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Trans Athletes Bravely Paving the Way 

Trans athletes competing in high school sports
Caucasian female athlete preparing for a workout in a gym locker room

I played soccer in high school. I was the goalie for my team. Nothing spectacular, but we were decent.  I loved competition. So, let’s talk about competition and the way cis gendered parents are defining “fair competition.”

We’ve all heard the arguments. None of them make any real logical sense. What we are actually seeing is anti-trans bias masked as justice with cries of “what about the children.” Listen, the children will be fine. Have them run more laps, lift more weights, eat more carbs. Teach them that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Don’t teach them that trans people are one gender masquerading as another just to get a college scholarship. Think about how that might play out.

Picture this, A boy named Andy decides he can’t quite cut it in boys sports. So…he starts wearing girls’ clothes. He starts seeing a therapist. He convinces said therapist that he thinks that he’s a girl. He starts taking hormones. He then starts competing in girls’ sports. He attends school as a girl, high school, as a girl…he endures bullying, bias, hatred, and is ostracized (because we all know he will). He wins a scholarship to college where he must continue the charade until…he graduates? Then he throws off his pencil skirt at graduation and goes back to living as a man? Is that what people think is going on here?

The people who oppose inclusion argue that transgender athletes have a natural upper hand over cis girls because they were born a boy. For instance, in Connecticut a group of girls who run track filed a federal discrimination complaint because statewide policy allowed transgender girl athletes to compete.The girls allege that by placing first in several races the transgender athlete denied them rightfully earned college scholarships. On the international stage, the International Association of Athletics Federations ruled that Caster Semenya would have to take hormones to lower the amount of testosterone her body naturally produces if she ever wishes to compete in the Olympic games again.  Although not born male, Caster has been harshly judged since she entered the track and field world because her biological make up and presentation is unlike a traditional cis gendered woman and cis gendered female athletes are upset about her success. 

there is very little scientific or anecdotal evidence to support the claim that transgendered athletes are doing anything to fundamentally change the sports world.

Now, back to my days in high school playing soccer. I didn’t start playing soccer until I was in high school and I was on a team with people who had been playing since they were toddlers. Additionally, they went to summer training sessions and some even had personal coaches. Some of us had all organic food diets. Some of us had ex professional soccer players as coaches some of us had a random team dad as a coach.

There are many factors that go into student athletes in today’s sports world. Rarely does one simply walk onto a sports field and start playing well. Additionally, no one is OWED a win, first place, or a scholarship just because they show up, work hard, and have the “right” sex organs. These are lessons we are supposed to learn during our earliest days of competition. Would these cis-gendered girls be making these same complaints against girls who came from a region of the world that just happened to all be genetically gifted with height and speed? For instance, entire scientific studies have been based on how Michael Phelps’ genetic make-up created what many have claimed is the absolutely perfect swimmer to ever swim in the history of the world.  Is it unfair that I was born to Jamaican hobbits one of whom can’t swim at ALL? What if I wanted to be a world-famous swimmer? Would I be justified in suing all the tall people with long torsos because I can’t swim as fast as them no matter how hard I practiced? 

This, to me, is the same logic cis gendered people are using when they try to exclude trans and non-gender conforming athletes from competing in sports. There is no evidence to even suggest these athletes have any greater advantages. In fact, because trans people often take hormones to lower their testosterone levels,  like NCAA athletes who are required to take testosterone lowering hormones for a year before they are allowed to compete, many athletes perform at a lower level than their peers.  For all of the terror, hysteria, worry, and general stereotyping surrounding trans athletes, there is very little scientific or anecdotal evidence to support the claim that transgendered athletes are doing anything to fundamentally change the sports world. What they are doing is forcing us to deal with our transphobia and bias towards children. When did we lose our collective compassion?  I think we all need to take a collective step back, some deep breathes, and decide how we want to act during this moment in history. When future non-gendered free generations look back on us…what will they say? 

What do you think?

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  1. I feel that trans women athletes can’t win. Literally. If they win ppls say it’s unfair. Ppl only want them if they ain’t GNA win. Which, if Ur an athlete, kinda sux. N I’m guessin that if trans men win then cis men might not like it. But I saw a post somewhere bout a trans woman hurdle jumper who came first n cuz she wasn’t so successful prior to transitioning (Wen competing w/ men) they immediately assume w zero knowledge of da sport or anything, dat it unfair. With Caster Dementia it’s disgusting. If she had presented femme then she’d b fine. But jealous hater competitors, cus of her looks, filed a complaint..and scientists know that testosterone really isn’t this huge single thing that causes maleness or strength. She was born a woman, raised a woman, lived a woman her entire life. Put up with sh#t her entire life for being gay and stud. She shud b celebrated and wud b if she presented femme. It’s limiting wat a woman can b. Maybe the entire construct of sport is messed up, iono but last I heard Caster still fighting. No way shud she b forced to take hormones. Might b dangerous too. I can’t remember the science or much else.. but at the time in news articles it was pretty definite that Makin her take testosterone was unscientific plus very discriminatory. I’m happy that her country supports her in fighting the b.s.

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