Transgender fighter Alana McLaughlin submits Celine Provost in MMA debut

Alana McLaughlin, the first openly transgender athlete to compete in mixed martial arts in the United States since 2014, won her MMA debut Friday night, beating Celine Provost via submission on the Combate Global prelims in Miami.

McLaughlin used a rear-naked choke to get the finish at 3 minutes, 32 seconds of the second round.

A former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, McLaughlin is just the second transgender woman to fight in MMA. Fallon Fox, who was the first, was cageside watching McLaughlin.

In the first round, Provost rocked McLaughlin with punches several times and looked to be on the verge of a finish. But in the second, McLaughlin took Provost down, got her back and cinched in the choke.

McLaughlin, 38, passed all the medicals, including a hormone panel, issued by the Florida State Boxing Commission in order to compete Friday night, according to Combate Global executive Mike Afromowitz. McLaughlin has been training at MMA Masters in the Miami area.

It was not easy for Combate to find her a foe, she said.

“It was a nightmare trying to find an opponent,” McLaughlin said before the bout. “I have nothing but respect for [Provost].”

McLaughlin is hoping to be a pioneer for transgender athletes in combat sports, saying she wants to “open the door” and “make space” for others like her.

Fox fought six times in MMA from 2012 to 2014.

Patricio Manuel made boxing history in 2018 when he became the first transgender male to compete in a pro boxing match in the United States. Manuel beat Hugo Aguilar via unanimous decision.

The post appeared first on ESPN

Young transgender athletes caught in middle of states’ debates

BECKY PEPPER-JACKSON slides her toes into her running shoes as the sun sets behind the Appalachian Mountains. She likes to run at the end of the day, when the summer heat has broken and she’s done with her chores. The 11-year-old and her family live on three acres of land outside Bridgeport, West Virginia, a town with fewer than 10,000 people about halfway between Charleston, the state’s capital, and Pittsburgh.

Every morning, Becky has to let the chickens out and fill up the water bucket. “Which half the time ends in a hose fight, by the way,” Becky’s mother, Heather, says.

On this particular July evening, Becky climbs into the family car with her mom, her dad and an older brother to drive to their favorite running spot. The road they live on is too busy, so they drive to a cross street where the cows far outnumber the cars.

“The cars that do come, they can see you from a mile away,” Heather says. “Literally.”

Becky has been logging miles with her mom since Heather pushed her around in a stroller. Now they run a mile through the rolling hills most every evening. Sometimes when they run, they also count. Math is Becky’s favorite subject, so Heather incorporates it where she can. “We do counts while we’re running,” Heather says. Sometimes they count the number of breaths between foot falls. And then to make it interesting, Heather turns it into a story problem. “Like if we take 47 more steps, how many breaths do we need to take in order to stay on our program?”

All of this running has put Becky in position to make the cross country team at her middle school. As a sixth-grader, this is her first chance to run competitively for her school. “It’s the first chance to do any organized sports other than cheer,” Heather says.

Cross country was the obvious choice. “The reason why I love it so much is because my whole family has always done it,” Becky says.

But the path for Becky to run competitively was almost blocked in the spring of 2021 when West Virginia passed HB 3293 — a law that prevents transgender girls from competing in girls’ and women’s sports.

West Virginia is one of seven states that, during the 2021 legislative session, passed a law that restricts transgender athletes’ access to sports; nearly three dozen states in all introduced bills seeking to do the same. As a new school year begins and youth sports regain a foothold after pandemic precautions, transgender kids in the United States are stuck in the middle of the ongoing and often ugly battle over science and assumption, sex and gender identity, politics and policy. Stephanie is a 9-year-old soccer player. Kris Wilka is a 13-year-old football player. They’re not Olympians or NCAA stars. They’re not even high school students. They are kids who just want to play.

“Becky is just like every other 11-year-old girl,” Heather says. “Transgender people are just like everybody else. They’re all normal.”

So, Heather sued.

Policies all over the map

TITLE IX BARS discrimination “on the basis of sex” in educational programs receiving federal funds, including athletics, and it is at the heart of this debate. The interpretation of how Title IX either applies, or doesn’t, to transgender athletes’ participation in sports has been the focus of a partisan tug-of-war during the past three presidential administrations.

When the Obama administration issued formal guidance in the spring of 2016 through the departments of Justice and Education that mandated transgender inclusion in schools, 23 states sued. And when the Trump administration took over in 2017, that guidance was formally rescinded and the lawsuits were dropped.

As the Biden administration has made its picks for leadership in the Department of Education, inclusion of transgender students has been front and center. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has made the federal position clear. “Transgender athletes are students first and foremost, and they deserve every right that every other student gets,” he said in an interview with ESPN’s Paula Lavigne in June. “That means access to extracurricular activities, be it theater, sports. It doesn’t matter.”

Without formal federal policy, opportunities for children like Becky Pepper-Jackson are often determined by where they live. While nine states have laws that restrict transgender athletes’ participation, athletic eligibility for transgender youth typically is determined by the policy of each state’s high school association, creating patchwork policies across the country. Not to mention confusion.

“They’re trying to put legislative momentum behind a problem that really doesn’t exist.”Karissa Niehoff

In Connecticut, for example, transgender students may compete in accordance with their gender identity without requiring medical steps. In Kentucky, transgender students may compete in accordance with their gender identity if they never went through puberty associated with their sex assigned at birth — commonly referred to as endogenous puberty. If they started puberty, they need to have been on hormone therapy for “a sufficient length of time” and have undergone surgery. Otherwise, their birth certificate determines in which category they can participate.

Most of the state associations fall somewhere in between, employing committees to review documentation, or having different rules for transgender boys and transgender girls — not addressing the fact that some students are nonbinary or more fluid with their gender identities. Iowa has two associations — one for boys and one for girls. In the boys association, transgender boys may participate without restriction. The girls association suggests inclusion for transgender girls, but ultimately each school makes a determination.

Sometimes the state associations sit on the sideline. In Georgia, the school decides who can participate where, so if a school says a transgender athlete can play in a category consistent with their gender identity, the association says it would allow that to happen. In Alaska, policies are set at the school level as well, but if a school has no policy, then a student’s birth certificate is used.

But what was once the domain of the state associations has been making its way to statehouses.

In addition to West Virginia, lawmakers in Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi and Montana enacted laws restricting transgender athletes in 2021. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed two executive orders containing similar restrictions for transgender girls in sports at the scholastic and collegiate levels. Those eight states joined Idaho, which was the first state to pass such a law in 2020.

Idaho’s law hasn’t yet gone into effect because a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction on Aug. 17, 2020. Becky and Heather also won a preliminary injunction in West Virginia that allowed Becky to try out for her school’s cross country team this fall.

In West Virginia, Judge Joseph Goodwin pointed to the likelihood of Pepper-Jackson and her lawyers’ eventual success in arguing that HB 3293 is unconstitutional and violates her rights under Title IX.

“At this point, I have been provided with scant evidence that this law addresses any problem at all, let alone an important problem,” Goodwin wrote in the ruling.

Which raises the question, why are so many of these bills being filed, and, in some cases, becoming law?

The origin story

WHEN THE REFEREE raised Mack Beggs’ right arm in 2017 to signify the new Texas girls’ state wrestling champion, eyebrows raised across the country. Beggs, a transgender boy, was unable to compete in the boys division under Texas policy.

Then, transgender sprinters Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood finished first and second in Connecticut’s 2018 outdoor and 2019 indoor girls’ state track championships.

Next came a Title IX complaint and a lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on behalf of a handful of cisgender girls in Connecticut. While these teenagers were far from the first transgender athletes to participate in sports — Renée Richards successfully sued the United States Tennis Association to earn the right to play in the US Open in 1977 and Kye Allums became the first openly transgender person to participate in NCAA Division I athletics in 2010 — their successes drew national attention to transgender athletes’ participation at the youth level.

Idaho Rep. Barbara Ehardt was watching. The former women’s basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton was concerned that the inclusion of transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports was unfair, so she decided to pursue legislation in Idaho. She reached out to ADF for guidance as she worked on the bill. “[ADF] had no legislation,” Ehardt says. “This all started with me.”

HB500 was introduced in Idaho on Feb. 13, 2020, the day after ADF announced a federal lawsuit against the Connecticut high school association on the steps of the state’s capitol.

In the 18 months since, bills with names like “Fairness in Women’s Sports” and “Save Women’s Sports” have popped up across the country.

“What these do is it makes sure that when it comes to the women’s category in particular, that it’s reserved for biological females while still enabling any student to participate on the men’s division and category,” says Matt Sharp, senior counsel for the ADF, an organization whose stated mission is to protect religious freedom, free speech, marriage and family, parental rights and the sanctity of life.

ADF, which is categorized as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, provided guidance on many of the bills filed in 2021. “I don’t know that we were involved in all of them, but I know several of those we had been consulted on and reached out to by the sponsor asking for our expertise and legal expertise and guidance,” Sharp says.

But Karissa Niehoff, the executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), isn’t clear on what all the fuss is about.

“They’re trying to put legislative momentum behind a problem that really doesn’t exist,” Niehoff says.

This year, NFHS conducted an informal survey to see how many transgender athletes were competing across the country. “It was very, very few,” she says.

There is no data available that provides an exact number of transgender students in high school, let alone transgender student-athletes. There are approximately 15 million high school students in the United States, and approximately 8 million of them participate in high school sports. A CDC study published in 2019 estimated that 1.8 percent of high school students are transgender, meaning there are roughly 270,000 transgender students in U.S. high schools. But a report by the Human Rights Campaign found that only 14% of transgender boys and 12% of transgender girls play sports. Given all of those numbers, it’s statistically possible that there are some 35,000 transgender student-athletes in high school, which would mean 0.44% of high school athletes are transgender.

Even as a fraction of the athlete population, that’s still considerably more transgender young people playing sports than have made headlines. That’s because the overwhelming majority of them don’t win championships. Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) executive director Glenn Lungarini saw that phenomenon up close in his conversations with parents in the state.

The post  appeared first on ESPN.

Texas pushing to further segregate transgender student athletes

Texas lawmakers are trying to require transgender student athletes to play on school sports teams aligned with the gender assigned at or near birth. However, the University Interscholastic League that regulates school sports in the state already prevents transgender student athletes from playing on teams based on their gender identity.

Supporters of the legislation say it would protect female athletes and maintain fairness in student athletics. Critics say anti-transgender legislation discriminates against transgender Texas children. This legislation hurts their mental health, LGBTQ advocates say.

This video centers 18-year-old Eli, a transgender man who asked to be identified by his first name only out of fear of harassment and bullying. Eli was required to compete on his high school’s women’s wrestling team in Houston as his gender marker said female.

Senate Bill 29 sought to limit transgender students’ sports participation, but failed to pass earlier this year. Gov. Greg Abbott wants lawmakers to try again during their second special legislative session this summer.

Join us Sept. 20-25 at the 2021 Texas Tribune Festival. Tickets are on sale now for this multi-day celebration of big, bold ideas about politics, public policy and the day’s news, curated by The Texas Tribune’s award-winning journalists. Learn more.

How are we different than other kids?”: A transgender student wrestler fights legislative efforts to restrict participation in school sports” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Today in History: Renée Richards won the right to compete at Wimbledon

Renée Richards
Renée Richards / Wikipedia

Today in transgender history a judge in New York ruled in 1977 that transgender woman Renée Richards had the right to compete in the U.S. Open without having to pass a sex chromosome test. In the opening round of the Open, Richards lost to Virginia Wade in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

The first Open Singles Tennis tournaments were men-only events until the advent of the Women’s Singles Open six years later.

The U.S. Open is the final Grand Slam tournament of the year. The other three, in chronological order, are the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon.

Renée Richards, 86, born in Queens New York on August 19, 1934, underwent SRS in the early ’70s but was outed by local TV anchor Richard Carlson, the father of Tucker Carlson. Subsequently, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), and the United States Open Committee (USOC) required all female competitors to verify their sex with a Barr body test of their chromosomes. Richards applied to play in the US Open in 1976 as a woman but refused to take the test, and thus was not allowed to compete in the Open, Wimbledon, or the Italian Open in the summer of 1976.

