The issues and rights surrounding people identifying as transgender have gained greater prominence in the past few years — so much so that President Biden included them in his first address to Congress. One issue currently getting press is the debate over trans girls in sports. Twenty states, including Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri, have introduced bills that would ban trans girls from competing on girls’ high school sports teams (via The Associated Press). Among those supporting the ban is someone you might not expect
A reporter for TMZ recently got a few words with Caitlyn Jenner, who is mulling a run for governor of California on the Republican ticket. As Jenner headed back from a trip to Starbucks, the journalist asked her opinion on the trans ban. “This is a question of fairness,” she replied. “That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school. It just isn’t fair. And that’s why we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
The reporter tried to follow up: “But if someone transitions and now identifies as a girl, isn’t it delegitimizing their identity to …” but Jenner cut him off with “Have a good day” before getting into her car. Jenner posted the TMZ article on her Twitter account, commenting, “I didn’t expect to get asked this on my Saturday morning coffee run, but I’m clear about where I stand. It’s an issue of fairness and we need to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
Many saw Caitlyn Jenner's stance as hypocritical
Caitlyn Jenner’s stance struck many as shocking, considering her background. Assigned as male at birth, she grew up as Bruce Jenner, who competed twice at the Olympic Games and won gold in the grueling decathlon event in 1976. In 2015, following three marriages and six children, Jenner realized she could no longer live as a gender with which she never identified. She came out as a trans woman, and underwent gender reassignment surgery.
Though a registered Republican, Jenner has up till now gone against the party’s conservative stance on trans issues. She recently retweeted a New York Times report on the vetoing of an Arkansas bill that would have denied trans youth certain gender-affirming forms of health care. She also dropped her support of former President Trump over his marginalization of the LGBTQ+ community. In an editorial for The Washington Post, she vowed, “The world needs to hear us. The world needs to know us. We will not be erased.”
Now, the criticism is aimed at Jenner. A representative response on Twitter said in part, “How can you, a Trans American, not be for any and everything that will help end the stigmas!!??” Many followers pointed out that trans girls take drugs that suppress male hormones, causing loss of muscle mass and strength. A trans woman follower wrote, “Cait…this ain’t it. When you’re on hormones and/or blockers there is not an advantage. I ran track at the club level with college girls and trust me there is no advantage.”
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