Home » Laura Jane Grace weighs in on transgender athletes in the sports debate

Laura Jane Grace weighs in on transgender athletes in the sports debate

Earlier this week, FINA, the world governing body for swimming, voted with 71 percent approval that transgender women must have passed before the age of 12 to compete in women’s swimming events, which essentially sets up significant barriers for trans women to compete in swimming competitions. The move has given plenty of discussion in the days after, and Laura Jane Gracevocalist for Against me!has offered its opinion on transgender athletes in sports via social media.

The topic of transgender women in swimming came to the fore earlier this year when swimmer Lia Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania won the NCAA title for women in the 500-meter freestyle, becoming the first transgender woman to win an NCAA Women’s Swimming Championship.

According to the political decision, which is shared by NPR“Transgender women must show that ‘they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 or before the age of 12, whichever is later,’ a step that effectively eliminates their eligibility to compete in the women’s category. “Tanner Stages describes the physical changes that people go through during puberty.”

Referring to a “performance gap”, FINA went on to say: “Without eligibility standards based on biological gender or gender-related characteristics, it is very unlikely that we will see biological women in finals, on podiums or in championship positions; and in sports and events that involving collisions and projectiles, biological female athletes would be at greater risk of injury “as part of their updated policy.

Grace came out publicly as transgender in 2012 and talked about some of what she went through in 2014. Against me! album Transgender Dysphoria Blues. She spoke on the subject of transgender athletes in sports and commented: “As a person who is transgender and also a parent, I say that if sports can not figure out a way to let everyone be included and play and have a good time, then no you get to play, give me the ball and everyone goes home. “

The statement raised lots of discussion, commenting on certain details regarding the hormonal needs of athletes and the physical nature of competition.

Grace later commented on the backlash she has been subjected to on social media, explaining: “The list of people I have blocked or on ‘mute’ is a manifesto on the holy grail of transphobia.”

She would then elaborate on her first statement in a more honest way and comment: “I do not think anyone should be allowed to play sports. Every team should be disbanded and their stadiums demolished.”

After the news of FINA’s political decision was published, there was outcry from several organizations about the standard that this sets.

Anne Lieberman, director of politics and programs at Athlete Ally, which seeks equality in sports, called the new policy, “discriminatory, harmful, unscientific“and anything contrary Guidance of the International Olympic Committee about transatletics.

“The qualification criteria for the women’s category, as set out in the policy for all women’s bodies, will not be enforceable without seriously violating the privacy and human rights of any athlete wishing to compete in the women’s category,” Lieberman said …

That Human rights campaign also called the decision an “obvious attack on transgender athletes who have worked to adhere to long-standing policies that have allowed them to participate for years without problems.”

The new FINA policy came into force on Monday (June 20).

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