NEW YORK, July 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Just weeks ahead of the global summer games, Lambda Legal, Campbell Ewald, and other national partners are launching a new campaign to celebrate transgender athletes and fight the wave of discriminatory bills sweeping state legislatures seeking to ban trans athletes from participating in sports. The Stack the Deck Against Hate campaign is shredding stacks of hateful anti-trans legislation and recycling them into sports trading cards that celebrate and honor trans athletes across the country. This action sends a powerful message to trans athletes: You are seen and valued, and you will never be legislated out of existence.
“Stack the Deck Against Hate comes at a crucial moment as transgender and non-binary athletes and students across the country are being attacked by legislators seeking to further degrade and ultimately erase them,” said Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings. “This campaign will send a strong and important message to trans athletes across the country: You are valued and will never be legislated out of existence.”
Stack the Deck Against Hate will feature four renowned transgender athletes as part of the campaign’s launch, which will include raffling off a limited number of trading card decks to those who donate at StackTheDeckAgainstHate.org. The proceeds will be directed to Lambda Legal to support its vital work: educating the public about the harmful and real-life consequences that discriminatory anti-trans sports bans have on trans youth and also fighting anti-trans legislation via its hallmark litigation and advocacy campaign strategies.
“Transgender youth play sports for the same reason as their cisgender friends: for the invaluable lessons on teamwork, discipline and leadership, and the incredible mental, physical and social benefits that sports bring,” said Hudson Taylor, Executive Director, Athlete Ally. “The Stack the Deck campaign supports access to the lifesaving power of sports, and every young person deserves a chance to thrive.”
The cards – which can be seen in a video here – feature personal stories of trans athletes as well as information about how to donate and activate change through resources provided by Lambda Legal. The athletes listed below are among those featured in the campaign’s launch:
- Mack Karam Beggs is the two-time state wrestling champion and featured in Hulu’s “Changing The Game” documentary, as well as “Mack Wrestles” on ESPN’s 30 for 30 short films.
- Fallon Fox is the first openly trans professional mixed martial artist.
- Patricio “Pat” Manuel is the first male transgender boxer in the history of the United States and five-time national amateur boxing champion and 2012 Olympic trial participant.
- Grace Siobahn McKenzie plays for the Golden Gate Women’s Rugby Football Club in San Francisco and is also their rookie and recruitment coordinator.
Stack the Deck Against Hate Campaign Emerges in Response to Anti-Trans Discrimination
With hundreds of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in state legislatures across the country, 2021 has become the worst year on record for anti-LGBTQ legislative attacks — and for transgender and non-binary people. The crisis has become unprecedented. In addition to enacting trans medical care bans and shameful bathroom bills like North Carolina’s notorious HB2, extremist legislators have also seized on attacking transgender and non-binary athletes and students via bills barring trans women and trans students from playing sports.
As of June 2021, an unprecedented seven states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, and West Virginia) have enacted these bans. Additionally, South Dakota has adopted the policy through executive order. In May, Lambda Legal — in conjunction with the ACLU and ACLU of West Virginia — filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of 11-year-old student athlete Becky Pepper-Jackson challenging West Virginia’s law, which bans girls like Becky who are transgender from participating in school sports.
The consequences of the sports bans for trans youth are devastating, which is why the nation’s leading child health and welfare groups (representing more than seven million youth-serving professionals and more than 1,000 child welfare organizations) released an open letter calling on lawmakers in states across the country to oppose these bills.
Set against this backdrop of trans students being shamelessly attacked by discriminatory, extremist legislators seeking to ban them from playing sports, and just weeks before the kickoff of the global athletic games, Lambda Legal and Campbell Ewald have partnered together. We are launching this new campaign to celebrate trans athletes by turning relics of hate into symbols of pride.
National Advocates, Industry Leaders United Behind ‘Stack the Deck Against Hate
An amazing team of talented individuals and companies have stepped forward to support this campaign, including APM Music, nonprofit LGBTQ athletic advocacy group Athlete Ally, creative agency Campbell Ewald, graphic designer Kayla Firth, Dominic Perri, holding company Interpublic Group, Max Bronner Photography, Milk Makeup, paper sponsor Millcraft, sports and entertainment agency Octagon, media agency Rapport, artist and designer Renato Dicent, print house Tepel Brothers, and gender neutral bodywear company TomboyX.
For more information about the Stack the Deck Against Hate campaign, please visit the website at StackTheDeckAgainstHate.org.
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
Quotes from the athletes included in the trading cards.
“Be a true you and become brave in all aspects of your life.” — Mack Karam Beggs (He/Him)
“My goal is always to be the best I can possibly be with the amount of time I am given.” — Fallon Fox (She/Her)
“I hope that my story will serve as inspiration to the next generation [so] that they don’t have to sacrifice who they are as a person in order to participate in the sport they love.” — Patricio “Pat” Manuel (He/Him)
“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you don’t belong. Fight for your right to take up space.” — Grace Siobhan McKenzie (She/Her/They/Them)
SOURCE Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc.