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THE TRANS/INTERSEX DEBATE.                                                                                           “In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys

                                                                                                                              are going to play boys sports,” -Governor Rick DeSantis, June 2021.



         THE TRANS/I

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    By Tim Mottram

                      lorida Governor        Joe Biden signed a new           the same, while South Dakota                            The issues surrounding this   category and has met the         that it is patently unfair. He says
                      Ron DeSantis chose     anti-discrimination bill into    has managed to get the bill                          controversy are complex and      qualification criteria for the   that the only thing people will
                      the first day of       law, which was designed to       signed into law. Around the                          come down to much more than      Tokyo 2020.                      notice is that an above-average
              FPride month to sign           protect differently gendered     world, opinions on the topic are                     science. This is also focused on    In a recent article, Mark     male lifter just placed at the
            a Republican bill banning        people against these attacks.    deeply divided.                                      gender politics. In 2009, other   House, an attorney in the       Olympics as a woman, and that
            transgender athletes from        This set off a series of bills     Last year, Semenya lost a                          runners claimed that “she’s      US and an IWF Category 2         the laudable efforts of other
            high school and college                                           court case in her own private                        not a woman: she’s a man”.                                        women were devalued, in real
            women’s sports. DeSantis,                                         battle to compete in Tokyo.                          Semenya herself has always           The issues                   terms, because of that. Policy
            a conservative possible              “Florida women               According to new rules                               claimed to be a woman: simply                                     on transgender athletes needs
            presidential hopeful, added        & girls (should) be            imposed by World Athletics,                          that “I am a woman and I am        surrounding this               to be based on fair competition
            insult to injury by suggesting     able to compete                formerly the International                           fast”.                             controversy are                and inclusiveness, in that order.
            that trans women are not                                          Association of Athletics                                Compare Semenya’s case to       complex and                       A paper, Transgender
            really “female”.                   on a level playing             Federations (IAAF), she was                          that of Laurel Hubbard, the New                                   Women in the Female Category
               DeSantis tweeted; “Florida      field. This will               ordered to take medication to                        Zealander who will compete in      come down to                   of Sport: Perspectives on
            women & girls (should) be able     help ensure that               lower her levels of testosterone                     the over-87 kilograms women’s      much more than                 Testosterone Suppression
            to compete on a level playing                                     to compete in the 800 metres.                        super-heavyweight category         science. This is               and Performance Advantage,
            field. This will help ensure that   opportunities for             Semenya is an intersex woman,                        Weight Lifting.                                                   by developmental biologist
            opportunities for things like      things like college            assigned female at birth, with                          Laurel was unknown in           also focused on                from Manchester University,
            college scholarships will be       scholarships will              XY chromosomes and naturally                         weightlifting at the time of       gender politics.               Dr Emma Hilton, and Tommy
            protected for female athletes                                     elevated testosterone levels.                        the last Olympic Games in                                         Lundberg, a researcher in
            for years to come.”                be protected for               She is still attempting to find                      Rio de Janeiro five years ago,                                    clinical physiology from the
               Advocates say the law           female athletes                a path to Tokyo by running in                        and did not make her first lift   Technical Official considers    Karolinska Institute, a medical
            prevents an unfair advantage       for years to                   the 5,000 metres events, which                       in international competition     that having an individual who    university and research centre
            for trans athletes who were                                       does not feature in the IAAF’s                       until March 2017. Before         spent most of her adult life     in Sweden, looked at how much
            born with male characteristics.    come.”                         ruling, which would mean that                        transitioning, Laurel competed   as a man, transitioning at age   benefit is gained by an elite
               In a debate which started                                      she could run without taking                         at junior ranks, lifting a 300kg   35, as the face of a movement   athlete going through puberty
            well before South African                                         medication which would                               total in the +105 men’s category.  will surely spell disaster for   as a male. It cites a 45 per cent
            runner Caster Semenya won        within primarily Republican      change her body. At this point,                      This would generally be          any real transgender policy      difference in the amount of lean
            the 800 metres in Berlin,        governed states. Mississippi     she still has not managed to                         regarded as good rather than     from ever taking effect or even   muscle mass that is attributed
            the very real human cost         banned transgender women         make the required qualifying                         world class.                     being considered. If she wins    to male puberty. In all
            of legislating for individual    from competing at the youth      time, but such is the will to see                       At age 35, Laurel started     a medal, she will highlight the   categories - body composition,
            difference is being counted.     and college level, Idaho was     her race, there are plans for                        competing as a woman in          fact that men should not be      muscle mass, cardiovascular
               Last year, US President       blocked in its attempt to do     more qualifying competitions.                        the +90 (now +87) women’s        competing in women’s sports,     function and so on - male

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