One Dirty Magazine

Transgender Athlete Rights Are Human Rights

Empowering trans athletes to compete as their affirmed genders respects the dignity of all athletes.

Bee and David June 22nd, 2020

Transgender Athlete Rights Are Human Rights

Before we start, for any trans folks reading this, we want to provide a warning that this article discusses transphobia and the current state of the U.S. political system. It’s unfortunate that most published content on trans people, this article included, is written primarily for cisgender people. Also, we recognize that this article is written primarily about trans women. Nonbinary people and trans men also face unique challenges surrounding sports that absolutely deserve to be addressed, and we don’t want those issues to be erased. We want to help change the conversation in the future. For now, please know that we see you, we are here for you, and you are loved.

 

On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court decided the landmark case Bostock v. Clayton County, which expands some Civil Rights Act protections to LGBTQ individuals. That ruling sets in motion a hopeful future when discriminatory decisions and policies will face a steeper uphill climb to avoid being overturned as violations of statutorily—and constitutionally—protected rights, if they are not rescinded altogether. However, it’s clear that there is still so much more work to be done. 

This article gets into what that work looks like related to inclusive policies for transgender, female runners, and why it is needed for human rights and fairness. But first, a step back. We just want to acknowledge that transgender athlete rights can be a difficult topic, and that we are all learning together. It’s relevant for running, sure. It also brings up feelings related to politics, justice and just about every other contentious topic you can think of. In that context, we have a quick request before we get into the nitty-gritty details.

Pause and clear your perspective, particularly if you have never learned about trans identities from trans people or resources we have recommended below. This article is not intended to say that being on one side or the other makes you a good or bad person.

Pause, with an open mind and heart. Pause and clear your perspective, particularly if you have never learned about trans identities from trans people or resources we have recommended below. This article is not intended to say that being on one side or the other makes you a good or bad person. These are new ideas for many people, and some may assume that historical modes of exclusion have more fact-based justification than they do in reality. We thank you for engaging with this topic, even if you don’t start (or end) with the same perspective we do. 

But try to keep an open mind and empathetic heart. Remember that while you may consider this an academic or political discussion, for some of us, this topic is a fundamental part of our lives. The stakes here go far past the scoreboard or race clock, to the very essence of the identities and lives of trans athletes. And those identities and lives that will be affected by our collective decisions make inclusive transgender athlete rights a topic that is important for everyone.

 

A pattern of prejudice.

Although the Supreme Court recognized rights of transgender people in Bostock, the current Administration has been attempting to dismantle trans rights whenever possible. The recent attempt (that spurred us to write this article in the first place) was on May 28th, when a Letter of Impending Enforcement Action from the Department of Education to Connecticut became public. In the letter, the Administration argued that transgender girls’ (girls whose gender differs from their assigned gender at birth) participation in high-school athletics violates Title IX by claiming that it denies equal opportunity to cisgender girls (girls whose gender matches their assigned gender at birth). This letter is part of a string of policy decisions by the Administration to target transgender people, this time under the guise of protecting cisgender women.

The letter is necessarily predicated on the denial of trans women’s womanhood. Title IX was enacted to ensure women have equal opportunity relative to men in education programs receiving federal funding, but the letter makes no change to the total number of opportunities for women. Its purpose is just to prevent transgender girls from accessing those opportunities by forcing them to choose between not participating in sports or participating in a system that actively denies them their identity. And if enforced, it will have a disproportionate impact on more marginalized groups of trans girls, who may only have access to sports through school. The letter uses an anti-discrimination statute as a means to a discriminatory end.

The letter is about transgender athletes, but it is connected to broader policies that attempt to deny transgender rights in all forms. It started simply, when on the first day of the Administration, they began to remove LGBTQ+ resources from government websites. Since that foreboding start, the Administration has argued against trans youth in courts and attempted to implement a transgender military ban, widely condemned as blatant and pointless discrimination, as outlined in this 2019 Northwestern Law Review article (“the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military is based on prejudice and bias, lacking any legitimate justification”). Most recently, the Administration proposed a rule allowing shelters to discriminate against transgender people experiencing homelessness, and finalized a rule allowing healthcare providers to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. 

States have followed suit. Laws targeting trans people, often trans youth, have been proposed in 11 states this year alone. Idaho passed a state bill banning transgender-athlete participation in schools. Many of the above actions, including the Idaho transgender-athlete ban, are currently being litigated.

On that backdrop, Bostock v. Clayton County provided a breath of hope. But the justice system is an ultramarathon, and it’s tough to know where the implications of the decision will lead. Trans discrimination did not start with this Administration, and it will not end with this Administration. In the meantime, it’s important to openly talk about why the letter excluding transgender women from Title IX is potentially so harmful. We will start with human rights considerations affecting both transgender youth and adults, before getting into performance data.

 

Transgender athlete rights are human rights.

There are far-reaching justice and mental-health issues that result from the denial of trans people’s self-affirmed genders. Our identities are foundational to who we are as people and how we move through the world, on the sports fields and off. A 2011 report surveying thousands of trans people found that the top contributors to improving transgender mental health are access to transition and gender-affirming social support (from both family and peers). Excluding trans girls from sports participation is harmful along both dimensions. The letter from the Department of Education and the other state- and federal-policy decisions have the potential to marginalize, harm and even kill trans people.

For trans-youth athletes in particular, sports with or without age-appropriate transition steps goes beyond the playing field and into the type of society we want to have.

For some athletes, sports participation can be the difference between a fully realized identity and feeling alone in the world. For trans-youth athletes in particular, sports with or without age-appropriate transition steps goes beyond the playing field and into the type of society we want to have. It’s about open acceptance of all people, and about lifting one another up and sharing what matters to us, even if it’s something as seemingly inconsequential as sports.

If sport is just about who wins, then sport loses its power, particularly for children and adolescents. Sports are about stepping into the arena, learning and growing collectively and as individuals. Participation in sport is about life, not a scoreboard. And for trans athletes, sports can make a massive positive difference in the rest of their lives. But even beyond civil- and human-rights issues, performance data for transgender athletes does not approach any standard that could theoretically deny equal rights.

 

Performance data and a lack of an unfair advantage.

Genetic differences will always be a part of performance in sports. In running, genetics plays a factor in your muscle fiber composition, metabolism, VO2 max, durability and more. As we learn more about the complex interplay of genetics and performance, we’re seeing that even psychological factors like mental toughness may be explained at least partially by our genetic codes. We all have talent, it just presents itself in different ways, at different times and with different outcomes.