Martina Navratilova By User:Michal Pohorelsky Cropped by User:Vanjagenije – cropped from: Navratilova-PragueOpen2006-N17.jpg, CC BY 2.5,

She challenged that policy, and the New York Supreme Court ruled in her favor, a landmark case in transgender rights. As one of the first professional athletes to identify as transgender, she became a spokesperson for transgender people in sports.

After retiring as a player, she coached Martina Navratilova to her first Wimbledon singles titles. The first in 1978, and a successful defense as reigning champion in 1979.

Martina Navratilova is infamously known for calling transgender athletes ‘cheats’. While she later said she was sorry for “suggesting that transgender athletes in general are cheats” she also added that there was no “perfect solution” to this issue and that if “everyone were included, women’s sports as we know them would cease to exist.”

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Laurel Hubbard exits Olympics after failing three lifts

laura hubbard Olympics

Transgender woman, Laurel Hubbard’s three attempts at 264 lbs lift came up short leaving her no option but to leave the competition. She did however celebrate as the first transgender competitor in Olympic history by forming a heart with her hands as she left the arena.

Hubbard made a heart gesture to the audience with her hands before leaving the competition arena.

Even without completing a lift, she was a pioneer for transgender athletes.

While the New Zealander isn’t the only transgender athlete competing at the Tokyo Games, she has been out for years and has been the focus of attention as a medal contender in weightlifting.

“Of course, I’m not entirely unaware of the controversy which surrounds my participation in these Games,” Hubbard said after exiting the competition. “And, as such, I’d particularly like to thank the IOC, for, I think, really affirming their commitment to the principles of Olympism, and establishing that sport is something for all people. It is inclusive. It is accessible.”

The editorial staff is thrilled that Laurel made history and wishes her the best in her future endeavors. And on a personal note, I have never won a marathon and have learned through time that training and competing is everything.

The post Laurel Hubbard exits Olympics after failing three lifts appeared first on Planet Trans.

IOC admits transgender athlete policy outdated

TOKYO — International Olympic Committee officials admitted here at a roundtable with reporters that the guidelines governing the participation of transgender women in Olympic sports are outdated.

They also confirmed that the IOC will announce a new policy soon after the Tokyo Games.

The IOC made the admission as New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard prepared to become the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics. Hubbard, who lifts in the 87+kg division here on Monday, is allowed to compete alongside women under guidelines established in 2015 by the IOC and adopted by the International Weightlifting Federation.

But in recent years, many medical experts and policymakers have come to the conclusion that those rules were no longer fully supported by science. Experts who spoke with Yahoo Sports, some of whom have consulted with the IOC, identified two main shortcomings: That testosterone-related rules were too lenient, and that one set of guidelines should not apply to dozens of different sports.

The current guidelines require a transgender woman to undergo hormone therapy and suppress her testosterone “below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months prior to her first competition.” Two scientists who’ve consulted with the IOC said that, based on recent evidence, they believed the 10-nanomole-per-liter threshold to be too high. It was set “based on old data, and not on the most sophisticated ways of measuring testosterone,” said Myron Genel, a Yale endocrinologist who has studied the topic and consulted with the IOC for two decades.

Genel and Joanna Harper, a transgender runner-turned-scientist who is actively studying retained physical advantages in trans athletes, and who has also consulted with the IOC, both said they believed 5 nanomoles per liter to be a reasonable threshold.

Richard Budgett, the IOC’s medical and scientific director, acknowledged here at the roundtable that “agreeing on another number is almost impossible and possibly irrelevant. You can debate that endlessly.”

The other point several experts made was that a one-size-fits-all policy on trans inclusion fails to consider that the advantages retained by women who’ve gone through male puberty are far more impactful in some sports than others. “The difference between male and female performance varies from sport to sport,” Genel said. “Even within a sport, like in track and field, the male to female advantage may be anywhere from 5 to 12, 13%, depending upon the activity.”

The changes that occur in a trans woman’s body during hormone therapy also have more impact in some sports than in others. Harper gave an example: “We’ve found that hemoglobin levels in trans women, when they go on hormone therapy, will go from male to female levels of hemoglobin within four months. And hemoglobin’s the single most important physiological factor in endurance sports. On the other hand, it’s abundantly clear that trans women won’t lose all their strength advantages.” Research that Harper has reviewed suggests that those persisted after three years of therapy and beyond.

