I struggled with my thoughts about transgender participation in sport. I have had no direct experience with anyone who is transgender. I have never talked in depth with anyone who has first-hand knowledge of transgender people.
I have good friends and several family members who are gay. I am much more comfortable discussing gay issues.
In my youth very limited medical procedures for transgender people were available and to my knowledge most, if not all, were outside the United States. The first clinic devoted to transgender procedures in the US was not developed until Johns Hopkins did it in 1965. I was ignorant of the issues then and not much more knowledgeable today.
Having confessed my ignorance, I still have formed an opinion about transgender participation in sport. The issue is fairness. If the rule for sport participation is sex at birth without regard to gender identification, the rule is fair because everyone can participate. Transgender people may not like the rule but it is fair. They are not excluded from participation in athletics.
If the rule for sport participation is gender identity, that is also fair — if there is no physical advantage to the transgender athlete. Medical steps to reduce physical advantages are required for participation. The question is—are the procedures sufficient to have a level playing field that is fair to women who are both female in birth sex and in gender identity.
After much thought, my thinking is — there is no way to assure a level playing field. I believe some transgender women will have size, bone structure and other advantages that medicine cannot change.
Since women are not clamoring to be equal participants in men’s sports it is unlikely transgender men will be a major factor in men’s sport. The issue of fairness will be much more prominent in women’s sports. I believe some transgender women would have unfair advantages. Hormone replacement did not change the body structure of Liz Thomas. I believe her body is an unfair advantage in swimming against other women. I believe similar advantages occur in other sports.
Everyone who responded to my request about transgender participation in sport agrees with my conclusion. If you disagree, please share your arguments.
I have approached Critical Race Theory (CRT) with an open mind. I have found things with which I agree and things with which I disagree. On the one hand, I am insulted by people who think I have to uncritically accept all of CRT to be in the fight against injustice. On the other hand, I find people who reject all aspects of CRT to be narrow in their thinking.
In particular, I disagree with CRT opponents who believe we should not teach or discuss the history of racial injustice. I believe we need to learn from history. Just this week I was sent a documentary. I was not aware of this time in our history. It was very important to me to gain this knowledge.
Many people believe the KKK was strictly a Southern problem. I was aware the Klan was prominent in Indiana. I was not aware of the extent of the Klan in Colorado.
The documentary is only 30 minutes. I did not find it to biased propaganda. I found it to be factual with many old films and pictures. I highly recommend watching it.
If you watch, I encourage you to keep in mind, the Klan was not only concerned with “colored people.” Mexicans, Jews, gays, immigrants, and Catholics were also people of concern. The history is more meaningful to me because Colorado is less than three hours from where I was born, and the documentary is about events less than 20 years before I was born. The events did not occur deep in the Heart of Dixie in some frontier era.
I believe the readers of this blog are not likely to be participants in events such as those shown in the documentary. But I believe everyone needs to understand people are capable of being led down the path to evil. I believe the people who yearn for the “good old days” and who believe “it could not happen here,” need to study history and be aware of all possibilities.
Several good examples of kindness: