The fight for gender equality has created huge waves across the country in recent decades. The supreme court ruled in 2015 that same-sex marriage is now protected in all 50 states. Within this however, the LGBTQ community still face many barriers especially those in the trans community.
A few days ago I shared a post to my Facebook page about a high-school trans student winning the girls track meet. It was the first time I had seen such a headline.
The headline read, “Watch: Two Transgenders Blow Out Girls In State Meet.” The article talked about a debate that arose in Connecticut recently after sophomore sprinter Andraya Yearwood won for the second year at her high school track meet.
It did not dawn on me that The Daily Wire is an online news blog founded by Ben Shapiro, a very vocal member of the alt-right.
I shared the article that with the caption, “Lets talk…This does not seem fair.”
What it means to be transgender and their inclusion across various sectors is still very controversial.
The Washington Post published an article today discussing how the Pentagon is attempting to block trans folks from entering the military and classifies them as having “gender dysphoria.” Which is sad because any negative comments about being transgender refers to them as being “delusional” about their gender.
There are many positives however for trans folk on their road to inclusion. Maine will now offer gender options of X on driver’s license for non-binary folks. The BBC has also installed gender-neutral bathrooms and offers paid leave to anyone that is transitioning in an effort to be more inclusive in the workplace.
As a member of a marginalized, exploited and oppressed group myself, I will be the first to acknowledge the plight of trans folks who face murder, discrimination and an uneasy road to be their authentic self. As someone from the inner city, we never discussed aspects like gender or even race in such dynamic ways before I took race and gender classes at HSU.
While I struggled to grasp these new concepts and understandings about the ways in which gender is “performed” and “fluid” I always disciplined and challenged myself to think broader.
As a journalist, that means being at least aware of all views and honest about my own. No trans person should face violence or denied access. Within their fight for inclusion however, we have to acknowledge the debates that would arise out of rational inquiry from those that view trans women in athletics as having an unfair biological/physical advantage.
I will admit that I shared the post in a way that was actually very harmful to the trans community. Being transgender is still a very controversial topic in our society due to the unwillingness of a lot of people, to see past what they were once taught.
Through recent research, I found that trans women athletes who take hormones drop in estrogen and report a decrease of strength, athletic agility as well as muscle mass. However, the Hartford Courant reports that the high school sophomore was not taking hormones when they won last year.
The Connecticut Athletic Conference allows athletes to compete as members of the gender with which they identify, creating what some feel is an uneven playing field.
A petition has been circulated asking that the CIAC make athletes compete as the gender they were born as.
“The elephant in the room is when winning and losing comes into play,” CIAC executive director Karissa Niehoff said. “Folks will say it’s not about winning and losing. But when a situation rises to the forefront, it’s generally when there’s a situation involving winning and losing and it doesn’t feel good.”