Changing the Game | Chicago Reader
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Changing the Game

In recent years, the “moral” panic surrounding trans athletes has ballooned out of control. But the problem with the never-ending conversation about trans athletes has never been trans people—it’s the fact that we are constantly spoken over and invalidated by, at best, well-meaning cis people and, at worst, reactionary pundits and legislators. Changing the Game deviates from this repetitive and often unproductive cycle by giving trans athletes the mic and letting them speak for themselves. Director Michael Barnett follows three high school athletes—all accounting for different experiences with gender identity, race, location, and their chosen sport—and how they navigate an antiquated and binary sports world that puts all of its athletes at risk. Changing the Game makes a point to not put these teens on a pedestal for existing in a transphobic world. Instead, the film thoughtfully takes the audience into the fullness of their lives in addition to exposing the structural problems they face every day and busting myths used to discredit trans athletes. During a time when anti-trans bills are becoming law at an increasingly rapid rate—specifically in regards to high school athletes—documentaries like Changing the Game are more important than ever.

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