What itís like to be a trans athlete- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What itís like to be a trans athlete

    I havenít looked in this sub forum for a while and really, I wish I had. I noticed the closed thread below about trans athletes and wanted to say thank you for the support that was given in it and would like to provide some insight into what itís like to be a trans athlete, from the perspective of a trans athlete. Iím posting this here because the topic was broached here, and, well, where else would it go?

    So here goes. Itís scary. Not intimidating in the traditional sense of competition is scary. Itís scary in that, every time I enter a race I wonder if Iíll be booed off stage, heckled, rejected, harassed, physically harmed, or run off with pitch forks. Because that is what the world has been doing to public figures of my community as far back as I can look. Thereís also genuine care and support and people that surprise me with amazing support. Without those people Iíd be a crumbling mess of fear. But Iíd still race. Iíd still get on my bike and push and do it just for me. Because I love it. Because I donít do this to win races or take over the space of others. I do this for me. And youíll never take that away. Want me to race the menís field? Fine. Whatever. I regularly beat them, too. Because I train hard, I eat well, and I put a lot of effort into this sport. And this is my passion. Iíll still be on my bike having a blast while you sit on the sidelines afraid of what I am and waste time shaming me. The world has done worse and Iíve made it through more difficult situations. Donít think you can phase me.

    Because that is what we endure from the very moment we figure out who we really are. Day in and day out fear of harassment, murder, violent crime, rejection by family, an uninformed populace, loneliness, and thatís just the start. But we still do it. Because we do it for ourselves, not to gain some imaginary advantage over another group of people. In an act totally against societal approval, we step forward. Does that sound like an easy thing to do? Something that youíd be willing to do? Probably not. Humans historically take the easy route. We do it so we can be happy, not because itís easy.

    Iíd like to address a few points in the previous thread:

    1. Itís not a mental illness. Iím quite sane. This is a misconception leftover from old school psychology.
    2. The difference between classically defined male and female isnít even a chromosome. Itís a tiny gene within those chromosomes that makes the choice. One. Tiny. Little. Gene.
    3. The cure, as published and reinforced by many respected medical professionals, is to administer hrt and surgical options, if desired. Itís a common misconception that all trans folks seek or undergo these treatments. Not everyone wants it.
    4. Testosterone levels. Well, I donít make any. Like none. Like less than a biologically born female.
    5. Nature vs nurture. Iíve been thinking on this one. And I donít think it applies. We all grow up in different atmospheres that shape us differently. Assuming I grew up in a world that pushed me into sport is ignoring the possibility that maybe I wasnít. Not every male is. Many females are. Maybe I was afraid to participate. Maybe it was dangerous for me to participate. This is the same argument for Rachel Athertonís skill because of her brothers. Have you ever considered that she has pushed them? Sheís a badass because sheís a badass. End of story.

    If you donít want to read a wall of text, I recommend you give this one a listen:

    Dr Rachel V. McKinnon - MBR& | Mountain Bike Radio

    Iím open to discussion. But please, do not expect me to spend time refuting uneducated, ignorant claims. I have training to do and better ways to spend my time.

    Happy riding everyone. Bikes rule, roadies drool. Letís all have some fun!

  2. #2
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    Well written. Keep racing and enjoying the sport that we all love.

  3. #3
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    CaroCO, welcome to the women's forum, and thank you for the firsthand report. Good luck this racing season.

  4. #4
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    Good luck! Ride and be happy - its why we all do it!


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  5. #5
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    My personal opinion is that no person should be harassed based on their gender or sexual orientation. Or for any other reason.

    However that does not mean that transgender women are being harassed simply by virtue of racing women questioning whether their participation in womenís races is truly fair and reasonable given the nature and magnitude of the physiologic differences between men and women.

    Testosterone as Iím sure you know is the primary player in determining the very large difference in aerobic potential between men and women and as such itís a large part of the basis upon which menís and womenís fields race separately. That is generally considered ďfairĒ.

    But testosterone/aerobic potential is not the sole determinant of success in bike racing. Other factors like muscle mass and body size are important in cycling because they are part of the determinants of high end strength and sprinting ability, both of which are very important determinants of success in some types of bike racing (mtb, crits, road racing, mass start track racing, track sprinting and potentially time trialing). People who mature in a physiologic state of higher testosterone continue to have greater muscle mass and larger body size even if that high testosterone state is later reversed. Thus it is disingenuous to state that transgender women who race in a low testosterone state are not at a physical advantage over cisgender women. The effects of testosterone on aerobic potential of endurance athletes has been studied in a very limited way in a pretty scientifically weak study (Iíve read it, itís probably the best that could be done, but still scientifically weak). But the effects of body size and muscle mass for transgender female cyclists has *not* been looked at.

    I read what you say about not making testosterone and if youíve never made any, I would agree that you personally probably have no particular advantage over cisgender women. If your body matured in a high testosterone state, Iíd argue that you probably do have an unfair advantage. But the thing that feels very wrong to me is to demand hormonal testing from amateur athletes in order to determine what gender itís ďfairĒ for them to race as.

    Also, womenís participation in competitive cycling is very low compared to menís participation. There are lots of things that happen in the male-dominated sport of cycling that make it harder for women to get a foothold in racing. Womenís racing is a more fragile house of cards than menís racing.

    But somehow, even with womenís racing being in real need of cultivation and nurturing, it should just be a given, without really considering the effect on womenís race fields, that transgender women should accepted into womenís race fields. Why? Because theyíve been treated unfairly in other aspects of life? Iím truly sorry that kind of stuff has happened but it does not mean that you just negate the training and efforts of cisgender women as a result. You say you successfully race against men? So why not do that? It would be hugely bad ass and very cool to see.

    And then if I as a woman rationally, calmly and kindly bring up these points, what do transgender women do? Call me ignorant, bigoted, and refuse to even converse on the subject. It becomes a matter of what the transgender woman thinks is morally ďrightĒ and my right to an informed opinion is compketely negated by their negative experiences in other areas of life. Iím sorry, but why exactly donít I, as a racing woman, get a voice in this?

    And donít get me started on Rachel McKinnon. Iíve attempted to engage with her on this subject on another cycling forum. She is the transgender person who basically just shut down any opinion I had, telling me she wasnít even going to discuss my ďbigotedĒ point of view. Very intellectually dishonest, in that I think she actually knows (or should know, sheís a college professor) what the science says and what is canít say. Yet she insists that science has ďprovenĒ the transgender women have no advantage over cisgender women in bike racing just by virtue of the fact that testosterone has been reduced in many transgender women. When she herself is a great case example of quite to opposite- winning races by virtue of a killer sprint which is likely a holdover from the larger body size and muscle mass she has from her body developing in a high testosterone state.

    So to me, assuming transgender women should ďof courseĒ be racing with cisgender women feels like weíre willing to throw away the concept of fair race fields for the majority of women to meet the needs of the few. I agree that there will be no easy or clear answers to any of these questions of ďfairnessĒ. But in light of that, to me itís very reasonable to err on the side of ensuring fair fields for the largest numbers of women, rather than be willing to undermine the whole concept to meets the needs of the few.

    #notabigot #dontcallmeone

  6. #6
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    Just because I can outpace men, doesnít mean I want to race in their class. That flies in the face of everything Iíve spent the majority of my life sacrificing for. And Iíve sacrificed a lot to be myself. I hear what youíre saying. Itís a contested subject. I get that. You do have a voice in this. Iím hoping for an open discussion that will raise awareness and understanding, not a battle. But wouldnít racing against men put me at a distinct physical disadvantage as well while also completely negating my identity, insulting me, and creating a context of, Ďwell youíre not really a womaní? Do I like hearing people fall off my wheel as I pull away? Heck yes. But thereís tons of men and women I canít keep up with so Iím also not some magical athletic unicorn phenom as awesome as that would be. And Iím ok with that. The sole fact that Iím out there doing what I do, as a teeny tiny minority in a historically not diverse sport, is a big deal.

    If thereís a study showing trans athletesí physical ability before and after hrt, Iíd love to see it. Iím curious about that myself. The point Iím trying to make is that Iím not looking for an advantage. Iím not out to take over and win it all. I just want to race. I donít really care how I place as long as Iím not last, which I think we can all relate to. I dig the competition, the butterflies at the start line, and the sense of having wrung everything out of myself through physical hell to get to the finish line. I LOVE that! But I never, ever, want to feel like I won it because of an unfair advantage.

    Women are a huge growing force in the bike world right now. And itís well deserved and even harder earned. There are so many badass, take no prisoners women out there that it gives me hope that maybe it can be a world where people who donít fit into two boxes can also have a place, too.

    To let you in on a little secret, I donít openly call myself a woman. The world calls me that. At the checkout counter, the dentist, anywhere I go or interact with other people, I am a woman. Do I wish I grew up differently? Sometimes I wish it was just there and I didnít have to go through all these hurtles. But do I regret anything? Nope. Those experiences shaped who I am now and I wouldnít take them back for a second.

    I get heckled, and hit on, and mansplained to, guys block my line when they donít want me to pass them, and all the other bullshit that comes with being a female in this sport. I also realize I had that male privilege at one point in my life, and that the few things listed above donít entirely sum up what itís like to be a female mountain biker.

    Am I physically capable? Yes. Because Iíve been athletic and active my entire life. Thatís not something that would inherently come if I sat on the couch and just decided to race one day. Iíd be dead last every time. When I started riding again I was walking the majority of the time.

    So where do I go? Some say I canít be here, or I shouldnít be there. So am I left in the middle with no community, racing solo against myself? Are my accomplishments suddenly moot? Nah. Thatís not ok. Thatís pretty ****ed up actually. Thatís the only topic here that has to do with morals. Is it morally just to completely ignore a community and their needs? Or say, ďyour effort and result donít matterĒ? I donít consider my desire to race in the womenís field about morals. Itís about who I am in the world.

    And in this world, and every other Iím a part of, Iím a woman.

  7. #7
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    Women race in menís field. People do not question their identity. They are just women racing in menís fields. It happens regularly.

    You say itís a moral issue, the morality is that you deserve a community. But you want others, women like me, to pay the price for your place in the community by allowing competitors who have the sort of unfair advantage that was always the basis of gender-based racing to now compete in our fields? So youre ok with setting up a scenario in which some women might have trained hard and won a handful of races per year to now maybe work equally hard and never win a race again because a transgender woman with a bigger muscle mass and bigger frame can power through stuff that she canít? You being allowed to compete is ďmoralĒ but her never winning again gets no claim on morality?

    Whereas you can race men and win. You donít want to because of how you feel it impugns your identity, even though cisgender women enter menís field without their identity being impugned. Then they go back and hang out with their women friends.

    You say that you never want to feel like you won due to an unfair advantage. Thatís a noble sentiment. If you race against women, you likely do have an unfair advantage and should recognize that. If you race against men, you are unlikely to have an unfair advantage and then will never have to feel that way. So I think on several levels it makes sense for you to race against me.

    I guess if it were me, and I thought I was in a situation where I might be competing unfairly, Iíd take myself out of the situation and put myself into a situation where if anything, the unique outlier person I am took some responsibility for the overall sport, and felt true concern for my co-competitors, not wanting the push myself unfairly into an established fair playing field. It wouldnít be all about me and how I feel and what Iíve been through and what I deserve as a result. It would be about what would be best for womenís cycling overall, if I bring unfairness to the sport maybe of my own accord I should see that and enact a compromise thatís a little selfless. Oh? Racing against the men is a work around? Iíll just train my brain not to see that as a threat to my identity, just as cisgender women do and proceed on.

    So Iím sympathetic to the issues you had growing up and how difficult that was. Iím sure if I told you all about it, my batshit childhood would engender sympathy from you. The difference being, I donít attempt to leverage your sympathy into a racing advantage because thatís what the world owes me because I had a crazy childhood.

    Itís natural for people to want what they want for themselves. But to me, what is truly moral is looking at whether what you want hurts other people. And if it does, rather than just persisting in what you want because you ďdeserveĒ it, may consider other peopleís needs and wants too and what they ďdeserveĒ. Sometimes the morally right thing to to be willing to accept a little self sacrifice if it is warranted.

    Personally, I think you race with the men, beat them and thatís nothing but a win for you. All the women admire you, none of them thinks youíre being unfair, and half the men will think itís cool too. But you force yourself upon the womenís fields, take any say from the women already racing (cause I guarantee you these decisions are going to be made by men in USAC and the UCI with probably zero input from racing women) away, and start taking their wins? Maybe youíll find yourself in a tiny community of the people who are too afraid to protest because of fear of seeming politically incorrect, but then also disliked by another aspect of the community who see thing like I do.

