Isabel Goldman, thank you so much for this important piece. You've highlighted so many universals here - ones that even transcend sports and speak to the larger problem of misogyny in America (which I believe is the root cause of all transphobia to begin with).
Thank you for also speaking to the point that trans people are not impersonating women to commit crimes. Any notion that they are is preposterous, yet it's the myth that just won't die. It's a battle we fought here in NC in 2016 with the unfortunate passing of House Bill 2, aka HB2 (the extreme, discriminatory "bathroom bill"). Sure, HB2 got repealed, but it also got replaced - something we fought against happening; it just needed to be repealed, not replaced. At any rate, we now have HB142, which isn't any better at all.
Plenty of people here in NC who supported HB2 seemed to frequently say things like, "we know it's not the trans women committing crimes, the problem is the cisgender men who will take advantage of the situation, dressing "as women" to commit sexual assault crimes.”
I wonder if anyone who spouts that nonsense has really thought it through...? Because it's completely illogical. It doesn't take an advanced psychology degree to know or understand the profile of these type of criminal offenders (who are typically white, cisgender, and heterosexual), and the notion that cis men will "dress up" in order to "take advantage" of the situation just doesn't fit here.
The type of men who commit sexual assault crimes against women, especially in risky places (like public bathrooms/changing facilities, etc.) usually have a deep-seated hatred of women to begin with. They also frequently have a streak of narcissism or other antisocial personality disorder, and lots of ego/male pride. "Dressing up" in women's clothes to GO OUT IN PUBLIC that way, even if it is a means to their desired outcome, is not a level that these men would consider stooping to. First and foremost, they'd be way too embarrassed - even if they were in a totally different location where the risk of being discovered was highly unlikely.
Anyway. Playing dress up just doesn't fit the criminal profile of men committing these specific crimes. Might they steal and later wear clothing items of their victims? Yes, absolutely. But never outwardly in public.
Thanks again for adding your voice to GftT! I look forward to reading much more of your work!