Trans champion high jumper claims joining men’s team wouldn’t even be a choice because of mental anguish

In a heartfelt testimony before the House Education Committee, 16-year-old Mayel Jacques shared her personal struggles and urged lawmakers to reject a bill that would ban her from participating on the girls’ sports team.

Jacques, a sophomore from Newbury, has been an avid soccer player since the age of three and credits her school’s acceptance with saving her from social ostracization during her transition.

Speaking against SB 375, Jacques explained that she didn’t join the girls’ team to dominate competition or gain an unfair advantage. “I joined because it’s something I’m passionate about and enjoy,” she emphasized. “No one would go through the bullying and self-hatred of transition purely to win a sport, especially women’s sports, which are underappreciated in our nation.”

Jacques’ testimony shed light on why she chose to participate in women’s sports. “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’ve received, let alone the mental anguish I’d go through being forced to be someone I’m not,” she said.

When questioned by Representative Woodcock about her experiences with other teams, Jacques revealed that she has never faced any negative reactions from opponents or coaches. “Never, all the other teams have been very supportive,” she assured the committee. “The only problems I’ve received are from outside parties, like media sources and whatnot.”

Jacques’ words struck a chord with advocates for transgender rights, who argue that legislation like SB 375 would unfairly target and discriminate against transgender athletes.

“Being part of the team allowed me to be seen as normal wherever else I could be perceived as a pariah,” Jacques said. “I didn’t join sports to dominate competition or be better than anyone else. I joined because it’s something I’m passionate about and enjoy.”