In my previous blog post I decried the Liberal Left for becoming as intolerant, totalitarian, & generally closed-minded as the Religious Right that they love to denigrate. Well, today’s post is going to follow somewhat of the same trend. I am fully cognizant of the fact that this post will probably cost me “friends” & will likely get me branded a bigot (unfairly so, if you ask me). But some things are too important to remain silent. I’ve already lost a few “friends” over my support of Covid vaccines as well as my willingness to stand up against racism. So- what’s a few more down the drain, right?
Before I dig into the meat of this issue, please let me preface this by saying this is quite literally the stuff that keeps me awake at night. It’s the kind of thing that I cannot get off my mind & that causes me great mental anguish. There are no easy answers in life- indeed, one of my greatest life lessons thus far has been that nothing in life is really settled except for the fact that nothing is really settled. Is that a hard way to live? You better believe it, but it’s the only way that makes sense to me. My point is- I am open to the idea that I may be wrong here. I have changed my mind about many things in life due to witnessing new evidence, meeting new people, having different experiences, etc. As always, I do not claim to speak for God, my employer, my family, or anyone other than MYSELF. And there is no reason to think that I am any wiser or better than anyone else. But as Flannery O’Connor said “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” It’s what keeps me sane. So, on that note, here we go!
The past few years have been filled with headlines & admonitions to “Trust the science.” As someone who forms a great deal of my opinions on life around science/biology, I can definitely get behind this general idea. However, one of the greatest principles of science is that any knowledge or theory we have could at any point be proven wrong if we discover new evidence that leads to a greater understanding of the subject at hand. There is a LOT about the world that we still don’t know. HOWEVER, some things ARE pretty settled, whether we like it or not. Whether they are “fair” or “equitable” or not. As Ben Shapiro has said “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”
With that in mind, I cannot be silent any longer on the subject of transgender athletes, particularly transgender women competing against biological/cisgender women. The Left says “Trust the science!” but as soon as the science says something they don’t like, all of a sudden they want to throw it out the window. Please understand that I have an immense amount of compassion for the transgender community. I cannot imagine facing life as they do. I have zero problem referring to people by their preferred names or pronouns & generally affording them equal rights & access in society. I have even taught transgender people how to give themselves hormonal injections as part of my job.
HOWEVER, allowing transgender women to compete against biological women is just defying science. It doesn’t matter if we think it’s unfair- it just IS. Here is a study showing that trans women retain an athletic edge over biological women even after a YEAR of hormonal therapy: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/trans-women-retain-athletic-edge-after-year-hormone-therapy-study-n1252764. This is particularly true of course for anyone who went through puberty as a man & had years of testosterone influencing their height/muscle development- which is of course the vast majority of transgender female athletes. The fact remains that no matter how many hormones you take or surgeries you have, you cannot change your CHROMOSOMES. Perhaps someday in the future we will have technology that allows trans women to truly be on a level playing field with cisgender women. But we haven’t reached that time yet.
Over & over experts have told us that this is not fair. Here (https://www.dw.com/en/fact-check-do-trans-athletes-have-an-advantage-in-elite-sport/a-58583988) is an excellent article that highlights some of the research on this matter. Please check it out in its entirety but I am including some of the highlights below:
“Pretty much any way you slice it, trans women are going to have strength advantages even after hormone therapy. I just don’t see that as anything else but factual,” said Joanna Harper, a medical physicist at Britain’s Loughborough University.
For Tommy Lundberg, whose research at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute focuses on skeletal muscle strength of trans people receiving hormone therapy, the advantages for trans women in strength are to the point where fairness cannot be ensured in most sports.
“The big problem right now is that the [hormone] therapy itself doesn’t really remove the advantage to an extent that you can claim that fairness has been achieved,” Lundberg told DW. “And actually, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) states that the overriding objective is, and remains, the guarantee of fair competition. That’s what they say in their guidelines. So that’s the problem right now: They don’t go hand-in-hand.”
In another paper Lundberg co-authored that looked at untrained trans women, Lundberg and his colleague found that “muscular advantage enjoyed by transgender women is only minimally reduced when testosterone is suppressed.”
As the above article mentions, the upper limit of testosterone allowed for trans female athletes is still WELL above the normal range in cisgender/biological women. To say that this is irrelevant is to deny basic biology & makes a mockery of women’s athletics. Women have fought for DECADES (nay, centuries) to have equal opportunities in sports. Why should we give that away?
Furthermore, intersex athletes like Caster Semenya have been barred from competing in women’s sports. While intersex is an extremely rare phenomenon & tragic for the athletes who are affected, it is still only fair to all the other female competitors. There is absolutely no logic to barring intersex athletes such as Semenya but then allowing transgender female athletes like Lia Thomas. You cannot have your cake & eat it too. You cannot command us to trust the science & then dismiss the science! It just doesn’t work that way- or shouldn’t. (By the way, this isn’t a new phenomenon: read this article that highlights some intersex athletes from almost a century ago: https://www.deseret.com/2021/7/29/22584285/male-to-female-transgender-olympic-athletes-impact-womens-sports-president-biden-mike-lee-weigh-in.)
Lastly- Sha’Carri Richardson was barred from the Olympics because she tested positive for MARIJUANA. Please tell me how that would give her any advantage whatsoever over any other athlete. And yet trans women can compete with far higher levels of testosterone? Can we get some ideological consistency here, please?
I have tried & tried to find articles & evidence about transgender men competing in men’s sports. But as you might suspect, there isn’t much to be found. Maybe because most transgender men know they would not have any advantages over cisgender men- in fact they would likely be DISadvantaged…
Please, before you accuse me of being transphobic, consider how you would feel if your daughters (or nieces or goddaughters, etc) lose out on athletic opportunities to transgender females. Also consider that folks like Martina Navratilova, a lesbian & longtime LGBTQ activist, has said “It’s insane & it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.” Furthermore, consider what many of the cisgender females who have competed against Lia Thomas or Laurel Hubbard have said about this subject. The fact that so many female athletes are feeling pressure or being explicitly told not to speak out about this issue is proof positive that something is amiss here. The fact that the media is editing photos to make Lia Thomas look more feminine is yet another clue (see here: https://www.dailywire.com/news/photog-speaks-out-after-she-says-nbc-edited-her-photos-to-soften-look-of-trans-swimmer-lia-thomas).
Liberals so often tell us that we should go to those who are affected by a policy to see their opinions on the matter- & they are right about that. But all of a sudden they don’t care about those opinions when they run counter to their own narrative… All of a sudden we aren’t supposed to trust the science…
So- what’s the answer? I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know. Should we have separate leagues for transgender athletes? My thought is yes. On a practical level I know that would be very hard to manage because there isn’t a huge community to make this happen in every town/area. However, we have Special Olympics for a reason- because it wouldn’t be fair to have those folks competing against everyone else- for obvious, scientific reasons. If we can make that happen, I am confident that we can make a transgender league a reality as well.
In conclusion, I am open to the idea that I could be wrong. I am open to the idea that things could change in the future when new science or technology are discovered. But as things stand right now, the science tells me that we are doing a disservice to women everywhere by allowing- even forcing- them to compete against transgender women. We don’t have to like it. It doesn’t have to be fair. But it’s just the way it is. And I’ll be damned if saying so makes me transphobic- it does not. It just means I am dedicated to preserving the integrity of the rights women have fought for over the centuries & I am dedicated to actually following the science- even if we don’t always like what it says. If we are not allowed to do that, we cannot legitimately claim to be a free society