(The views expressed in this blog are solely my own. They do not necessarily represent the view of Couch Guy Sports or its bloggers)
Yesterday, Bleacher Report released a story about teen girl from Connecticut who’s dominating high school track.
Normally, a student doing well in track wouldn’t garner enough attention to write a story about. But this girl is different. She’s stirring up all sorts of controversy because she’s transgender.
Andraya Yearwood was born a male but now identifies as a female. This is nothing new to Yearwood. She reports that she always liked to wear traditionally female clothes, even wearing wigs and skirts in middle school.
While in middle school, she came out to her family as gay. Shortly after, she learned about what it meant to be transgender and realized that that’s what she has been this whole time: a transgender female.
The controversy isn’t that Yearwood is transgender (although I’m sure that that is plenty controversial to many people). The controversy is that she runs high school track with other girls.
Although she identifies as a girl, many people argue that biologically, she’s still a guy and thus, has an unfair advantage. The critics have become louder and louder with each accomplishment.
Yearwood finished second in the state her sophomore year and second in New England for the 100m dash. With still two more years to complete, she’s only expected to get better. But the real question is, is it fair to the other girls she’s competing against?
Before I answer that question, I would like to state that I am fully in support of transgender people. Being transgender is perfectly legitimate and not something that bothers me at all.
With that being said, I don’t think that Andraya Yearwood should be racing with the girls. While I recognize whatever gender someone identifies as, they still also have a sex.
Sex is biological and is based on hormones and chemicals in your body. Men have more testosterone while women produce more estrogen. The extra testosterone that men have in their body allows them to build muscle in ways that women typically can’t. That’s why men are typically stronger than women.
And that statement isn’t sexist. It’s simply a fact. If you look at a male and female that are on a similar level, the male is typically more athletic. Olympic men put up better numbers than Olympic women. High school men typically put up better numbers than high school women. Obviously there are exceptions to this but in general, it’s true.
This is why I don’t think Andraya should be allowed to race with the girls. She has a distinct competitive advantage.
However, I do think with the right steps, she should be allowed to race. The NCAA allows transgender athletes to compete with their identified gender under one condition: they complete one year of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Studies have shown that HRT in transgender women resulted in a decrease in muscle. This is due to the extra testosterone in their body being replaced.
If Yearwood (or any transgender athlete) is able to complete a year of HRT, I’d be fine with them competing with their identified gender. I’m not sure what age you can start HRT but I assume that you could probably start it sometime in high school without long lasting repercussions.
-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)
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