There is no other story that incites more hate then a story about a transgender person participating in sport, with the exception of stories relating to transgender bathroom use or in President Trumps World his hate for transgender people serving in the military.
Let’s remove the words Transgender, Laurel, Hannah or Mack Beggs out of the conversation for a minute and let’s look at some of the medical consequences that occur when an XY male suffers low levels of testosterone.
When a man has low testosterone, or hypogonadism, he may experience:
-Reduced sex drive
-Low sperm count
-Enlarged or swollen breast tissue
Over time, these symptoms may develop in the following ways:
-Loss of body hair
-Loss of muscle bulk
-Loss of strength
-Increased body fat
Chronic, or ongoing, low testosterone may lead to osteoporosis, mood swings, reduced energy, and testicular shrinkage.
None of these medical consequences are performance enhancing. No castrated XY male has ever broken a world record or even competed at the elite level of sports.
There is no doubt that XY Males on average have an advantage in strength speed and endurance. Just looking at all sports world sporting records clearly shows this to be true. Research has found the difference between men’s and women’s world records as being 10 to 12%.
The medications administered to transitioning XY females are powerful drugs the same drugs used to chemically castrate sex offenders the same drugs used to chemically castrate prostate cancer sufferers.
This treatment changed my body from a 100kg former dual international male athletes body into a 57kg size 6 transitioned woman’s body with my body suffering permanent severe post menopausal symptoms including complete muscle atrophy and over 200 medical complications in my body every day of my life.
There are still many questions to be answered in relation to the participation of transitioning and transitioned XY Females and XX Males, this is defiantly a work in progress.
Not many people are aware that the IOC created the current transgender guidelines in half a day with no science or research. They did this as a hip response to lesson liability in Kristen Worley’s human rights case in the divisional court in Canada.
The current transgender and intersex IOC & WADA policies and guidelines are not based on any science. There were 90 people involved in the IOC Consensus Meeting in 2015 most people were sports officials with no qualifications to even be in this meeting and they defiantly are not medically qualified to write policies relating to the health and welfare of all female athletes globally.
Kristen’s victory in Toronto exposed both WADA and the IOC’s policies to have breached human rights of many female athletes and their current policies continue to do so. Kristen’s case also identified that both WADA & the IOC do not even have the right starting point in this conversation it is so much more then testosterone levels the full diversity of human physiology must now be fully considered when new policies are developed. There is a long way to go in this conversation.
There are many sporting organisations considering the future direction of global sport none more so then the Commonwealth Games Committee, and the Australian Human Rights Commission (Commission), in partnership with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) is developing Federal Guidelines for National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) to promote the inclusion and participation of trans, gender diverse and intersex people in sport. I have been identified as an important stakeholder in the development of the Guidelines. I have been invited to participate in this consultation which will inform the development of the Guidelines.
The purpose of the Guidelines is to provide practical guidance to NSOs on promoting inclusion in a manner that is consistent with the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).
The Guidelines will address the practical barriers faced by trans, gender diverse and intersex people in relation to participation in sport.
The days of just believing the IOC and WADA have all the answers has long gone the recent Russian Drug fiasco is a clear example of what the IOC don’t know. Kristen’s victory showed sports can’t start writing these type of policies starting from a human rights focus they must have the science and research first.
During my discussions with both Australian and international colleagues I feel the direction of global sport will involve having one gender policy for all women no matter their chromosomal makeup. Every group of females may have different criteria to compete but sport will start from the point that everyone is firstly accepted and they are only denied the right to compete if they have a proven unnatural advantage.
I also see the future of some sports being separated on abilities and physical attributes similar to the way the International Paralympics Committee separate sports.
The greatest challenge for the trans and gender diverse communities is being accepted in female sports in particular high impact sports like Australian Rules Football. I suggest erring on the side of caution with all sports at the elite level or high impact sports like the AFL or NRL.
Some sports like Australian Cycling have different criteria to be met at each level of their sport with local competitions having self identification as the only prerequisite to participation.
I don’t suggest this type of policy would work for full contact sports because we are not just talking about winning or losing we are talking about the health and safety of all participants.
I am only one person who has lived and breathed these changes and I am not saying I am the expert on this subject, if there is actually an expert in all of this. Let’s listen to everyone’s concerns and make Laurel Hubbard’s recent pain a “teachable” moment for us all, this is a work in progress.
Written by Kirsti Miller: Aussie Sports-Trailblazer, dual-international athlete, educator within sport regarding diversity, inclusion, accessibility and the broader issues of inclusive sport.