“How much is retained is still largely in doubt,” she says, “but certainly there is some advantage retained.”

The IOC currently allows each international sports federation to set its own rules, but many have simply adopted the IOC’s guidelines. IOC spokesman Christian Klaue said the IOC is now focused on “[providing] a framework” to help sport-specific federations develop their own regulations. Because, as he said, echoing the scientists: “It is different from sport to sport, and sometimes even from discipline to discipline, and sometimes even from event to event.”

Officials said that the IOC’s new approach will be announced later this year, but also stressed the need for more science. To date, most, if not all relevant studies on retained advantages in trans women have not specifically studied athletes, just trans women in general. “The research needs to be more contextualised,” said Katie Mascagni, the IOC’s head of public affairs. “What might be true for rowing and this specific discipline — where potentially testosterone or other aspects come into play in order to justify the reasons there is a disproportionate advantage — might be totally irrelevant in another context.”

Budgett also said that, in addition to balancing inclusion and fairness — which is how these policy decisions have been considered — the IOC would consider safety, especially in contact sports.

The new guidelines, he said, will be a “balance between safety, inclusion and fairness.”

Budgett, like many experts, also downplayed the idea that the inclusion of trans women is a broad threat to women’s sports.

“[Given] there’s been no openly transgender women at the top level, until now, I think the threat to women’s sports in general is probably overstated,” he said.

“And the other important thing to remember is transgender women are women. So you’ll include all women, if you possibly can.”

The post appeared first on Yahoo.

Quinn: The Canadian star quietly making history as the Olympics’ first transgender athlete

Getty Images

There has been much discussion in certain corners of social and traditional media about the presence of transgender athletes at the Olympics currently taking place in Tokyo.

And yet under the radar, the first out transgender athlete has already been helping their country bid for a medal over the past week. Soccer star Quinn has helped fire Canada into the quarter-finals of the women’s football tournament, where they will face Brazil on Friday.

The 25-year-old is a key part of this Canadian team, capable of playing in central defense or in a holding midfield role, and has 65 caps for their country – paltry in comparison to the 301 amassed by captain Christine Sinclair, but a sign of their importance nonetheless.

They were part of the Canadian side who won bronze in Rio 2016, as well as being in the squad for the 2019 World Cup.

The OL Reign player is also notable in that they are non-binary, and by virtue of the early start to the football competition – two days before the opening ceremony – became the first trans athlete to compete since Olympic rules were changed ahead of the 2004 games to allow people to take part in sports based on their gender identity, albeit with strict rules and caveats.

Thanks to the early start for the football competition, Quinn scooped history away from trans woman weightlifter Laurel Hubbard and non-binary skateboarder Alana Smith – but on social media after the game, they struck a more somber, balanced note.

Writing on Instagram after the 1-1 draw with hosts Japan in Canada’s first game, Quinn said: “First openly trans Olympian to compete. I don’t know how to feel.

“I feel proud seeing ‘Quinn’ up on the lineup and on my accreditation. I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world.

“I feel optimistic for change. Change in legislature. Changes in rules, structures, and mindsets. Mostly, I feel aware of the realities. Trans girls being banned from sports. Trans women facing discrimination and bias while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams. The fight isn’t close to over, and I’ll celebrate when we’re all here.”

Quinn, who has also previously played for Washington Spirit as well as spells in France and Sweden, came out as transgender in September last year, dropping their previous name and asking to be known only by their old surname.

By coming out publicly with what was already known to their family and friends, Quinn was able to dispense with what they called “essentially two different lives”.

They told the BBC in November: “It’s really difficult when you don’t see people like yourself in the media or even around you or in your profession. I was operating in the space of being a professional footballer and I wasn’t seeing people like me.

“I really didn’t like feeling like I had a disconnect between different parts of my life, being a public figure, and so I wanted to live authentically.”

As arguably the most high profile transgender player in world football – male, female or non-binary – Quinn has not shied away from the attention which naturally comes, wearing a hoodie saying ‘Protect Trans Kids’ before a Reign game, and expressing their concern about trans-exclusionary policies from other sporting governing bodies before the Olympics.

