexual orientation that is separate from their biological sex, gender identity, and gender expression.
- Social Transition: A transgender person’s process of creating a life that is congruent with their gender identity, which often includes asking others to use a name, pronoun, or gender that is more congruent with their gender identity. It may also involve a person changing their gender expression to match their gender identity.
- Transgender: An adjective describing a person whose assigned sex at birth does not correspond to their gender identity. “Transgender” serves as an umbrella term to refer to the full range and diversity of identities within the transgender communities because it is currently the most widely used and recognized term.
- Transition: The process in which a person goes from living and identifying as one gender to living and identifying as another. This may include, but does not always imply, social and medical transitions.
- The student or the parent(s)/guardian shall notify the Head of School, the Athletic Director, or the appropriate school administrator that the student would like the opportunity to participate in NYSAISAA athletics consistent with the gender with which the student identifies.
- The Athletic Director will notify other competing schools only if any accommodations are needed for student-athlete privacy or safety. All NYSAIS schools must provide the necessary accommodations.
- Once a student has determined which team to participate on that corresponds to the student’s gender identity at the start of the season, the student must remain with that team for the duration of the season and may make a change at the start of the next season should circumstances warrant such a change.
- As sports in NYSAISAA competition are arranged by gender, a non-binary student has the opportunity to play on the team where the student feels the most comfortable. The student in this case is choosing the sport/team to participate on and NOT making a gender identification statement.
- As per NYSAISAA regulations, students are only able to compete in one sport during the course of the school year calendar.
- All members of the School’s athletic department should receive information about transgender identities, non-discrimination policies, the use of pronouns and chosen names, and expectations for creating a respectful school and team climate for all students, including transgender students.