    I hear transgender women say racing isnít about winning to them. Well I want to try to win, so if you donít care anyway, racing with men solves that completely.

  8. #8
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    Ok ok letís back up here. I bring up my past because itís germain to the topic at hand, not to engender sympathy. I neither asked for nor wanted sympathy. Itís just my experience and since my past is such a big issue here, welll here it is. Thereís lots of batshit stuff in my past I wonít bring up here. Because itís not relevant. What is relevant to cycling, is community. Itís very relevant. This whole sport started on that, and itís what keeps bike shops in business, keeps ride groups together, keeps travel and tourism dollars flowing. I have none. Thereís no trans mountain bike community. Heck there isnít even a LGB much less the T community where I live and itís a major hub for the sport and for LGBT culture. Thatís a problem. This sportís greatest asset is community. Literally every other sport in my area has some kind of community built around a safe space for LGBT people. Not here. So Iím finding one. I will make one. I build it slowly and part of that involves races. Iím not trying to take anything from you. Are you losing prize money if I race locally? What are you losing? What is my involvement costing you? I honestly want to know. Do you race USAC/UCI events? Have you brought these issues to their attention and gotten a rotten response? Or have you sat stewing over it hoping to take that anger out on the first person who opens their mouth saying, ďIím here, and I want to be included.Ē because youíre voice isnít being heard?

    This is my history. And itís a part of this discussion because without it, thereís absolutely zero basis for the argument against trans women competing against cis women. The harassment and discrimination isnít localized to bikes. Itís everywhere. Itís healthcare, itís education, itís jobs, police brutality, EMTs have let trans people die because theyíre uncomfortable, itís in politics, people telling me what I can and can not do in so many more aspects of my life than just sport. Tell me, how is my asking to be included in a world of recreation worse than that? What does it take away from you that the world hasnít already tried to take from us? Donít talk to me about policies being forced down your throat. You have no idea what it could be, and is for many of us.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Ok ok letís back up here. I bring up my past because itís germain to the topic at hand, not to engender sympathy. I neither asked for nor wanted sympathy. Itís just my experience and since my past is such a big issue here, welll here it is. Thereís lots of batshit stuff in my past I wonít bring up here. Because itís not relevant. What is relevant to cycling, is community. Itís very relevant. This whole sport started on that, and itís what keeps bike shops in business, keeps ride groups together, keeps travel and tourism dollars flowing. I have none. Thereís no trans mountain bike community. Heck there isnít even a LGB much less the T community where I live and itís a major hub for the sport and for LGBT culture. Thatís a problem. This sportís greatest asset is community. Literally every other sport in my area has some kind of community built around a safe space for LGBT people. Not here. So Iím finding one. I will make one. I build it slowly and part of that involves races. Iím not trying to take anything from you. Are you losing prize money if I race locally? What are you losing? What is my involvement costing you? I honestly want to know. Do you race USAC/UCI events? Have you brought these issues to their attention and gotten a rotten response? Or have you sat stewing over it hoping to take that anger out on the first person who opens their mouth saying, ďIím here, and I want to be included.Ē because youíre voice isnít being heard?

    This is my history. And itís a part of this discussion because without it, thereís absolutely zero basis for the argument against trans women competing against cis women. The harassment and discrimination isnít localized to bikes. Itís everywhere. Itís healthcare, itís education, itís jobs, police brutality, EMTs have let trans people die because theyíre uncomfortable, itís in politics, people telling me what I can and can not do in so many more aspects of my life than just sport. Tell me, how is my asking to be included in a world of recreation worse than that? What does it take away from you that the world hasnít already tried to take from us? Donít talk to me about policies being forced down your throat. You have no idea what it could be, and is for many of us.
    What transgender women takes away from bike racing is central to the core of the sport: a fair playing field. Women donít race against men because for 90% of women, there would be no point, the males physiologic advantage is too great.

    By your argument, dopers should be allowed to compete as well, so that we build community. Bodybuilders who take anabolic steroids should be allowed to race against people who donít take anabolic steroids because theyíre not taking steroids to win bike races.