“I think it is really concerning,” they said about World Rugby’s intended ban on trans women playing contact sport, or World Athletics’ strict rules on testosterone levels, which have seen several female athletes – including Caster Semenya – effectively banned from competing.

“I think that we need to focus on why we’re in sports in the first place and the celebration of the excellence of our bodies. I’m just another person doing the thing that I love to do and I get the privilege do that every day on the pitch.”

With Quinn patrolling the midfield, Canada have made solid if unspectacular progress to the football knock-outs, drawing with Japan and Great Britain either side of a narrow victory over Chile to seal second in their pool.

That is how Quinn plays, and how they like to be – unfussy, effective, notable only for the job done on the pitch rather than the noise off it.

A template, perhaps, for transgender footballers and athletes in future.

The post appeared first on goal.com.

Quinn Becomes First Openly Transgender Athlete to Compete at Olympics

Image may contain Human Person Clothing Apparel Sport and Sports
Omar Vega/Getty Images

Two days before the opening ceremony at the Olympics, Quinn made history as the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the Games. On July 21, the OL Reign soccer star played in Canada’s match against Japan, which resulted in a 1-1 draw in Tokyo.

Quinn, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, embraced the milestone on Instagram while also acknowledging there is much more work to be done for trans inclusion in sports and beyond. The midfielder came out as transgender in September 2020.

“I feel proud seeing ‘Quinn’ up on the lineup and on my accreditation. I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world,” Quinn, 25, wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday. “I feel optimistic for change. Change in the legislature. Change in rules, structures, and mindsets. Mostly, I feel aware of the realities. Trans girls being banned from sports. Trans women facing discrimination and bias while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams. The fight isn’t close to over….and I’ll celebrate when we’re all here.”

Quinn’s call for action comes at a time in the U.S. when anti-trans legislation is on the rise. In June, the governor of Florida signed a law banning transgender girls from joining girls’ sports teams in schools and colleges. The law is one of 13 anti-trans bills conservative U.S. lawmakers have passed this year, and one of more than 110 proposed bills, according to The Guardian.

At the same time, though, there have been some steps toward progress in sport. New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is also slated to make Olympic history as the first openly transgender athlete at the Summer Games on a team that matches her gender identity when she begins competition in the women’s 87+kg weight class on August 2. (According to NBC Sports, transgender women have been eligible to compete at the Olympics since 2004, and the International Olympic Committee most recently updated its guidelines for inclusion in 2015.) Over 157 LGBTQ+ athletes will participate in the Tokyo Games, a huge increase from the 56 who competed in 2016 and the 23 in 2012, GLAAD says.

Since coming out last fall, Quinn, who helped Canada win bronze in the 2016 Games, has been a vocal advocate for increasing acceptance and support for everyone in the trans community.

“I want my story to be told because when we have lots of trans visibility, that’s where we start making a movement and start making gains in society,” they told OL Reign in a blog post shortly after the announcement. “At the same time, I think there’s such a responsibility for me to uplift the voices of other marginalized trans folks in order to diversify the number of trans stories that the general audience is hearing.”

As for what comes next? Quinn and the rest of the Canada Women’s National Team are scheduled to play Chile on July 24. Here’s how to watch all the Olympic events, whether you’re looking for television or streaming options. You can also follow @SELFmagazine on Instagram for highlights, recaps, and updates throughout the Games.

The post appeared first on self.com.

Laurel Hubbard: IOC backs transgender weightlifter’s selection for Tokyo, says to review rules later

The International Olympic Committee on Saturday backed New Zealand’s selection of transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard for the Tokyo Olympics despite criticism, saying that under the current rules — which will be reviewed in future — she can compete.

