The debate goes on and the issue of trans athletes will be around for quite some time if one reflects on recent events and current controversy around Laurel Hubbard being the first openly trans athlete to compete at the Olympic Games this year. So one may agree or disagree with trans athletes competing at the top level of sport however this may all soon change with “The International Olympic Committee” (Ref. 1) set to “announce new rules governing trans participation after the Tokyo Games” (Ref. 1) and no one knows which way they will go on this issue yet.
Their is mere speculation at the moment around this and “Some commentators have speculated that transgender access to the Olympics will be at least maintained, if not expanded, but trans athletes are less sure.” (Ref .1), which begs the question which way will they go. Whatever they decide it will have huge implications for not only future Olympics but sport worldwide especially if the inclusion of trans athletes is expanded. Whilst trans athletes competing at the highest level is still relatively new it is one that over time will only increase as more and more trans athletes emerge onto the world stage.
Whilst under the current guidelines there is no requirement for trans women to have gender reassignment surgery this may change in future years if current or future reviews by IOC or other sporting bodies decide it is necessary in the best interests of sport. I personally do not think this will happen but who knows. Adversely, “Athletes who have transitioned from female to male can compete without restriction” (Ref.1) So clearly there is a difference when it come to trans men and trans women when it comes to the restrictions or lack thereof when it comes to competing in the Olympics.
Trans women who want to compete at the highest level of sport have to go through so many hoops to even participate in sport at a competitive level in their state or country let alone getting to the compete at the Olympics. “Chelsea Wolfe is one of the best women’s freestyle BMX riders in the world” (Ref. 1.) and transgender. She is one who started “competent when she was six years old” (Ref. 1.) who has also ‘struggled with gender dysphoria from her earliest memories as a kid.” (Ref. 1.). She made “The cut for Team USA” (Ref. 1.) but is not competing at the Tokyo Olympics as she “was selected as alternate, meaning she made the team but would only compete at the games if two other Team USA athletes were unable to compete in Tokyo.” (Ref. 1.).
Chelsea is obviously someone in my eyes who has had a huge journey already and will be competing at future Olympics. So with any current IOC review or future reviews I can only hope that their will always be a balance between medicine, science and fair play so that a level playing field can be created for all competing at the Olympics. This is a challenge for all and will take time to resolve so one hopes that common sense along with the right for all to compete in sport will prevail.
Imagine not been able to participate in sport at school. How would you feel when everyone else is running around the athletics track or playing ice hockey and you can’t join in? If you sit back and think about this for a moment then you begin to understand how “Maddie Jenifer” (Ref. 1) a transgender child would feel if she isn’t allowed to participate in sports at her school.
Maddie is brave because she is fighting back against new “laws targeting transgender athletes” (Ref. 1) in her state of North Carolina. “North Carolina is among 37 states that have introduced some form of ‘Save Women’s Sports’ legislation aimed at trans youth” (Ref. 1) that would mean transgender children like Maddie wouldn’t be able to participate in sports at school. Maddie was the first transgender child to speak to ‘North Carolina’s House judiciary committee about the introduction of this legislation’ (Ref. 1) to which I can only imagine the reaction of those on this committee to Maddie especially if they never seen a transgender child before.
There are arguments for and against participation of transgender children and transgender adults in sport with regards to physical advantages and maybe unsafe if someone is taller than others as highlighted in the past by Hannah Mouncey in AFLW draft and more recently Laurel Hubbard the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics. However if we consider that transgender children participation in sport is relatively low compared to other children and that it is an important part of a child’s education being able to participate in sport I believe that it should be allowed.
My opinion is that it is not necessary to introduce legislation banning participation in sport for transgender children and adults nor should ever be considered like legislation been introduced in 37 states in the USA. To not allow transgender children to participate in sport is deny a basic human right of freedom in their education and life as well as denying them the opportunity to develop themselves. It also means that they are unfairly treated differently to other children and hinder their social development as well because they are seen as different to other children by other children not been able to participate in all aspects of school.
This is good to see that US moving towards gender inclusivity with announcement that transgender people can now change their gender marker on their passport and non-binary option coming soon without the need for getting any form of medical certificate.
The world is slowly changing and moving forwards when it comes to transgender and non-binary people.
To those who troll you or laugh at you or talk over the phone with a smirk as if almost laughing at you – Ignore them. I have had this recently and in the past and all they have done is made me stronger and more determined.
Take the attitude that I take and say each day – “I am strong” and let know one steal your dreams or put you down and most importantly don’t let them deter you or stop you.
We are unstoppable if believe we are and can overcome any obstacles. I won’t let the naysayers say I can’t be actress or inspirational or supermodel or speaker or anything else I want to be.
So today be the person you were born to be and change the world for the next generation making it better for all.