Transgender Swimmer Who Broke US Records Explains Why It’s Fair

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The topic of trans athletes has been a popular point of discussion lately. Although there’s been a hugely progressive breakthrough earlier this month, not everyone is happy about it…

Now, this has been a heavily debated topic for quite some time.

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Ever since the Olympics allowed trans athletes to compete in 2016, there has been a solid divide in opinion over the matter.

While many are supportive of the inclusion of transgender athletes…

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Some argue that it is unfair towards other athletes competing in the sport.

The subject of transgender female athletes is certainly the most debated…

With people like Piers Morgan stepping in (even though no one asked).

He argued that female trans athletes have an “unfair advantage.”

Claiming this is due to the fact they were born with male anatomy, consisting of testosterone and other male hormones that increase strength and stamina.

It has been argued that their competitors don’t “stand a chance”…

Meaning that many people feel that transgender athletes shouldn’t be allowed to compete at all.

For instance, professional MMA fighter Ronda Rousey has voiced her opinion.

She refused to fight trans fighter Fallon Fox in 2014.

“I feel like if you go through puberty as a man it’s something that you can’t really reverse.”

“You can’t just reverse that, there’s no undo button on that. That’s, unfortunately, her scenario,” she said of her decision.

And New Zealand transgender weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard, faced a lot of criticism after she won a gold medal at the Pacific Games.

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New Zealand-based lobby group, “Speak Up For Women,” advocates that sport must be categorized by sex rather than gender identity.

They called on the country’s Olympic committee and sports minister to “defend women’s sport.”

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“Kiwis (New Zealanders) know that males competing in women’s sport is blatantly unfair,” the group’s spokesperson Ani O’Brien harshly said.

Nevertheless, transgender athletes are allowed to compete here in the United States…

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And transgender girls are permitted to participate in sports that match their gender identity at schools and colleges across the country.

However, that has slowly been changing in certain states.

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In February, the State of Mississippi voted unanimously to ban young transgender athletes from competing in female sports in all schools and universities.

2 months later, many other states, including Florida, have followed suit.

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But as the debates rage on, there has been some progressive news…

​Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was allowed to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. 

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And although it was a hugely historic moment, she was actually eliminated early in her event.

However, not everyone was happy about the decision.

And one who was particularly vocal was fellow New Zealand weight lifter, Tracey Lambrechs.

Lambrechs won a bronze medal for New Zealand at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“I’m quite disappointed, quite disappointed for the female athlete who will lose out on that spot,” she told TVNZ.

“We’re all about equality for women in sport but right now that equality is being taken away from us.”

“I’ve had female weightlifters come up to me and say, ‘what do we do? This isn’t fair, what do we do?’ Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do because every time we voice it we get told to be quiet.”

Another trans athelete who has hit headlines lately is swimmer Lia Thomas.

The UPenn athlete broke two US records at the Zippy Invitational Event in Akron, Ohio earlier this month.

Many naysayers did not think this was fair – but now Thomas has spoken out.

“I’ve experienced a lot of muscle loss and strength loss,” she explained to SwimSwam.

“Pre-transition there was a lot of of uncertainty about my future in swimming and whether or not I’d be able to keep swimming at all and so I’m just thrilled to be able to continue to swim.”

“I love to compete and I just love to see how fast I can go. It’s sort of an ongoing evolution of what I think I can go based on how my training sort of progresses and evolves.”

“The team has been unbelievably supportive since the beginning, you know, teammates and coaches….I feel very supported. Just treated like any other member of the women’s team.”

“I think the guidelines they set forward are very good and do a very good job of promoting inclusivity while keeping competitional integrity going. Each sport basically has to come up with eligibility criteria for what constitutes an unfair advantage in that sport.”

“Everybody is able to compete in the category they’re most comfortable with unless there’s a proven unfair advantage that they have.”

Where do you stand on this issue?