U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Supports Trans Missourians While the State Capitol Debates and Hears Anti-Trans Legislation 

Apr 12, 2023 | Newsroom

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U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Supports Trans Missourians


The team donated tickets to transgender kids and their families and players wore tape with the message “Defend Trans Joy” during the game against Ireland 


ST. LOUIS (April 12, 2023) — On Tuesday, April 11, the Missouri House held an all-out attack against transgender Missourians by first, surprisingly, bringing up House Bills 183 (a transgender athlete ban) and 419 (a transgender healthcare ban) for debate on the floor. These bills are the House versions of Senate Bills 39 (a transgender athlete ban) and 49 (a transgender healthcare ban), which were also given a public hearing in the House General Laws committee the same evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. At the same time as the committee came to order, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team had a match against Ireland in St. Louis where players wore tape with messages of support for transgender Missourians (two tweets showcasing tape with message here and here) and donated tickets to transgender families (tweet from one parent of a trans youth) as a clear sign to state legislators they stand with the transgender community. This showing is not the first time the women’s national team showed its support; in fact, on February 16, 2023, the team also wore tape with the same message (see February official tweet). PROMO, Missouri’s LGBTQ+ public policy and advocacy organization, brought over 60 Missourians who opposed both pieces of legislation comprised of parents of trans youth, trans athletes, doctors, social workers, educators, and business leaders.

The debate on the House floor began around 2:30 p.m. and ran until 6 p.m. when the House called the previous question and passed both HB 183 and 419. Testimony for the Senate bills in the General Laws committee ran until after 10 p.m. SB 39 had no supporters present for the bill to testify. After hearing from only four testifiers, testimony for SB 49 was cut short leaving many of those who traveled and waited hours to defend themselves, family members, and loved ones angry and upset.

In an op-ed published in the Springfield News-Leader in February, the district home paper of bill sponsor Senator Mike Moon, Becky Sauerbrunn, a Missouri native, Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA World Cup champion, said this about transgender athletes playing in women’s sports:

“I’m Becky Sauerbrunn, Olympic gold medalist and two-time FIFA World Cup champion. Since I started playing soccer, I’ve faced countless challenges to gender equity in sport, from pay disparity to unsafe working conditions. I can assure you that playing with or against transgender women and girls is not a threat to women’s sports.” She continued, “The bills don’t consider any of the actual challenges to women and girls in sport. The proposed ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ does nothing to protect or support girls and women in sports. If those putting forth this legislation actually listened to the needs and concerns of women in sports, they would outline clear steps to protect women and girls from the rampant sexual assault and harassment plaguing sports — issues we’ve been fighting in the NWSL… Instead, they’re pushing kids away from the life-changing power of sports, forever depriving them of the invaluable lessons sport teaches, and the best friends they would find on their teams.”

Below is a description of both Senate and House bills that were discussed yesterday:

  • Senate Bill 39 — A ban on transgender athletes from kindergarten through college in public, private, and charter schools from participating in team sports. Additionally, it would revoke 100% of a Missouri college’s state funding if they allow transgender athletes to participate in sports. 
  • Senate Bill 49 — A ban on transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming care. Those children who are not already on a medical care plan will be banned from accessing puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy for four years. Those already on puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapies can continue.
  • House Bill 183 — A ban on all Missouri transgender athletes, identical to SB 39, from being able to play school sports aged kindergarten through college.
  • House Bill 419 — A ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth, similar to SB 49, but without a legacy clause forcing kids to detransition and without including a sunset essentially putting no end to the duration of harm this bill would cause.



PROMO is Missouri’s LGBTQ+ policy and advocacy organization that confronts systemic inequities to liberate the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination and oppression. For more information, visit PROMOonline.org.