We all agree that genetic predispositions play a large role in variability of sports performance across individuals. We’ll get to the current information about how genetic differences do not give trans women an unfair advantage shortly, but a threshold inquiry is important first. Why is it that even though we have no problems with genetic differences in general, when the discussion turns to transgender women, we start debating about “unfair” advantages? 

The answer, more often than not, boils down to an implicit assumption that trans women aren’t “real” women. You can see that in some of the media coverage focusing on appearance, or the social-media posts where people become biology experts to match their pre-existing worldview. If we start by acknowledging that trans women are women, then trans women winning women’s races, earning prize money or being awarded scholarships becomes a non-issue, because those opportunities are still going to women. 

Still unsure? We understand that not everyone may be used to this line of thinking. Now may be a good time to pause again and remind ourselves that this topic is unfamiliar for many people, and that’s OK. We are in this together, as a running community. Now, let’s dive into whether trans women have genetic advantages. 

Jump into nearly any discussion of trans women in sports, and you’ll immediately start to hear people discussing height differences, bone structure/density and so on. But arbitrary speculation about what trans women’s bodies look like is unhelpful. Instead, let’s look at the evidence.

A 2015 study by Joanna Harper in the Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities that compared the athletic performances of trans women before and after at least one year of hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) found that transgender women with testosterone levels consistent with cisgender women had no performance advantage as runners. In that study, eight transgender women’s race results before and after HRT were compared over seven years, and the age-graded results were the same.

In other words, trans and cis women sometimes have physiological differences, but performance data on trans runners undergoing HRT does not indicate that those differences provide an athletic advantage.

While that may be a small sample size, multiple case studies back that up, and no study has contradicted the findings. In other words, trans and cis women sometimes have physiological differences, but performance data on trans runners undergoing HRT does not indicate that those differences provide an athletic advantage. While some argue that there’s not enough data to definitely disprove any advantage, trans women should not need to clear an arbitrarily high bar to be allowed to compete. Inclusion should be the default. And exclusion should only be proposed with extensive data to support it, after also strongly weighing the ethical ramifications of exclusion.

 

Simply put, there currently isn’t data to support exclusion. 

The burden of evidence should not be placed on a marginalized and discriminated-against group. Even if you believe trans women should be barred from competition if they have an athletic advantage, there is no evidence to support discriminatory policies against trans women undergoing HRT other than speculation that has not been proven in performance studies on trans runners.

 Regardless of what hormone-replacement therapy does and does not change, the current scientific, data-based understanding is that transgender women following these regulations do not have an advantage in running compared to cisgender women.

While research is ongoing to include more trans women participating in a wider range of sports, this is the science behind the IOC, USATF, the Western States 100 and others’ regulations for trans women. Trans women competing under those regulations are required to maintain testosterone levels consistent with cisgender women for sufficient time before and during competition. A 2016 article in Current Sports Medicine Reports underscored that the regulations were supported by the limited scientific data available. Regardless of what hormone-replacement therapy does and does not change, the current scientific, data-based understanding is that transgender women following these regulations do not have an advantage in running compared to cisgender women.

These regulations can be burdensome, stigmatizing and potentially unfair to trans women. Trans women competing under USATF and IOC regulations are responsible for proving their eligibility to compete. Trans women are required to pay for and maintain medical records and lab results demonstrating that they meet these requirements. They are then required to furnish their private and intimate medical history on request to race directors, a stigmatizing process that few cisgender women will ever have to deal with.

And for individuals undergoing medical transition, HRT is about so much more than sports. The vast majority of trans women who take HRT do so to undergo as affirming a medical transition as possible. This typically means maintaining testosterone levels consistent with, or sometimes even lower than the average for cis women. But HRT is more complex than a testosterone dial you can tune at whim. Just as cisgender women have a bell curve of possible hormone levels, so do trans women. As an example, in my (Bee’s) case, my testosterone level pre-HRT was well within the typical range for cis men. On HRT, even without specifically trying to lower testosterone below average, my lab results frequently show my testosterone level to be over an order of magnitude lower than the average cisgender woman.

Yes, there are other factors at play like bone structure and height for some trans women. No one is debating that men on average perform at higher levels in sports. But trans women are not men, trans women on HRT have different physiologies than men, and there is currently no evidence that those differences actually give trans women on HRT an advantage. Performance is far more complicated than simplistic biological models for all athletes, whether trans or not. Bone structure, height, and testosterone are just a few of thousands of variables that can increase or decrease performance, some of which we can see and measure, and some of which we can’t. When those thousands of variables are added together for trans women undergoing HRT, there is currently no demonstrated performance advantage in the lab or on the track.

 

A fair future.

The critical forecasts of trans women taking over sports have simply not happened, after many years of trans participation. There has never been an out, transgender national champion in any distance-running event in the U.S., despite the women’s national records at all distances being relatively achievable marks for high-performing men. The Olympics has never included a single out, transgender athlete, despite trans athletes being allowed to participate since the 2004 Winter Olympics.

If the playing field is truly equal, it is a statistical inevitability that trans women will eventually win some of these championships, make some national teams, and earn some of the medals. That will be evidence that things are moving toward fairness, not away from it. In that future, any policies designed to exclude a vulnerable group will need to rely on undeniable scientific evidence of population-wide performance advantages, in addition to a thorough ethical discussion. And if that standard is not met, we must allow individual trans athletes to be performance outliers, just as we allow cis athletes to be outliers.

When we develop regulations governing trans women in sports, we should seek to be inclusive of as many trans women as possible, from policies governing local trail races and youth sports all the way up to policies for the Olympics and other professional events.

Additionally, transgender women are not a monolith. Some trans women have early access to gender-affirming medical treatment and never go through a stereotypcally-male puberty. Some trans women are also intersex. Some trans women are not able or do not want to seek hormone replacement therapy. And some trans women seek access to treatment, but are blocked by the same institutions that point to that lack of treatment as reason to exclude. When we develop regulations governing trans women in sports, we should seek to be inclusive of as many trans women as possible, from policies governing local trail races and youth sports all the way up to policies for the Olympics and other professional events.

For discriminatory policies to be justified, the barrier to jump is high. The argument in favor of limiting the right of trans women to compete has yet to leave the ground.

