Just last week, transgender fighter, Alana McLaughlin, won her MMA debut.
Despite the victory, the fighter received mixed reactions from the sporting world and even further afar. Why? Because she was born a biological man.
Many championed her victory as not only a debut win, but also a win for trans people in sport everywhere. Others felt the victory was unfair.
Now, McLaughlin has hit back at her critics and trolls following the win.
McLaughlin, the second openly transgender woman to compete in MMA in the United States, won her debut via submission at the Combate Global prelims in Miami, Florida.
The 38-year-old, who was assigned male at birth, left the US Special Forces back in 2018, and wanted to dedicate the rest of her life to being a pioneer for trans athletes in sport.
In her debut, McLaughlin used a rear-naked choke against Celine Provost to end the match 3 minutes, 32 seconds into the second round.
Speaking after her victory, McLaughlin referred to Fallon Fox, who in 2012 became the first transgender woman to fight in MMA.
But in a recent Instagram post, McLaughlin hit back at her trolls and critics.
Alongside a photo of her bruises from the match, she wrote:
McLaughlin’s debut comes after years of controversy surrounding trans athletes, and more recently the multiple bills which have emerged aimed at restricting transgender athletes from participating in youth, high school and college sports.
Speaking on the matter, McLaughlin said:
If we want to see more trans athletes, if we want to see more opportunities for trans kids, we’re going to have to work out way into those spaces and make it happen. It’s time for trans folks to be in sports and be more normalized.
What do you think?