One of the big controversies that has arisen since transgenderism has become more common is how transgender women should be treated in sports. Due to higher testosterone levels, they likely have an advantage over their biologically female competitors. Two transgender Olympic cyclists recently weighed in on the issue.
Jillian Bearden and Rachel McKinnon are both transgender women cyclists, Olympic hopefuls, and even used to be in the same cycling club. However, they have very different views on transgender women in sports. McKinnon believes that transgender women face discrimination when it comes to competing as women, and should be treated the same as any woman with two X chromosomes, irrespective of their testosterone levels. Bearden, on the other hand, admits that transgender woman have some advantages.
McKinnon has said that requiring a transgender woman to take testosterone blockers violates their human rights. She compared it to racial issues, saying:
This is bigger than sports and it’s about human rights. By catering to cisgender people’s views, that furthers transgender people’s oppression. When it comes to extending rights to a minority population, why would we ask the majority? I bet a lot of white people were pissed off when we desegregated sports racially and allowed black people. But they had to deal with it.
But Bearden, who has competed both as a male, before transition, and a female, with testosterone blockers, admitted that testosterone gives the contestant an advantage:
I’ve proven how powerful testosterone is from when I competed. That doesn’t mean specifically that the more testosterone you have the stronger you are, but the hormone provides a certain stamina that continues to charge you. It gives you that edge of pushing power.
USA Today describes it as a disagreement as to what constitutes fairness:
USA TODAY Sports spoke with the antagonists, both of whom say they are fighting for fairness. Bearden sees it as fairness for all competitors while McKinnon frames it as fairness for transgender athletes.
McKinnon used to be on Bearden’s cycling team, but Bearden asked McKinnon to leave after they could not resolve their differences on the issue.
The International Olympic Committee already requires transgender women to use testosterone blockers, and test below a certain level for a year before being allowed to compete. However, other sports organisations are still in the process of crafting such guidelines.
There is a difference between being accepting of transgender people and giving them an unfair advantage in the world of competitive sports. Will sports organisations side with McKinnon and essentially redefine fairness in pursuit of being politically correct? Or will sanity triumph over nonsense? Only time will tell.