It’s a subject I have struggled with in the past: trans girls in sports.
My opinions have vacillated. Yes, trans girls may have a biological advantage over their female peers. No, there is no real advantage, at least at the elementary and high school levels. And, finally, maybe we shouldn’t generalize, especially those of us who don’t have a strong science education. Maybe we need to take it on a case by case basis.
I still can’t give a definitive scientific opinion on the matter. And you would think that would be the case for most people who aren’t medical professionals or biologists. I mean, how can we lay people venture opinions about the chromosomes of people we have never met?
It’s not a huge issue in Canada, which protects the rights of all trans people — young and old. Sure, there are people in Canada who worry that the playing field isn’t fair when trans girls compete in sports with other girls. What reasonable person wouldn’t want a level playing field?
And there are people in Canada who reject transgenderism outright and lobby against the rights of trans people to exist. They reject the “born this way” explanation, perhaps without giving it any thought at all.
What is particularly mind-boggling is the number of lesbians and gay men who reject transgenderism. Yes, the gay people were “born that way.” But not trans people, in their minds. It’s a lifestyle choice, in their opinion — the same thing Republicans in the U.S. and Conservatives in Canada have said about gay people all along. You can’t change sex, they say.
But what if a person’s sex is not so cut and dried. What if something happened to the chromosomal development of the fetus, say, misfired hormonal showers — one theory that has been offered. Then there is the role of plastics in our lives. They are finding microplastics in the placenta and fear they are affecting fetal development. Is it any wonder that transgenderism has become more widespread with the increased use of plastics.
“Most plastic products, from sippy cups to food wraps, can release chemicals that act like the sex hormone estrogen, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives as reported by NPR a decade ago. So, a woman with child stores leftovers in old Tupperware containers that are leaching chemicals into the food she eats — and that nourishes her baby and quite possibly interferes with its development.
Then there are all the other chemicals and pollutants that man has so recklessly introduced into the environment, and into the respiratory systems of everyone. The air in city and suburban environments is an invisible toxic soup.
And then there was a morning sickness pill distributed after WWII until about 1971 before it was banned because it was causing birth defects in children. There was suspicion that it also was a contributing factor to transsexualism — and even the feminization of America with an effeminate 1960s generation.
But you don’t hear Republicans or Conservatives or anti-trans lesbians and gay men talking about what may be causing the increase in transgenderism. They attribute it to rapid onset gender dysphoria, i.e. kids copying other kids. They don’t want to consider if there is a deeper biological cause.
I suppose I can accept the ignorance of Republicans and Conservatives. But members of the LGBTQ community turning on trans people? “Accept us,” they tell the conservative right-wing crowd, “but don’t accept trans people.”
And so they join the right wingers in delegitimizing trans people, perhaps thinking they will finally gain full acceptance by them.
It doesn’t work that way. The right wingers who hate trans people also hate gay and lesbian people, even if they are currently focusing their attacks on the trans community.
You’ll notice that I included the “T” a few paragraphs back. You may wonder, trans people attacking trans people?
Yes, that is what inspired the creation of this post. You may have heard that Caitlyn Jenner, who is running for California governor, stuck her foot in it with a very unwise comment about trans kids in sports. The comment is now being trumpeted in media reports around the world, causing ripples of hate and discrimination directed at all trans people.
It’s not unreasonable to think lives could be lost because of it. People born that way are being persecuted.
In truth, Jenner doesn’t have many fans in the trans community — or any other community, for that matter — and doesn’t have much chance of winning in one of the most liberal states in the country (where trans kids are allowed to compete with their peers in sports). That she is running for a party that is anti-LGBTQ is baffling to many, considering she is a trans woman who came out to much acclaim. She promised to be an advocate for trans people, to support them. Now some think she is trying to win Republican votes by throwing trans kids under the bus — the same kids she said only a year ago should be allowed to compete with their female peers.
Legislators in some nine states in the U.S. have moved to limit the rights of young trans people to compete in sports and in some cases, the rights of trans adults in other ways, too. But the sports issue is a red herring: there simply aren’t that many trans kids competing in sports, and even when they do, they don’t always win, according to an article in Scientific American with the headline Trans Girls Belong on Girls’ Sports Teams: There is no scientific case for excluding them.
Looking in from Canada, it is clear that Republicans would like to eliminate transgenderism altogether, just as they would like to ban same-sex marriage, abortion and other rights. (But, hey, don’t take away their guns, no matter how many lives are lost in mass shootings.) Again, I am not surprised by the Republicans. They have a 1950s mindset, from what I can see. They still believe women should be subservient to men, and that woman are weak and belong in the kitchen.
But the idea that any members of the LGBTQ community could side with them in a broader attack with the intent to erase trans people is mind-boggling.
And even more mind-boggling is the fact that they and the right wingers they are cozying up to are not even willing to think about what biological factors are causing transgenderism. It’s irresponsible. It’s ignorance. And the children are paying for it.
The anti-trans laws have absolutely NOTHING to do with trans people. The Republicans survive on playing the victim, or inventing one. They are simply catering to the lowest common denominator of their electorate: Homophobic, racist, misogynist and poorly educated- just like their Dear Leader. They know they have done all the damage they can to the gay and people of color, so this is their new boogeyman.
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So true, Steve. And also so sad. But as I mention in the post, I kind of expect it from the Republicans (and to some extent, Conservatives in Canada). But Caitlyn Jenner? Shaking my head . . .
P.S. I had no idea why wordpress held your response back till I approved it, as you were long ago greenlighted here. But I see you changed your email address, so I guess that’s it. All should be good, and I’m sorry I didn’t see your response earlier.
Your blog is the only reason I post anything on WordPress. I have long ago abandoned my channel. I apparently have three accounts there and no way to merge them.
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They’ve also changed a bunch of stuff on wordpress, so I am still trying to figure it all out. We use wordpress at work, too, but we kept the older, easier version there. But not for this blog.