 

What next?

The current Administration letter is still new, and it’s unclear what its impact will be. At best, we can hope that the policy doesn’t stand up to further scrutiny. At worst, it has the potential to completely deny trans people the ability to participate in any school or collegiate sports in a way that affirms their identity and right to exist as themselves. It’s also not the first legal attack on trans participation in sports, and unfortunately it won’t be the last. Whatever happens, we need to come together to stand up against rules that seek to divide and exclude us. Acceptance and love are almost always the answers.

It’s normal to be conflicted on these and other complex issues. All we are trying to do is get you to rethink what you may be bringing into this issue. Sports brings people together and can be the impetus for positive change, but the playing field is sometimes the first place people think about this topic in a substantive way. It’s imperative that we give trans women the right to be themselves. And that includes the right to be one of the outliers who win races, as well as one of the thousands of trans athletes that are everywhere else on the performance bell curve. 

The next time you discuss trans athletes, please consider weighing whether your position is fair to trans women just as strongly as you weigh your position’s fairness to cis women.

Everyone deserves fair treatment; that includes cis women, and it also includes trans women. The next time you discuss trans athletes, please consider weighing whether your position is fair to trans women just as strongly as you weigh your position’s fairness to cis women. Races should explicitly state inclusive policies for transgender athletes, matching or building on existing policies like that of the Western States 100. Transgender athlete voices should be respected. If there is a question of a trans athlete’s performance, that question should be handled as confidentially and respectfully as possible following inclusive trans athlete policies, and individual trans athletes shouldn’t be interrogated about their performance just because they’re good at their sport. Perhaps most importantly, we should try to be as open and accepting as we can, lifting up transgender athletes and everyone else along the way.

A trans woman winning a race is not evidence that trans women have an advantage, just as a cis woman winning races is not evidence that cis women have an advantage. We need to allow trans women to celebrate race performances without needing to repeatedly justify their right to participate. Fear and exclusion got us here, but acceptance and love can guide us forward.

Thank you for reading and caring. We appreciate your time and understanding.

 

Resources to access, learn from and support.

The Freedom Fund is an LGBTQ-centered bail fund.

Lambda Legal is an organization that provides advocacy and legal support to the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Marsha P Johnson Institute is dedicated to supporting Black transgender people.

PFLAG is a network providing resources and support to friends and family of LGBTQ+ people.

Trans Lifeline is an intersex, nonbinary, and transgender specific crisis hotline.

Transgender Law Center is a legal support and advocacy organization for the trans community with an explicitly intersectional focus.

The Trevor Project provides support services to LGBTQ youth.

 

Bee (she/her) is a transgender trail and ultra runner who has been competing with other women in races for the past number of years.

David Roche (he/him) is a lawyer and running coach who has coached Bee for over four years.

 

               
   
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Stacy Pietari
Stacy Pietari
1 month ago

Great article! Bought myself and a friend a subscription to TR to encourage more work like this.

David Roche
David Roche
1 month ago
Reply to  Stacy Pietari

Thank you so much Stacy! This is so meaningful to a freelance writer like me, who loves reading Trail Runner myself and is worried that my attempt to start from a place of inclusion might cause problems for the magazine. You are such a fantastic person!

Clare Gallagher
Clare Gallagher
1 month ago

What an incredible article! I learned so much and completely agree that “The burden of evidence should not be placed on a marginalized and discriminated-against group.” As a cis-woman, I am overjoyed to race against all women, cis and trans. I cannot imagine the emotional and financial cost of proving one’s hormone levels. Sport is so much more than a testosterone reading. I hope more races adopt the WS100 policy. Thank you, David!

Clare Gallagher
Clare Gallagher
1 month ago

And Bee!!

Mark MacAskill
Mark MacAskill
1 month ago

A good article informs. It educates. Sometimes it entertains.

A great article elicits empathy. It expands our understanding of this shared humanity we are apart of in similar and different ways.

This is a great article. It has me rethinking my position and wanting to further ponder and discuss it the issues.

Thank you both, Bee and David.

David Roche
David Roche
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark MacAskill

THANK YOU MARK!!! The main thing I want people to take away is that it’s OK to be unsure, especially at first. We’re all in this together, and no matter what, we can all grow into new positions as the evidence changes. In the meantime, transgender and non-binary athletes are part of the community too, and any way we can include everyone is awesome in my book. YOU ARE SO GREAT!!

Spencer
Spencer
1 month ago

Thank you Bee and David for this excellent article. I run because it challenges me and makes me a better person. This article challenges me and makes me a better person , too.

Runbot
Runbot
1 month ago

Discussion of gender rights, abortion, guns, religion, race or politics have NO place in a magazine called TRAIL RUNNER. We’re bombarded with media outlets discussing this rubbish. As a subscriber who was with you since the beginning, I’m sorry to go. Hopefully your new constituency will flock to you with subscriptions. I read our magazine to get away from political arguments, but you’re determined to make TRAIL RUNNER a platform for your liberal philosophies.

Trump2020
Trump2020
1 month ago
Reply to  Runbot

Totally agree – week after week David Roche’s articles reek of his liberal bias and simple distain for the current administration. Keep your politics to yourself! I don’t need that involved in my hobby that is supposed to allow me a break from that noise!

Additionally, the condescension in the article continuously reminding the reader to “step back, think it over, don’t react, be more conscientious of others” – please do not tell me how to think or feel! As a female athlete and mother to a female – yes, a REAL female – one that God put on this earth from day one, how dare you try to take away my opportunities (or daughters) to win a race, a scholarship, age group, etc? You are beyond objective to your bias as a coach to a transgender woman – how you can’t see the blatant advantage a trans woman has after YEARS of testosterone advantages flooding their bloodstream to grow greater muscular stature, enhanced lung capacity, greater bone structure and much more to name a few is disgraceful and needs to be rechecked!

Trail Runner – you lost me now! This was the last straw! Sorry, not sorry!

Lindy
Lindy
1 month ago
Reply to  Trump2020

Why do you run?

