With the Olympics starting in a couple of weeks, the issue of transgender athletes will take a global stage. Despite the pageantry of the opening and closing ceremonies and the idea that different countries can put aside their differences for a few weeks to participate in games, social and political issues like transgender athletes could overshadow the hard-work and dedication of the world’s best athletes.

Laurel Hubbard will the first transgender to compete in the Olympics as a female weightlifter representing New Zealand. Current and former female weightlifters have voiced their opinions about biological males competing as females but have been told to be quiet. The Washington Post quotes Tracey Lambrechs, a former weightlifter, “I’m quite disappointed, quite disappointed for the female athlete who will lose out on that spot. We’re all about equality for women in sport, but right now that equality is being taken away from us.”

Transgender athletes have been competing in high school sports as well; track and field and softball have the most reported transgender athletes. Take Terry Miller from Connecticut. In the winter and spring of the 2017 and the winter 2018 seasons, Miller competed as a boy. However, spring 2018 Miller identified and competed as a female, going on to win the girls 100-meter dash at the spring state track meet and the 55-meter dash at the 2019 winter state meet.

Despite hormone treatments, the Journal of Medical Ethics found in 2019 that males competing as females still have an advantage over biological female athletes. As a parent of a young athlete and as a high school track coach, this is a controversial and hot-button issue. Would it be normal for a boy to compete against a girl in track and field? Would it be fair for a female batter to hit against a male pitcher in a softball game? No, it is not fair. That’s called a coed team in my books.

What do you think? Are we actually dismantling all the hard work that female athletes before us did to create Title IX by allowing biological boys to compete against biological girls? Is it right to allow biological boys to take championship titles away from biological girls?

References:

Richardson, Valerie. The Washington Times. May 9, 2021. “Olympics transgender athletes set to compete at Tokyo Games: Female athletes ‘told to be quiet’”. Olympics transgender athletes set to compete at Tokyo Games – Washington Times

Raabe, Tom. The American Spectator. July 10, 2021. “Transgenderism goes to the Olympics”. Transgenderism Goes to the Olympics | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics

TRANSATHLETE High school transgender athlete policies

Crossland, Kiley. Baptist Press. August 19, 2019. “High School Sports and Transgender Athletes.” High school sports & transgender athletes | Baptist Press

Metro Voice. February 28, 2019. “Is it fair? Transgender athletes and high school sports”. Is it fair? Transgender athletes and high school sports – Metro Voice News

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