Photo by Jakarta Post
Story By Khyri Stewart
The transgender world is still incomprehensible to many, a concept far too complex for those who do not share the same gender orientation. As society continues to warm up to a “Gender Fluid” mentality that millions of Americans advocate so hard to help the world understand, it has also sparked major controversy, especially within the sports universe.
Gender Identity is a touchy subject, but a topic that should be discussed more. It’s the only way it can be properly understood to ease or eliminate the social stigma. As transgender people fight for their basic civil liberties, more countries are recognizing their rights, according to the Global commission on HIV and the Law. Countries such as Denmark and Argentina have taken progressive approaches toward gender recognition, including India’s equal access opportunities, which allows transgender people and those classified as third-gender, equal access to education, healthcare, and unemployment, and protection from discrimination.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the United States, trailing far behind in the progression race, and lately it seems even more unattainable. Throughout the country, approximately 35 bills have been introduced by state legislators that would prohibit or limit transgender women from competing in women’s athletics, according to the LGBTQ rights group Freedom for All Americans.
The reason this action is becoming more prominent is the concern that transgender women have an unfair advantage over Cisgender women, which is a term used for those who identify with the sex assigned at birth. Consequently, young female transgender students are now suffering from the backlash. Earlier this week, escalation in other states continued to occur, as Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed into law the “Mississippi Fairness Act”. The law prohibits schools from allowing young transgender female students to compete in female sports, for reasons that critics may believe target transgender women not based on scientific evidence but more so because they appear different from the rest. From an objective standpoint, humanity usually fears what they don’t understand, but it doesn’t give us the right to improperly punish or discriminate against a community that deserves to be treated equally.
On the flip side, it’s hard not to level with those who oppose the integration of both transgender and Cisgender female in competition with reasons that are completely logical. Knowing that men have an advantage in performance in athletics of about 10% to 12% over women, due to the male hormone called Testosterone, it makes it difficult not to believe that there’s an unfair advantage.
Indeed, the science surrounding trans athletes is extremely premature but would the circumstances be the same if science proved otherwise, in other words, if scientists could prove that testosterone didn’t matter in all of this, would society allow it to transpire? Sadly, the youth have to pay the price and deal with these trickling insensitivities when in reality all children should be worried about is building healthy individual goals, while developing a sense of self through sports. WHO DID HE SAY THIS TO? DID YOU INTERVIEW HIM? Dr. Eric Vilain, a pediatrician and geneticist who specializes in sex differences in athletes states, “It shouldn’t be about crushing the competition but if we want to make it this way then the rules still need to be equal.”
A solution for this, perhaps, may be to explore alternatives that won’t completely outcast transgender athletes from competing, instead, create a world where transgender athletes can feel the same rush that everyone else feels when in competition without anyone humiliating their nature and essence.