Mtnruns
Mtnruns
1 month ago
Reply to  Trump2020

Totally disagree with the “nonsense” that transgenders can perform in women sports equally. Women’s sports is now dying, only to be given over to transgenders who have the upper hand when it comes to competition. No longer can a female compete for scholarships with other females legit. Transgenders have the advantage in women sports. Female athletes are being robbed of all their hard work and dedication only for it to be taken away from a transgender females and is a disgrace. What does the future hold for our daughters or grand daughters who want a fair chance at scholarships and fair athletic competition? Don’t force your political opinion on those who don’t agree with you. Stop making the argument for transgender sports as equality. It’s not equal. Our daughters and granddaughters are paying the price. Has anyone ever thought about them? Has anyone ever thought about their human rights? Probably not since everyone is trying to force the belief that transgender females competing with biological females is normal and everyone should be accepting. If this magazine is fair, then publish an article about the women who were denied scholarships because a transgender took it away from them. Let’s hear that side of the story too if you are not trying to be political.

Caroline
Caroline
1 month ago
Reply to  Mtnruns

Did you read the article?

Shane
Shane
1 month ago
Reply to  Trump2020

For a group that stereotypically refers to those with a liberal bias as “snowflakes”…pot, meet kettle. So much whining.

Lindy
Lindy
1 month ago
Reply to  Runbot

Why do you run?

Zoomer
Zoomer
1 month ago
Reply to  Lindy

I’m genuinely curious as to what point you would like to make here.

denise
denise
1 month ago
Reply to  Runbot

I agree completally!

Tamara
Tamara
1 month ago
Reply to  Runbot

This isn’t about politics. It’s about human rights. The trail running community is one of the most inclusive groups of humans on the planet. So inclusive that we will welcome you back when you develop some empathy.

Zoomer
Zoomer
1 month ago
Reply to  Tamara

Hahah “we’re so inclusive that we’ll welcome you back when you agree with us”

Meghan Gainor
Meghan Gainor
1 month ago
Reply to  Tamara

What a disgusting hypocrite you are Tamara. “We” [forgetting you’re the minority of extreme liberals here] will only be inclusive to those who agree with you! Wow! I cannot believe you were stupid enough to actually write that and not realize how dumb you sound. But then again, you can’t see your attitude is KILLING FEMALE SPORTS!

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Runbot

Agreed. Although this may pull at some heart strings, why are we trying to normalize the abnormal.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

Bullcrap on this article. A man does not get to steal a gold medal from a hard-working woman in the Olympics, OR in a hometown 5k. Men are not built like women. A man’s bone structure does not change into a females with hormone therapy.

Carrie
Carrie
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

Agreed. Also where is the discussion in this article on trans men competing with cis men? Or do they not? Do trans men actually get to continue competing against women because they are still physiologically women? This burden of trans acceptance seems to fall disproportionately on women in general.

Runnerman
Runnerman
1 month ago

Terrible article. Canceling my subscription.

Aztrailrunner
Aztrailrunner
1 month ago
Reply to  Runnerman

Agreed…

Allison
Allison
1 month ago

Thank you so much, Bee and David.

I’m a trans woman that has giving up racing completely due to concerns about the anger I might receive from others, or difficulties even figuring out how to register for races. (Should I just ask to get excluded from all the age group results? Will people get mad? But my race bib could be confusing for people too…) I’m not going

Reading this article brightened up my day incredibly. Thank you.

I’ve ran (and had raced) for many years, and it’s been an excellent way to stay healthy, manage my body and mental health, and build community with others. Getting other people into running (and recommending David’s articles and “The Happy Runner” to others) has helped me make friends.

To those of you who are still unsure about this, think about how much running means to you, and what it could mean to take away the chance to participate with others.

Thanks again, this was really great!

Gone bye Trailrunner
Gone bye Trailrunner
1 month ago

What a terrible article. Week after week David Roche turns the greatest thing I have trail running into his disgusting liberal hatred for Conservatives and his hell bent on destroying all real females from wanting to compete because now loser men suddenly decide they can easily beat real females. I have already cancelled my subscription

ROBERT HARRIS
ROBERT HARRIS
1 month ago

Call yourself what ever you like but that doesn’t mean you can win an award in a category that you are not biologically eligible for. It is a denial of the data (science) that it is an equal playing field.

Deb
Deb
1 month ago
Reply to  ROBERT HARRIS

Um, did you read the article? I think they were said the DATA shows running performance becomes similar after one year of hormone treatment… though it was a small sample, and research should continue…

Maija
Maija
1 month ago

The fact that this magazine would support the destruction of women’s sports is appalling. I’ve already unsubscribed. It’s not an issue of whether or not a person has the right to call themselves the gender they were not born as. It’s about common sense. If women and men are physically equal then there was no need for title 9. You don’t see formally women winning men’s events, therefore it’s a one sided problem that only affects biological women unfairly.

Deb
Deb
1 month ago
Reply to  Maija

Title IX: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Title IX is often identified with equity in high school and collegiate sports (because the Tower Amendment, which would have excluded athletics from the law, was not passed). But it is much broader.

Title IX is a sex discrimination law. It fills the gap from the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which did not prohibit sex discrimination against persons employed at educational institutions; and from Title VI, which prohibited discrimination in federally funded private and public entities based on race, color, and national origin but NOT sex. Contrary to your suggestion, it is NOT about athletic ability. In fact, it probably PROTECTS trans athletes. (I’m not a lawyer, though.)

Its impact has been profound on sports, though. When my mom went to school in the 50s/60s, there were only 2-3 sports for girls, definitely not track or XC. So I’m very grateful for the opportunities it gave me to explore sports in high school. We still have far to go, though, given inequities in funding (college football, basketball…) and pro sports opportunities & compensatin (USA women’s soccer losing their equal pay lawsuit, for example).

T J
T J
1 month ago
Reply to  Deb

Title 9 was, and still is in a lot of cases, completely necessary. There are very real implications to that law the closer we inch towards classifications based on gender identifications as opposed to biological sex.

Completely unrelated to this article but since you had such a thorough T9 response 🙂

It will be really interesting to see how COVID affects the collegiate landscape. A lot of sports (both men’s and women’s) are funded by the usual money makers (men’s football, men’s and women’s basketball, etc). If those go away or have income reduced, I’m afraid it’s going to be devastating to the smaller sports.

KEITH BELDEN
KEITH BELDEN
1 month ago

Bee and David,

Thanks for the fine article. As a cis male I learn more each time I am exposed to unconventional ideas. I still have questions but am definitely on the side of inclusiveness and want to believe that the trail running community can and should be a leader in sports inclusivity. I think the current Administration has been moving down a wrongheaded path from the outset, dividing instead of uniting people and they need to be replaced come November.

