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Transgender teen excluded from boy’s golf team, family files lawsuit against Tennessee

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 10:17 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 10:18 AM CST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray News) – The mother of a transgender teen has filed a lawsuit against the state of Tennessee, their school board and state leaders for excluding her child from the boy’s golf team.

WVLT reports Shelley Esquivel explained her 14-year-old son, Luc, was born a girl. She said at a young age, Luc expressed that he identified as being a boy.

“He’s just like any other ninth-grade boy. His room is a disaster, he spends his time playing video games with his friends, and he loves boba tea,” Esquivel said.

Esquivel said Luc came alive playing golf. He had been practicing in hopes of trying out for the Farragut High School boy’s golf team.

“I could see his eyes light up and really listen to what the coach had to say,” Esquivel said.

In March of 2021, a state law went into effect that requires a student to compete based on the gender listed on their birth certificate in order to participate in middle school and high school sports.

“He could try out for the girl’s team, but he’d feel awkward, that’s not the team he belongs on,” Esquivel explained.

The family is now suing state and local officials with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to WVLT.

In the lawsuit, the ACLU lawyers argue that not letting Luc play on the boy’s team could cause harm to Luc’s mental health.

Luc and his family understand it could take time before a decision in the lawsuit is made. He said he’s doing this for kids like him now and in the future.

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