Decorated Trans Athlete Testifies Against Bill Banning Men in Women’s Sports: ‘I Didn’t Join to Dominate’

A trans high jumper who has dominated female competitors since joining the girls team in high school told New Hampshire state legislators that it is not about “being better than anyone else.”

Kearsarge Regional High School sophomore Maelle Jacques spoke before the state Education Committee regarding SB 375, a bill that would ban students from participating in sports based on their preferred gender identity.

On Thursday’s show, Megyn was joined by Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal, hosts of Blocked and Reported, to discuss Jacques testimony and what it means for women’s sports in the state.

[Editor’s NoteYou can learn more about Megyn’s position on preferred pronouns here.]

Trans Athlete Testifies

This is not the first time Jacques has made headlines. The 16 year old, who was born male, started transitioning in sixth grade and has competed on the Kearsarge girls’ team since entering high school. 

Megyn covered the decorated athlete earlier this year after he won the girls’ high jump competition at the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 state championship. The victory came with a new record, as Jacques’ 5-feet 2-inch jump was a full inch higher than any other girl. It would not, however, have landed him on the podium in the boys’ division (the lowest boys’ jump was 5 feet 8 inches).

Earlier this week, Jacques appeared before members of the New Hampshire state House to testify against the proposed legislation that would prevent trans girls from competing with girls. The track and field star claimed to have been “welcomed” onto the female team and never intended to be such a “dominating” force:

JACQUES: I’m here to testify in opposition of SB 375. Throughout my entire life, sports have been an integral part of my belonging, playing, playing soccer since the age of three. 

When I began my transition in the sixth grade, my school welcomed me onto the girls team. This act of being able to be a part of the teams I belonged to allowed me to skip through the phase of social ostracization as the other girls accepted me for who I was… Being part of the team allowed me to be seen as normal, where everywhere else I could be perceived as a pariah. 

I didn’t join sports with the goal of dominating competition or being better than anyone else… I joined because it’s something I’m passionate about and enjoy. 

If banned from sports teams and locker rooms, joining the male teams wouldn’t even be a choice for me with the bullying and threats I’d receive, let alone the mental anguish I’d go through being forced to be someone I’m not.

Megyn said she and Jacques could agree on one thing. “Yeah, you feel uncomfortable when you’re forced to share a locker room with men,” she said. “That’s how women feel, too.”

The Proposed Legislation

Following the testimony of Jacques and others, the Education Committee voted 19 to 1 to kill SB 375 (a.k.a. the Protection of Women’s Sports Act). “It’s a disappointing result in New Hampshire,” Megyn said. 

The bill, which passed the state Senate earlier this month, would have mandated secondary and collegiate sports teams be explicitly categorized based on the biological sex of the athletes. Additionally, it sought to prohibit biological males (as determined by the sex listed on their official birth certificate) from entering female-designated bathrooms and locker rooms.

Another bill, HB 1205, passed the House in March and is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Education Committee later this month. It similarly prevents students who were born male from competing in female athletics, but it does not include language about women-only spaces. 

In the meantime, Megyn said it was safe to assume Jacques would continue dominating. “He’s competed in seven meets this year and he’s earned six first place finishes for the high jump,” she concluded. “I’m sure he doesn’t want that ability to go away and, sadly, I don’t think it will because they voted against the ban.”

You can check out Megyn’s interview with Herzog and Singal by tuning in to episode 775 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.