McDermont
McDermont
1 month ago

Not sure about this. I’d say the opposite on the burden of proof part. It was interesting to read that there are studies that suggest there is not an unfair advantage and I appreciate the nod that these have not been conclusive – more research is needed. But it was enough to open my mind a bit more to more inclusive possibilities. But still, I’m the opposite on burden of proof. If we aren’t sure about the fairness of someone competing, why should we assume the best thing to do is to let them compete? That is kind to the transgender athlete but potentially not kind to the multitudes of other women she is competing against. There is no reason to automatically assume the best approach is inclusivity when we aren’t sure of fairness. Sport is about competition and competing against other people of a similar category to see who is the best. That is the point. If we still aren’t sure if you fit in the category, I for one would say that needs to be established before you are let in. I understand that’s potentially hurtful, but there’s potential hurt to the other athletes you may have an advantage over and their life’s are just as important as yours.

Also look up Hannah Mouncey. I find it hard to believe she does not receive physical benefits from spending most of her life as a man, does anyone disagree with that? Genuinely curious.

Anyhow, I still appreciate the conversation in an article that, while I found it a bit condescending, overall was a fairly honest and balanced read.

B-Rad
B-Rad
1 month ago

I can only imagine what it must feel like to be born a gender that doesn’t fit my identity, but stating that there is a pattern of prejudice is just not true. Where is the right for biological women to compete against biological women? The statistical presence of trans runners is minuscule, so are we literally ignoring the overwhelming majority of women’s rights to cater to a tiny percent of the population?

There is a clear and undeniably scientific advantage to having the muscle density, testosterone, etc during developmental years as a male and then suddenly walking onto the track or field as a woman. There are cases of mediocre male athletes (like the two athletes in Connecticut) who step onto the track and literally crush the women athletes, denying them podiums they deserve.

Take the trans powerlifter who easily beats every woman ever matched against and the MMA fighter who crushed the skull of a top female fighter who said, “I’d never been struck with such power ever in my life”. Not only was this competition unfair, it was dangerous.

I’d thought as a trail runner due to the culture of common sense we share, this would never be an issue, but not even our sport is immune to the travesty of biologically developed men, now women competing with an unfair advantage.

Again, I am empathetic but denying the rights of the deserving majority to cater to a minuscule number of people is not the right thing to do.

Tim Monaco
Tim Monaco
1 month ago

As a lifelong athlete and an anatomist, I am here to tell you that every CELL in the human body is bianary: you are either born male or female. This isn’t just an issue of what’s in your pants, or an issue of your mental perception of yourself. Every cell in your body responds to hormones and functions differently. There will never be a fair playing field when physiological males are allowed to compete against physiological females. Regardless of hormone alterations, or sexual reassignment, every other cell in the body remains male. There are much bigger issues that need to be addressed around this topic, but we are collectively getting farther away from real healing for people with gender dysphoria when we see the majority of media directed at trying to create normalization for something that is not normal. I have no biases about anyone’s beliefs or feelings, and this shouldn’t be construed as hateful in any way. I am simple stating facts of human anatomy.

T J
T J
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim Monaco

Best comment of the bunch. Cannot upvote this enough.

McDermont
McDermont
1 month ago

Another thing worth considering in terms of burden of proof is mixed martial arts. People can literally die in that sport so that’s a clear example of how damaging it can be to say the burden of proof lies with the skeptics. If you’re going to compete in a sport where you can potentially kill someone via an unfair advantage id say it is on you to prove it’s an even playing ground before you’re let in the door rather than vice versa.

John
John
1 month ago

Absolutely ridiculous commentary. The fact that this article was written, much less published, saddens me deeply, and is an embarrassment to this otherwise seemingly grounded magazine.

Wooly
Wooly
1 month ago

Terrible judgement. I am not even going to comment on the morality issue of transgenders or the fairness issue of letting them compete in a category that does not match their biology. I am just canceling my subscription because I don’t want this crap in my trail running. As you can read by others’ comments many of us look to trail running as an escape from all the stupidity going on in culture so the last thing we want is it polluted by articles like this. I feel guilty even letting my personal opinion into this silly editorial comment, but somehow the editors of the magazine feel comfortable hijacking a captive audience to promote their own political agenda?? Shame on you!! Hopefully there is some accountability for this terrible lack of judgment.

Lindy
Lindy
1 month ago

Thank you so much Bee, David, and Trail Runner! These challenging articles are what our sport needs! We do not need more privileged folks getting better at the sport through training tips. We need to lift others up first and always!!!

This comment section shows how essential conversations about trans rights are. The defensive and aggressive behavior below exemplifies the discomfort many folks feel thinking about trans rights. Overall, I see this as progress. Change is uncomfortable. Y’all got people thinking and that’s a start!

I ask those of you that are upset by this article to think more deeply about your discomfort. What is the root of your anger? Are you really feeling angry or is more confusion? Do you have questions about what the sport looks like with more transgender athletes in the field? Do you feel threatened by their presence? If so, why? Why do you even run in the first place? Chances are that we are ALL running because we love it and believe it makes us better PEOPLE. We are all just people chasing after the same finish line.

P.S. Anger isn’t good for running; smiling is. That’s ACTUAL science.

B-Rad
B-Rad
1 month ago
Reply to  Lindy

I haven’t really seen any anger. I’m certainly not angry, just pointing out that empirical data shows that anatomically there are differences in males and females and it is unfair to biological women to have them compete against biological males.

It’s very simple. This belief doesn’t mean I dislike anyone who is trans or that I’m angry. I would run with anyone with any belief as long as it didn’t harm or discriminate against anyone else. But, you can’t be a biological male and get on the female podium. It isn’t fair.

Katie
Katie
1 month ago

biological males, whether or not they identify as trans women should not be allowed to compete against biological women. Transwomen are not banned from sports. They should not, however, be permitted to participate in the special category that is women’s sports the same way an able-bodied person cannot compete in parasports or an adult cannot compete in children’s sports. 12 months of HRT does not erase the advantages of male puberty (bone structure/density, larger heart & lungs, physical size) and does not decrease physical strength https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/782557v1

Furthermore, how is female not a marginalized group already? It wasn’t until TitleIX that women and girls had the opportunity to participate in sports. What about the iconic photo of Katherine Switzer, the first woman to register for and run the Boston Marathon nearly being dragged out of it by an event organizer? This isn’t ancient history, She ran the Boston Marathon again only a couple of years ago. She’s still alive, young enough and healthy enough to still be running marathons. What about all the women in professional sports who make a fraction of that their male counterparts make, or amateurs who cannot get the sponsorship their male counterparts get. Female sport is still barely off the ground.

