Trans Women Belong on Women’s Sports Teams
April 14, 2021
Trans-women are as much a woman as a cis-gendered woman. Unnecessarily, trans-women are challenged when participating in women’s sports because people argue that they are biologically male and thus have “advantages.” This is not true. These women deserve to be a part of a team that represents who they are in order to have a sense of belonging.
Photo Obtained from the Sports Geek
For one, claiming that trans women participating in sports is harmful to cis-women because of their physical “advantages” is entirely wrong. Everyone has advantages. One athlete could have longer legs but another could have an easier time gaining muscle on their legs. One athlete could be physically stronger, but another could have better form. In these cases, cis-gendered women have advantages over one another as well, which can pertain to their biological traits. Does that mean those women can not participate because they have “advantages”? Similarly, in cases of trans-women, how one is born should not indicate how they will do in athletic performances. There are cases when men are weaker than women and vice versa, so women can reach the same strength level as a man. Ultimately, it would be the individual’s own hard work that decides their athletic performance, not solely biological traits. To add, men are said to have 75% more muscle mass but that doesn’t speak to their form, speed, work ethic, and other traits that make a strong athlete, so claiming one has “advantages” is an unfair accusation.
Additionally, many times, transphobia is evident in the women’s sports industry when governors and/or sports viewers imply that trans women are not women.
Firstly, gender is not always a simple statement of what one’s chromosomes or body parts are. It relates to various other biological attributes -such as specific genes, gonads, hormone levels, external and internal genitalia, secondary sex characteristics, etc- that do not always align to clearly dictate what one’s gender is. Jenny-Anne Bishop experienced the difficulties of being born in a body that doesn’t match her rightful gender and stated, “I knew I was trans from about three or four years old. From a very early age I thought one day I’ll wake up and my body will be like my sisters’ and my parents would say: “Oh, we had a girl, not a boy as we thought.”
Individuals who are trans could have character and mental attributes that align toward their genuine gender rather than the sex they were assigned, thus with these factors to consider regarding gender, claiming trans-women are not women is a fallacy. Trans-women are as much a woman as cis-women and deserve to participate in society as they identify, and that includes participating in women’s sports teams.
All in all, trans-women should be allowed in women’s sports. If one does not identify with the sex assigned at birth, they should be able to continue being socially active as their rightful gender, including when they play sports.