    When you take away a reasonable playing field in bike racing the sport becomes meaningless. Yes absolutely you racing your local races affects me- because you are racing under a rule/policy change that affects all people racing throughout the country. I prepared 10 months for my A race last year. Why is it ok for all of that work to be negated so that a transgender woman who has a physiologic advantage can be included? Do you understand that if I put that much work into a race only to come to feel that it will all be for naught because I will be racing in a field that I canít win, then I start to wonder what Iím even doing with bike racing, it starts to feel a little pointless? Itís not all about winning, itís feeling you have a fair shot at winning if you put in the work. Itís the same reason not many women would race if they have to race against men, for most women that takes away any chance of ever winning a bike race, so it becomes pointless in the end. Why even set an event up as a bike race if winning isnít even a reasonable possibility? Why not just get a bunch of people out riding the same course on the same day and not even score results? Why? Because people want to race their bikes, thatís why.

    So from your perspective, you are building yourself a community. From my perspective, based on physiology (not who you are as a person Iíd interact with outside of racing), you are entering races, taking away the core thing about racing from other women (fairness) and undermining the very basis of racing- ie taking away community because people who are asked to compete in an unfair playing field will leave the sport. I agree thatís a difficult thing to balance, the needs of different people. But it feels to me like because transgender women want to be included on moral grounds that all rational discussion of the issue on physiology grounds gets shut down. People who support transgender rights (I am one of those people) but donít understand physiology feel that ďof courseĒ this is a rights issue too. People who make the rules in the world of bike racing are men and since it doesnít affect their racing fields, it seems reasonable for the rules to allow transgender women to race against cisgender women, whereas if their race fields were similiarly affected I doubt the decision would be so easy.

    As to ďcommunity,Ē I still fail to see why you canít race in the menís fields and still be part of the bike racing community. Iím not sure exactly what that community is comprised of in your eyes. If I go to a race in which men and women compete, am I part of that overall race community? Or am I only part of the womenís aspect of the community? I guess from my perspective, I have male and female friends at these races, I talk to the people I know and thatís my ďcommunityĒ. Itís not a gender specific community. Otherwise, I train solo or I train with men, because thatís who is interested in racing in my town. My race team is all men except for two of us women. Thatís my ďcommunity,Ē itís mostly people of the opposite gender to me.

    So Iím all for you having a place in the world of bike racing, I just think you can have community and participate in the sport without undermining the integrity of the concept of racing by entering fields in which you have an unfair advantage. Put your money where your mouth is if you say itís not about winning and is about community by putting yourself in the fields where you have a disadvantage (menís fields) and not pushing women out of the sport because you support a scenario in which cisgender women must be forced to work hard to prepare for racing only to possibly show up on game day to an unfair field that they canít win.

  10. #10
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    Womp womp

  11. #11
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    +2 Heathpack

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    My personal opinion is that no person should be harassed based on their gender or sexual orientation. Or for any other reason.
    I am not a woman but I would like to add my opinion and begin by seconding the sentiment above. It is up to you how you choose to live your life and you should be free to do that without having to live in fear. I'm sorry that you do at times feel intimidated, I don't doubt that for a minute, and I hope you manage to fill your life with people who are kind and happy to love you for who you are.

    However.

    The thing I am talking away from your posts is your focus on your rights, feelings and opinions. You do not seem very concerned with the rights of other people at all. I am all for you being free to live as you want to but you need to understand that other people should enjoy the same right. Just because you want something, in this case to compete as a woman, does not mean you should automatically be given it, if it means that other people's rights and feelings have to be disregarded. Other women may feel that being biologically male gives you an unfair advantage and you are not recognizing that as a reasonable position. You say it is unfair if you can't compete but where is the voice of the multiple women who think it unfair if you do? Why should your wishes and efforts be worth more than theirs?

    In some ways, it does not matter about how you choose to identify yourself. Getting along in life involves compromise and it isn't always possible to get what you want. That is true for all of us, why should it be different for you? It's not always an injustice, sometimes it's just the way the world is. If all you do is demand that the world bends to accommodate your wishes I hate to tell you, but the world is going to get fed up with you fairly quickly. You can't demand acceptance on your terms. It doesn't work like that for anyone else so why should you be different?

    My advice is to be yourself and see where you fit in. Be happy when you are accepted and don't sweat it when you are not. It may not be obvious but most of us have few good friends and a fairly small social circle. There is nothing wrong with that, it's normal. We are all limited in our options too, and so will you be. If you want to tilt at the world with unreasonable demands all you will achieve is making yourself miserable. And nobody likes a grumpy-face ;0)

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    I havenít broached the physiological topic because Iím not an expert in that area. There are others that can give information on that topic better than I. Like the doctors and scientists and psychiatrists who have all agreed that there is no advantage.