I would fully support creating another special category for trans athletes, This would be a simple thing to do in running especially – men and women run together and awards are already given out based on sex/age groups – just add another category of awards. Allowing biological men in women’s sports, however, will erode and ultimately destroy women’s sports.

Scott Whisler
Scott Whisler
1 month ago

Thank you David and Bee! As a CIS male with a growing number friends who are trans women, trans men, and non-binary, it is great to read this call for calm reflection, understanding, and inclusion. I have always loved the inclusivity of the trail running community, and it feels like this should be an easy step, so I’m sad that it’s so hard for so many people to relax and coexist!

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

Awesome article! Thanks for this such an important perspective!

C. Potter
C. Potter
1 month ago

Its a shame you politicized your organization and this article. This current administration has not attempted to “dismantle human rights”. I am a swim coach for males and females and all I/we want is a level playing field and fairness. You can find articles and “studies” nowadays to identify with whatever side a person or organization wants but that is Utopian and not reality. The girls/women deserve fairness. If trans people want to compete fairly then there should be a separate category for those individual to make athletics fair.

streaker
streaker
1 month ago

I think it would be unfair if Courtney Dauwalter were allowed to sign up in the men’s field. On the other hand I also think the Connecticut situation seemed unfair. Sorry I can’t help in figuring out the best solution. There will always be winners and losers in life.

Zoomer
Zoomer
1 month ago

Guys, the study you cited is of 8 trans athletes doing distance running.

1. That’s a laughably small sample size

2. Distance running is a sport that is actually quite equal between genders: there’s a reason that women so often beat out men overall in ultras (see Courtney Dauwalter). When you’re talking about sports where power and speed are the key, biological men absolutely have an advantage over biological women. That’s why these tests of having transwomen in MMA, Rugby, Handball, etc are ending up with disparate results at best and dangerous situations for women at worst.

The vast majority of people with objections (like me) care about the feelings of trans people, but the facts don’t.

You’ve asked us to “pause and clear our perspectives”, maybe you should try doing the same?

Zoomer
Zoomer
1 month ago

This whole Title IX argument hinges on the question of is a transwoman the same as a biological female.

What makes a biological female? Her feelings? Her actions? The way she looks? Obviously not. People of both genders have 7.8 billion iterations (As of June 2020) of how they feel, act, and look, and to categorize them into biological gender based on any of that is just unworkable.

The only standard we’ve got to that end is genetics; what chromosomes have you got?*

And that obviously determines a lot. Your power, speed, lung capacity, height, etc. That’s why we’ve demarcate sports along that biological line in the first place.

So is it true to say to women that men, once nerfed with the right chemicals, are now ‘fit’ to compete with them? What kind of message does that send? That women are just weaker men? I don’t like the implications of that at all.

If you were making the argument that we should get rid of all gender demarcation in athletic competition that would be an interesting point, after all the fastest-strongest-most skilled is just so regardless of their gender. However trans-athletes competing within the current gendered system just doesn’t address the reason the system exists in the first place.

So what makes a biological female?

There must be a way that we can be compassionate to people with gender-dysphoria while not letting it take opportunities away from biological women. And yes, the opportunities ARE taken when you fail to determine womanhood biologically.

Identifying as a woman and being a woman are two different things, I’m sorry if the truth is hard but as one of my mentors once told me,

“The truth will set you free.”

*Intersex people generally assume the majority of traits of one biological gender and are a statistical anomaly. They are only known as ‘intersex’ and not as a third biological gender because they present traits of each gender, not unique traits.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Zoomer

Do doctors determine genetics When a child is born to decide someone’s gender or sex? Last I checked it’s an exclusive look between the legs that determines someone’s sex legally.

Like have you had your genetics tested? You may be surprised to find out your results! As we do more genetic testing we find that people Who might have Male genetalia don’t always have XY chromosomes. Should we stop AMAB men from competing if they get tested and find that even though they’ve always had a penis they have XX or XXY chromosomes?

I like the idea of all genders competing without a difference, I ran with some elite women in practice (I ran 16:30’s for 5k in high school) and was always disappointed that I didn’t get to actually compete against them because of some arbitrary thing like gender!

Zoomer
Zoomer
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

Interesting point.

I don’t think I’ve ever been tested but what is the chance that I, a cis man, would come out to not have XY chromosomes.

If you look at the prevalence of intersex people, you get numbers ranging from 0.018% to 1.7% of the population being intersex. Why the disparity? Well the higher number (1.7%) takes into account all types of chromosomal and phenotypical aberrations which means everything from Klinefelter’s syndrome to ambiguous genitals. When you only take the phenotypical definition of intersex into account, you get the lower number (0.018%).

I’ll say this, I’ve learned something. I didn’t know people with XX chromosomes could present male phenotypes (De la Chapelle syndrome). However only 200 cases of De la Chapelle syndrome had been recorded as of 2010, the prevalence is extremely low, and people tend to get this condition by something not going right in their genes, which calls into question if they truly have a female XX configuration.

I think there’s more nuance to be had when discussing this, for sure. You’ve shown me that I need to be more deliberate when making my argument. However most people making these decisions don’t have the facts (if they’re using them at all) and the implications can be dire.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Zoomer

Thanks for doing research!

Is there a chance that the reason the results are low on males with XX is that we don’t have the average population get genetic testing?

I should also mention I’ve heard many trans people that get genetics tested find they have a different set of chromosomes as well, but many don’t get tested due to all the other things they have to do to Transition.

It’s definitely more complicated.

I wonder if something akin to weight classes in wrestling would be better suited to track and field? After all weight does account for bone and muscle structure (which tends to be a big complaint about trans women competing)

Zoomer
Zoomer
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

Weight classes are actually an interesting idea. As an alternative to genders, I could see that being possible for some sports. Of course, contact and combat sports are something different. I would personally be interested in seeing some case studies on that.

