By Mirabella Booth
At the 2019, Cycling World Championships there was an obvious elephant in the room: Rachel McKinnon. Rachel McKinnon is a biological male who identifies as a transgender female. In the 200-meter sprint, she won the women’s world championship, and set a woman’s world record in the qualifying event. When critics raised concern that McKinnon has an unfair advantage over her biologically female opponents, Mckinnon said, “Real champions want stronger competition. If you win because bigotry got your competition banned… you’re a loser.”
The male body, which has gone through male puberty, retains an advantage. Men have higher levels of testosterone which enables them to develop larger skeletal muscles and larger hearts. As a result, men naturally have more power, strength, and speed.
It’s unfair that men have a biological advantage over women, but something being inequitable does not make it invalid. To deny that men have a biological advantage over women would be to deny reality.
When Rachel McKinnon begins a race amongst her world-class competitors, she automatically has an edge over her competitors. Sure, “Real champions want stronger competition,” but it's unrealistic to expect that a world-class female athlete will ever reach the same level as a world-class male athlete. In a perfect world, McKinnon would be able to compete alongside her female competitors but in order for that to happen, biological females would miss out on reaching the highest honors of their sport, which they have worked towards their entire life.
Allowing transgender athletes to compete with the gender they identify with would be catering to the 1% at the expense of the majority. When it comes to contact sports, a transgender female who is biologically male, could seriously injure their competitors. As for sports such as cycling, the record books would be dominated by transgender athletes.
If there was a transgender female who loved a particular sport but felt genuinely uncomfortable participating with the opposing gender then they should be able to do so without putting others at risk or stealing well-deserved records from others.
A solution would be: They should play positions that don’t put others at risk such as a goalie in soccer. Their efforts shouldn’t count as records, official times in competition, etc. For example, in track and field, a transgender athlete can race with the gender they wish, but their time is scratched from official results.
It's not perfect for either side but that's life. Sometimes you need to make sacrifices to be who you are.Life isn’t always fair ,but that’s the harsh reality. In this day and age transgender people are as widely accepted as ever. Wanting fairness in sports doesn’t change that.