Friday, June 24, 2022

Choosing Our Battles

Poll Finds How Most Americans Feel About Transgender Athletes

From the Washington Post:

The poll, conducted May 4 through 17 among 1,503 people across the United States, finds 55 percent of Americans opposed to allowing transgender women and girls to compete with other women and girls in high school sports and 58 percent opposed to it for college and professional sports. About 3 in 10 Americans said transgender women and girls should be allowed to compete at each of those levels, while an additional 15 percent have no opinion.

However, while familiarity with and tolerance for transgender people are on the rise, tolerance of transgender athletes is not - at least according to a recent poll. 

The Washington Post published a poll that suggested most of the United States is not in favor of allowing transgender female athletes to compete against other women at the professional, college and high school level.

Swimming-FINA votes to restrict transgender participation in elite women's competition

Lia Thomas
Amid the controversy over Lia Thomas' presence in women's swimming, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) has made a final ruling on Thomas and all transgender swimmers moving forward.

On Sunday, the swimming world governing body voted to restrict the participation of transgender athletes in elite women's swimming competitions. FINA pledged to establish an "open" category in some events as part of their new policy.

According to the Toronto Sun, under the new policy, male-to-female transgender athletes can now only participate in women's swimming if they prove to FINA's satisfaction that they have not undergone "any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 (of puberty) or before age 12."

Per the report, the vote passed with a 71-percent majority among the 152 nations that make up the federation's membership. 

Given the heated nature of the debate, the reaction has been extremely split:

FINA president Husain Al-Musallam cited a desire to "protect competitive fairness" in the decision. He said that FINA remains determined to welcome every athlete, which is why they will create the "open category" to give transgender athletes the opportunity to continue competing.

“We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions,” Al-Musallam said.

“FINA will always welcome every athlete. The creation of an open category will mean that everybody has the opportunity to compete at an elite level. This has not been done before, so FINA will need to lead the way. I want all athletes to feel included in being able to develop ideas during this process.”

Further from CNN: Three-time Olympic gold medalist Nancy Hogshead-Makar stated "As an Olympic champion and as a civil rights lawyer, I can assure you that there is nothing fair about transgender woman Lia Thomas competing for the University of Pennsylvania in NCAA swimming. Worse, her domination of the 'women's sports' category is doing nothing to engender greater empathy for inclusive practices throughout society for the trans community."


MY Note: This precludes Lia Thomas from The Olympic Trials and The Olympic Games, competing in the woman's division. I am not happy with this decision because it is discormontory; a knee-jerk reaction. With that said, this was a battle we were going to lose. It hurts the whole community and especially young transgender athletes who just want to be part of a youth team. This was a trickle-down bad optic.  I still contend that her actions are selfish.  


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