As for the incidence of people having irregular chromosomes, I’d need more evidence to establish that it’s higher than the current highest estimate of around 1.7%. I’d think the more of the general population you tested, the more that number would actually go down because you’re right, most people don’t get their genes tested. That however doesn’t change the fact of what these irregularities in chromosomes are: irregular. When you have a gender based system like we do now, we do have to work within the bounds of primary hormonal expression and phenotypes. It’s precisely for this reason that I’m interested in your proposition to demarcate by weight class.

I’d also like to say that I don’t understand why you’re getting downvoted, you’re being very respectful and raising some really good points. I feel like my position has been challenged quite productively. I hope you feel the same way, and I hope this goes to show that we’re all just trying to make a fair society on both sides of the issue.

Runbot
Runbot
1 month ago
Reply to  Zoomer

We agree on something? As boxing learned long ago, so should running (trail, marathons, etc).

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Zoomer

Yeah I agree! Discourse is important and worth the time! Thanks for chatting! Good thoughts!

Moi
Moi
1 month ago

As other commentators have already stated, the sample size of the study makes the results almost insignificant.

A person’s subjective feelings about “feeling” like a woman or a man (and I have never heard a trans person be able to actually articulate what this means without resorting to regressive stereotypes), does not change physical, biological reality.

There is a reason boys and girls and men’s and women’s sports are segregated, and it has everything to do with biology.

It is not bigoted or transphobic to acknowledge this.

When this movement morphed into mandating others’ perceptions of trans identities is where you lost the vast majority of otherwise progressive people.

Aric
Aric
1 month ago

WOW your rationale is a bit of a stretch. X’s and Y’s!! Cannot disagree more. Sports is always about winning. If not, than its just a physical activity. If my daughter loses out a pole vault to a genetic man there my be some words not suitable for her ears. Trash article.

Andra
Andra
1 month ago

Thank you for a fantastic article! It saddens me to see other responses that appear to indicate that the people who wrote them weren’t able to pause, clear their perspective, and truly digest what was presented. Inclusivity and equality aren’t liberal agendas, they are human agendas.

Moi
Moi
1 month ago

NY Times headline today, from an Op-Ed: “Sex Does Not Mean Gender. Equating them Erases Trans Live.”

Let’s accept this as true. Sports are not segregated by gender. You do not get it both ways.

Equating gender and sex in the realm of sports erases women. Biological women.

Guest
Guest
1 month ago

I may be in the decent, i’m all for my LGBTQ friends, but not when it comes to the science of male/female physiology in sports. there is no way a male will ever come down with menstrual cramps in the middle of a run. I am 100% for giving them their own division however or making sure even high schoolers are tested for testosterone levels as per the Olympic requirements. The science behind mens physiology, bone structure, muscle structure and their ability to have a far higher VO2 max proves women are at an extreme disadvantage even to a castrated male. Even in animal sports there is a large disparity between the genders. If they can meet the same requirements as Olympic athletes have to then i’d take a harder look at the science behind it all. The problem mostly is high school athletes are not even being questioned, tested or checked. Honestly I think it’s a huge step back for women rights and athletics.

Chris Felix
Chris Felix
1 month ago

Excellent article and VERY educational insight to a growing subject. It is refreshing to see that this is addressed here in this arena. My personal feeling is that (generally) the running community is more inclusive of all people. Perhaps as the level increases so does the scrutiny of trans athletes, however, we must remember that we are allowed human rights.

Laura Podrasky
Laura Podrasky
1 month ago

Thank you for sharing this article. I am learning that I need to unlearn, this article is a great starting place for me to begin to unlearn my bias.

Deb
Deb
1 month ago

Great article. Complex issue that has interplay with topics like naturally occurring high testosterone in female athletes like Caster Semenya and Dutee Chand, issues of “fair sport” and “clean sport.” You did a great job introducing the question, “What IS an intrinsic advantage?” Which ones matter the most to performance? Height? XY/XX? VO2 Max? Hormone status? Dutee has pointed out she has high testosterone, but she’s also short. What about your training, diet, injury status, racing experience, or mental fortitude?

Would love to see a follow up on male transgender athletes, due to their need for testosterone supplementation and probably verifying their levels (high testing burden). Given a lack of testing for PEDs or biological passport system in trail running for elites, would love to see that addressed. Disappointed that many comments continue asserting a running performance advantage after sufficient hormone transition, despite contrary data offered by the authors.

To all the trans women (& men) out there, would love to join you for a run any time! Don’t let the haters get you down. The trails are plentiful, with lots of miles and fresh air for all.

Donnie
Donnie
1 month ago

I just cancelled my subscription. David’s article makes no sense at all. Yes, lets all be kind and love one another, but lets be fair to our wonderful real females, wives and daughters. I have a wonderful friend, a real female that was knocked off the podium by a trans woman, was that fair? She was hurt and mad!!!! Females will always be females and males will always be males. The actually size of a male heart, heart rate and volume is significantly different than a female, does that change with surgery and HRT? God made males and females different, Man and Woman, we need to embrace that and not try and make us all the same. Diversity will keep the human race and our population growing stronger. Give the Trans Female their own race category. If they want to be different, let them be different.

K. T
K. T
1 month ago

Need to just strip gender and just compete and see who wins. Heck it might be a person who thinks they are a dog. Don’t laugh that had already been brought up. What’s next?

Duncan
Duncan
1 month ago

GTH. Transgenders have no place in women’s sports. Zero. That isn’t a human right. They do not have a right to use their unfair male biological traits to out compete women in women’s sports. Your publication supporting this is an utter disgrace. Consider me unsubscribed from your publication.

Molly M
Molly M
1 month ago

Bee and David – thank y’all both for the time and energy that went into this article and for your approach. I so agree that inclusion should be the default and I hope to see other races adopt polices like WS100. Proud to be a TR subscriber!

Charlotte
Charlotte
1 month ago

I’m not sure where I stand on this issue, and others in the comments have argued both sides more eloquently than I would be able to anyway. I do want to thank you for the conversation though. Having the government mandate how sports handles it is very different than each event decide for themselves.
The issue of testosterone levels deciding whether you can compete as a female also affects cis women, as I recall there was a cis female Olympic medalist who was told she can’t compete as a woman because her natural testosterone is too high.

Thanks for talking about tough issues, I don’t need to agree with all your conclusions to appreciate the perspective.

Jocelyne
Jocelyne
1 month ago

Thank you David, Bee and Trail Runner for writing, defending human rights and publishing this important piece.