Hubbard is set to become the first transgender athlete to compete at the Games after she was selected for the New Zealand team in the women’s super-heavyweight 87+kg category.
The 43-year-old’s inclusion has been divisive, with her supporters welcoming the decision while critics have questioned the fairness of transgender athletes competing against women.
“The rules for qualification have been established by the International Weightlifting Federation before the qualifications started,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “These rules apply, and you cannot change rules during ongoing competitions.”
Bach said the rules would be reviewed with all stakeholders involved in order to set new guidelines in the future.
“At the same time the IOC is in an inquiry phase with all different stakeholders … to review these rules and finally to come up with some guidelines which cannot be rules because this is a question where there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” he told a news conference. “It differs from sport to sport.”
In this April 9, 2018 file photo, New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard lifts in the snatch of the women's +90kg weightlifting final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia.

The IOC had cleared the way in 2015 for transgender athletes to compete at the Games as women, provided their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months before their first competition.
Some scientists have said the guidelines do little to mitigate the biological advantages of those who have gone through puberty as males, such as bone and muscle density.
Supporters of transgender inclusion argue the process of transition decreases that advantage considerably and that physical differences between athletes mean there is never a truly level playing field in sport.
Asked repeatedly if he supported Hubbard competing in Tokyo, Bach said the athlete’s selection was based on specific rules.
“The rules are in place and the rules have to be applied and you cannot change the rules during an ongoing qualification system,” he said. “This is what all the athletes of the world are relying on: that the rules are being applied.”

The post appeared first on CNN.

TX Special Session – Anti-trans sports bill advanced out of committee

Texas trans special session
From 2017: Lt. Gov Dan Patrick with Kolhkorst at his side summons the memory of Martin Luther King while introducing anti-trans bathroom legislation

Austin TX: Republican Senators took advantage of the Democrat’s absence Monday and bullied, lied to, misgendered, and insulted every transgender person in Texas before calling the first gender-expansive witness to testify.

The minority of Democrat legislators weren’t there to correct them, they left Texas the day before to break quorum, a method rarely used to halt the advancement of horrific agendas when all other means fail.

Governor Gregg Abbott regularly calls ‘special sessions’ in hopes of advancing unpopular bills that were defeated by the people during the regular session.

Some states constitutions allow special sessions to be called by the legislature as an equalizer in case of a governor veto, but in Texas, it works quite the opposite.

It is always the worst day of the year to testify at the Texas legislature, but Monday was the worse by far. The transgender people in the Senate gallery, waiting to testify, were subjected to an extremely hostile environment, the likes this citizen/reporter has never seen. If this had taken place in a workplace or on the corner in front of a seven-eleven someone would have been sued or it would have been called a hate crime.

With the Democrats in DC Committee chairwoman, Lois W. Kolkhorst (R) began interviewing a long list of ‘invited guests’ all of whom supported the anti-trans bill and questioned each extensively. In the beginning, Senator Bob Hall and committee member’s language was problematic, but it quickly devolved into outright hate speech.

And when Hall was later confronted with his language he remanded the non-binary witness with a tone that was undeniably hostile, that he had already realized his error and not to correct him again.

When I was called up Senator Kolkhorst pretended not to know who I was. But the sideways glances between members and the look of recognization in her eye let me know otherwise.

I testified against Kohlkorst’s anti-trans bathroom bill beginning in 2017 and quickly reminded her of that. But first I announced in a loud speaking voice looking directly at Hall telling him that I am a transgender woman and that my pronouns are She and Her. If Hall had objected or called me a man, or boy, as he did other transgender women and girls I would have brought him up on charges.

From 2017: Lt. Gov Dan Patrick with Kolhkorst at his side summons the memory of Martin Luther King while introducing anti-trans bathroom legislation

Senator Kolkhorst knew better by her own admission. She allowed and promoted the committee’s behavour to speak about us in such a demeaning, dehumanizing fashion.

I told the Committee that since testifying in front of Senator Kolkhorst in 2017 there hasn’t been a single instance of a student changing their gender to participate in interscholastic sports or of a transgender girl dominating in Texas sports.

Equality Texas tagged the Republican committee members making a historical timeline for prosperity. Each testimony only lasted 2 minutes so understandably they couldn’t name each of the people who spoke.

The bill was voted out of committee as expected but it won’t be passed as long as the Democrats remain in Washington DC.
Insurrectionists have called them cowards but I call them heroes. I will gladly continue to do my part as an American citizen to defend my country against totalitarianism, as I did during the cold war, with every means at my disposal.

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