    My goal is to focus on what itís like, what the day to day is. And my day to day isnít lording my imaginary physical advantage over cis women. Itís trying to find a place where I fit.

    And just so weíre clear, lemme give you some vital stats:
    135lbs
    5í8
    Rail thin
    Donít even know how much I can squat because itís not that much
    Not a body builder or juicer or some mega strong muscle queen
    I intentionally let my previous strength atrophy for almost 3 years just so I could look in the mirror. You think that magically came back when I started riding bikes again? No.

    So what youíre all saying is I can have a race community as long as that community isnít in the womenís field? Thatís a pretty big slap in the face from someone whoís a ďsupporter of trans rights.Ē That is the exact opposite of supporting trans people.

    What happens when the men donít want me there? Where do I go? Nowhere is exactly whatís available to me in that instance.

    And how the hell did doping get into this? Iím not even close to that. My hormones are highly regimented by a physician. Are yours? Have you any idea the variance in testosterone levels among cis women? Itís a huge range.

    And this is kinda where I knew this would go. And the point of my post. Let me sum it up real quick.

    What Itís Like To Be A Trans Athlete:
    Get the hell out we donít want you. Too bad. Iím not going anywhere.

  14. #14
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    Regarding the physical advantage, I think you all need to read this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.ec78bb75319c

    Howís that for a womp womp?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    And this is kinda where I knew this would go. And the point of my post. Let me sum it up real quick.

    What Itís Like To Be A Trans Athlete:
    Get the hell out we donít want you. Too bad. Iím not going anywhere.

    And this is kinda where I knew it would go, attempting to engage in calm, rational, thoughtful discourse on the subject. My point of view: come out and race, itís not about winning in your mind, so race in the menís fields gets turned into ďget the hell out, we donít want you.Ē

    And FYI the doctors and scientists have *not* all concluded that transgender women with low testosterone levels are equal to women physiologically. What they pretty much agree on is that the aerobic advantage of being male is negated. The muscle mass/strength/skeleton size advantages are not. (This is not what activists like Rachael McKinnon will tell you, but itís still factually correct.). The question for each individual sport then becomes ďhow important is muscle mass, strength, skeletal size in this sport?Ē If itís important, transgender women likely have an unfair physiologic advantage over cisgender women. If we donít know, should be be changing the rules to the disadvantage of many to meet the needs of a few.

    I get it that your brain is not open to any ideas but the ones you already have, so thereís no point in trying to have a conversation.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    So what youíre all saying is I can have a race community as long as that community isnít in the womenís field? Thatís a pretty big slap in the face from someone whoís a ďsupporter of trans rights.Ē That is the exact opposite of supporting trans people.
    As I said, your idea of 'supporting trans rights' means giving you what you want regardless of how it might effect or upset other people.

    You say that you are not physically well built but any rules governing trans athletes would have to apply to everyone. You cannot deny that, in general, men are larger and stronger than women. So people who were born male would often have a distinct advantage over women in many sports. This isn't just about you.

    I am sorry that you feel that you are not fitting in because you don't fit the established norms but it's not unfair, it's just the reality of the situation. As part of a tiny minority it might feel unfair that some things are structured to suit the vast majority of people but it's hard to do things any other way. You might feel outnumbered but that doesn't alter the fact that the majority is made up of individuals who have rights too.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Regarding the physical advantage, I think you all need to read this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.ec78bb75319c

    Howís that for a womp womp?
    The place to get unbiased information as to rule changes in sport is not the news media, itís scientific journals.

    Based on the available science (which I have read and have the professional qualifications to understand), the IOC has very much jumped the gun on the decision to change the rules to allow transgender women to compete unfettered in womenís events.

    Some of that was to stave off legal challenge (a lot of cans of worms are opened once you try to get into hormonal or chromosomal definitions of gender), some of it was politically expedient, some of it was well meaning, and some of it was the rule makers not necessarily understanding the science and being influenced by scientific advisors who may have an agenda (like the author of the Washington Post article clearly has).

    Definitely I very much believe that this is an issue that should be looked at from a perspective of figuring out what the science shows. But it will take a long time to work it out for various sports, because they likely will need to be treated differently based on the nature of the sport itself.