I’m saddened to see all the negative comments – we still have a long way to come, even in the trail running community apparently.

Just wanted to add my voice to those supporting love, inclusion and the importance of constantly challenging pre-conceived ideas.

Jim Skal
Jim Skal
1 month ago

Good riddance to your attempts at social engineering.

Blake
Blake
1 month ago

Thanks a lot for forcing me to cancel a 15+ year subscription to what has been my favorite magazine. I have loved Trail Runner because I love trail running. Now I’m subjected to brainwashed foolishness. To those who support this madness: don’t you realize the “slippery slope” this is? Years from now, you who embrace this chaos will possibly be aghast at what constitutes the latest “human rights” cause, while the latest generation shoves it down your throats.

Ben
Ben
1 month ago

When I read the letters referenced in your article from the bigoted “Current Administration”, I did not recognize a single name of someone who I know as part of this “Current Administration”. However, you talk about how wonderful the ruling by the Supreme Court was in Bostock v. Clayton County. This is more the “Current Administration” than the anyone listed on the other court rulings. Is it really the “Current Administration” that is trying “To target transgender people”?
Also, please realize where this goes when you base things on a subjective decision not an objective reality. I am, at best, a mediocre male runner but in almost all the races I run I beat every female. Occasionally, an amazing female runner will smoke me because there are some people with incredible talent, but not often. Even if I decided to take hormone treatment, my physical ability would not diminish. My decision to register as a subjective female would knock every objective female one notch down on the podium. If you are okay with that, I may decide to register as a female in my next race. What now is stopping me?
Something that should have been referenced in this article and was deliberately sidestepped was the court ruling on the Caster Semenya issue brought before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Executive Summary states “The purpose of having separate categories is to protect a class of individuals who lack certain insuperable performance advantages from having to compete against individuals who possess those insuperable advantages.” When medals are awarded for individual performance, the playing field must be level.

David Thompson
David Thompson
1 month ago

Perhaps we are at a point of removing all references to gender from running events (male versus female age group and category awards) and move to one body as runners with no differentiations? Fastest times determine awards with finisher awards to others if needed. Qualification times also likely need gender neutral standardization. When we no longer point out differences beginning at starting line we then can reach the finish line together. It is important to note a position such as this need be applied uniformly. Sex should be removed from race registrations if we move in this fashion to a new running community.

Trails4life
Trails4life
1 month ago
Reply to  David Thompson

That seems to be the aim of some in the identity movement. This will (Unfortunately for women) mean that winners And all the accolades and rewards of practically all sporting events on the planet will be from the gender identity currently known as men.

RD Baille
RD Baille
1 month ago
Reply to  Trails4life

Women have been robbed by men throughout history for every achievement they have earned. If we stand up for themselves on this issue we are being coerced to believe we don’t believe in human rights or the rights of the LGBTQ community. Let’s thank a white man for pitting the 2 groups against one another. I would like women who have worked hard to earn 1)a living 2) an education 3) an athletic scholarship to come forward to discuss.

Rachel
Rachel
1 month ago

So much to learn and absorb from this article. Thank you David and Bee for writing something so thought-provoking and framing it in a way that’s accessible to all. These are the kinds of conversations we should all be having and, as you so beautifully put it: ‘we need to come together to stand up against rules that seek to divide and exclude us. Acceptance and love are almost always the answers.’

Tdoc
Tdoc
1 month ago

There is only one TRUTH. Yes, humans have free will to make choices. But, our choices do not change the truth. We were created male and female. This is not unique to the human race. All mammals are male or female. There is a difference.
I coach youth cross country. Last year at the USATF XC Junior Olympic Nationals, the winner of the 7-8 year old girls race was 34 seconds slower than the boy winner in a 2K race. This is prepubertal. The 9-10 year old 3K race also showed a 34 second difference in the winners. The 11-12 year old difference was 64 seconds! These times/numbers are not political or discriminatory. Genetics and physiology between males and females are different. This is the truth.
So, is it fair for a genetic male to compete with females?

Barb gordon
Barb gordon
1 month ago

Thank you for having the courage to engage on what matters despite knowing how some will react. That makes you both amazing humans that are also role modeling standing up and being heard, with love, no matter what the cost. I am proud to be a subscriber and a member of this community.

Zoe Hrom
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Barb gordon

Barb, you’re the best! Thanks for being a shining light for our community!!

Runbot
Runbot
1 month ago
Reply to  zoe hrom

Zoe, you still have a job there? I credit you & David for helping destroy a magazine I subscribed to and loved for decades. Busy fingers should get at deleting. Gotta maintain the lie. How many subscription cancellations?

Clark
Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Runbot

Destroy is strong word. I think David is the best part of the magazine and I go straight to his column every issue I receive. I have a feeling Trail Runner will continue just fine with or without a small handful of people that can’t handle opinions different then theirs.

Runbot
Runbot
1 month ago
Reply to  Clark

Clark, I love divergent opinions other than my own. I learn a lot in discussions with my more progressive friends. TRAIL RUNNER just isn’t the format to drop a controversial, mostly, opinion piece. Would the Editors of FARM & RANCH or BEEKEEPER’s JOURNAL do this to their readers? Leave TRAIL RUNNER to trail runners – whomever they are.

Katja Hebestreit
Katja Hebestreit
1 month ago

Kudos to David, Bee and Trail Runner for publishing this important article! Seeing the amount of negative reactions it was truly courageous to do so. Thank you for speaking up against the ongoing discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, particularly in the running community!

Clark
Clark
1 month ago

Thanks David & Bee for a great and thought provoking article! I’m so glad I just resubscribed to Trail Runner for another 2 years.

Kelly Hogan
Kelly Hogan
1 month ago

Based on these (wild) comments, who knew trail running appeals to the far right authoritarian crowd, bigots, and MAGA enthusiasts. The more you know….

Runbot
Runbot
1 month ago
Reply to  Kelly Hogan

Would be glad to debate you on gender identity, gun rights, exaggerated racism, politics, etc. – TRAIL RUNNER just isn’t the place to do it.

Moi
Moi
1 month ago
Reply to  Kelly Hogan

Member of the Green Party, and I completely agree that biological males, regardless of subjective identity, have no business competing against biological women. Sex, and the empirical differences between the males and females is real. Saying so is not bigoted, nor transphobic.

 
 

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