Two high school transgender athletes in Connecticut finished first and second in a recent state track championship, renewing the debate over whether or not they have an unfair advantage in competition:
[Andraya] Yearwood, a 17-year-old junior at Cromwell High School, is one of two transgender high school sprinters in Connecticut, transitioning to female.
She recently finished second in the 55-meter dash at the state open indoor track championships. The winner, Terry Miller of Bloomfield High, is also transgender and set a girls state indoor record of 6.95 seconds. Yearwood finished in 7.01 seconds and the third-place competitor, who is not transgender, finished in 7.23 seconds.
Miller and Yearwood also topped the 100-meter state outdoor championships last year, and Miller won the 300 indoors this season.
Yearwood admitted that she knew she was stronger than the girls she competes against:
Yearwood acknowledges she is stronger than many of her cisgender competitors but says girls who are not transgender may have other advantages.
“One high jumper could be taller and have longer legs than another, but the other could have perfect form, and then do better,” she said.
Miller, who declined to be interviewed for this story, has said that if she felt a competitor had an unfair advantage, it would simply push her to try to improve.
Here’s the thing neither of them are willing to admit: their “cisgender” competition could wear themselves down to the bone trying to improve in order to defeat them, but the likelihood of them doing it is slim to none because the male body and the female body are built differently, no matter how many hormone therapies one takes to change their body.
Watch this interview the two did for ABC News‘ Good Morning America show last summer:
Tennis great Martina Navratilova, a lesbian who has long been viewed as a pioneer for LGBT rights, is even being ostracized from the community over her belief that trans women athletes have an unfair advantage:
In a newspaper column this week the 18-time grand slam singles champion referred to trans women as men who “decide to be female”, adding that allowing them to compete with women who were assigned female at birth is “cheating and unfair”.
Her comments were heavily criticised and described as “disturbing, upsetting, and deeply transphobic” by the rights group Trans Actual and now Athlete Ally, a US non-profit organisation that campaigns for greater inclusion in sport, has followed suit, also removing the 62-year-old from their advisory board.
Seriously? Martina Navratilova, a champion for LGBTs who at one time could do no wrong, is transphobic for stating the obvious?
In defending Navratilova and others who share her viewpoint on transgender athletes, Spiked‘s Ella Whelan called it like it is:
The backlash to Navratilova shows us how ingrained and dangerous identity politics has become. In labelling people like Navratilova a bigot, identitarians refuse context and history, brushing away the fact that she, as a lesbian women’s tennis champion, might have some experience which is relevant to the debate. But like members of a religious cult, these people are allergic to nuance and criticism. They strike down any non-believer who dares to ask questions.
North Carolina women like yours truly who favored the controversial HB2 “bathroom bill” legislation can attest to that. Literally every legitimate argument in favor of keeping bathrooms segregated by sex was shot down as “transphobic.”
Whelan also made another great point in her defense piece that no one seems to want to answer:
Why would we bother dividing sport into gendered categories if we didn’t appreciate that men’s and women’s bodies are different?
Indeed. That is exactly why sports are divided by gender.
The Heritage Foundation’s Lyndsey Fifield sums up the frustration many of us feel when talking about this issue:
50 years. We had a good run ladies. pic.twitter.com/JZY9D2ibcQ
— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) February 25, 2019
RIP, women’s rights.
—Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–