Can a Trans Runner Like Me Compete Fairly? | NYT Opinion


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Can a Trans Runner Like Me Compete Fairly? | NYT Opinion



In the highly politicized debate over whether transgender women should be allowed to play women’s sports, opinions tend to divide into two starkly opposing camps.

There are those people — including lawmakers in dozens of states — who argue that the integrity of girls’ and women’s sports needs to be safeguarded against people assigned male at birth and the physical advantages they may possess. The other side argues that by the very fact of their gender transition, trans girls and women have earned the right to compete as their chosen gender.

But Andie Taylor, a 48-year-old trans woman and competitive runner who has much to gain or lose in this debate, finds herself staking out a more nuanced position, somewhere in the apolitical middle ground.

In the Opinion video above, Ms. Taylor describes how she is eager to compete among women and yearns for inclusion — but only if the scientific research unequivocally shows that her years living as a male did not give her an advantage.

There is little research regarding the performance of transgender athletes, in part because their numbers are so small. Some evidence suggests that trans women retain some athletic advantages after a year of undergoing testosterone suppression. Researchers have also found that those advantages, with time, largely fall away.

As research advances, Ms. Taylor is imploring all sides in the debate to refrain from using the issue for political gain.

“I want to win,” she says, “but I only want to win if I know it’s fair.”

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18 Comments

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  1. Hi I'm Lindsay, one of the producers who made this short film for Opinion Video. In the polarized debate over trans inclusion in sports, we thought it was important to elevate a voice like Andie's — someone who has a lot to lose but wants to make choices based on scientific facts, not opinions.
    If you have any questions about the video and how we made it, post it below and I'll do my best to answer!

  2. I embrace transgendered people, However,…This girl runs competitively her whole life and develops her man's body and then wants to compete against woman with her fully developed male physique? Biology is biology,…maybe after 10 years of hormone therapy.

  3. “No” is the short answer to the title’s question.
    High School sports and up need to either follow the IOC and WA standards.
    OR, they could follow NCAA standards until IOC/WA standards supersede them.
    Otherwise, trans female self-identification is simplistic and blatantly unfair to cis females. Sports are one area where self ID alone simply is not enough. Unfortunate but true; don’t get mad.
    Progressives have shown no common sense on this scientific point. It’s been all or nothing.
    That’s why red states have had a field day enacting exclusionary laws that go much too far.

  4. You know everyone seems to forget, what about trans men? They couldn’t possibly be forced to compete in anything outside of men’s league. Having a trans man compete in their gender assigned at birth would give them an unfair advantage as well.

  5. This would have plenty of room for abuse esp with the huge university level sports we have in the US … start identifying as a woman in high school for instance, compete in female track and field or tennis for ex … a biological and physical man competing against women, in a competitive league/games … get drafted top of your state or league into universities across the country, get full or partial ride at minimum … it’s a shortcut or cheat code for university scholarships … ppl WILL abuse this

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