    Until the issue has strong scientific conclusions, my opinion is that the status quo definition of gender (based on genitalia you were born with) should remain in place. Rather than have multiple rule changes that majorly affect the athletic career of Olympic level athletes.

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    Did you even read the article? Everything changes with what is not just the lowering, but replacement of T. Bone density, aerobic ability, muscle mass. It all lessens. It all changes. And are you really going to argue that I canít race in the womenís field because I donít have the exact same skeletal build as everyone else? Seems like a poor argument since nobody does.

    And if every conversation you have with a trans person goes this route then perhaps reconsider how you approach the topic? Weíre not victim monsters. I came out and said who I am, what I want to do, and you said no. Well ya, arguing is gonna happen. Thatís the nature of disagreeing on a topic. Are Rachel and I the only two youíve interacted with?

    Also, my levels, on all accounts, are lower than the average cis womanís. Are yours?

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    ďWhen youíre accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.Ē

    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/9460662

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Did you even read the article? Everything changes with what is not just the lowering, but replacement of T. Bone density, aerobic ability, muscle mass. It all lessens. It all changes. And are you really going to argue that I canít race in the womenís field because I donít have the exact same skeletal build as everyone else? Seems like a poor argument since nobody does.

    And if every conversation you have with a trans person goes this route then perhaps reconsider how you approach the topic? Weíre not victim monsters. I came out and said who I am, what I want to do, and you said no. Well ya, arguing is gonna happen. Thatís the nature of disagreeing on a topic. Am I and Rachel the only two youíve interacted with?

    Also, my levels, on all accounts, are lower than a cis womanís.
    Yes I read the article.

    Muscle mass decreasing is describing muscle mass relative to male levels. Science does not show that muscle mass decreases to a level which is comparable to womenís muscle mass.

    Bone density is not the same as skeleton size. If you have a bigger skeleton with bigger muscles you can generate more power with that body. It may matter on bikes (my guess is it does), it may not matter. If this is actually looked at for cycling and is shown to not matter (and likewise the other collectively male physical traits are shown to not matter once a transgender woman becomes hormonally female), I will be fine with transgender women racing in womenís fields. The science is just not there currently.

    But for other sports, like fighting sports (boxing), the larger skeleton size of transgender women can be devastating to cis gender women competing in the sport. Reach is a huge thing in boxing, longer arms are very important. So boxing, mixed martial arts, fighting sports will likely need different rules towards transgender women than say marathon running which is almost all about aerobic endurance.

    Yes you and Rachel are the only transgender women Iíve interacted with on the subject of cycling. Both of you have taken similar approaches- just tell me Iím wrong, tell me the science says something it does not, base your strong opinions on ďmoralĒgrounds and when I try to be rational, just accuse me of wanting to push you out because of who you are rather than because I am making valid arguments on the subject. So... I donít really look forward to attempting conversations with other transgender women in bike racing. But everyoneís an individual, so I will keep an open mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    ďWhen youíre accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.Ē
    I understand that you want to support your argument but not all things that are described as 'oppression' are equal. If a black person asks to be treated as being of equal value to a person of any other colour, I think that's reasonable. When someone who has a biologically male body asks to be accepted in sport as someone who has a biologically female body, I don't. That's not reasonable.

    To reiterate my point, just because you really want something doesn't mean it's only fair you should have it. You identify as a woman. So what? Let's say for the sake of argument that you, for whatever reason, had developed the conviction that you were a gorilla. Sure, you'd be entitled to hold that conviction and structure you life around it but the bottom line is that other people need to be free to consider the evidence and conclude that no, you're not a gorilla. Should they be legally compelled to accept your self-given identity when it contradicts the physical evidence they normally base their judgments on? You can ask them to, that's fair enough, but you can't complain because they won't accept your arguments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I understand that you want to support your argument but not all things that are described as 'oppression' are equal. If a black person asks to be treated as being of equal value to a person of any other colour, I think that's reasonable. When someone who has a biologically male body asks to be accepted in sport as someone who has a biologically female body, I don't. That's not reasonable.

    To reiterate my point, just because you really want something doesn't mean it's only fair you should have it. You identify as a woman. So what? Let's say for the sake of argument that you, for whatever reason, had developed the conviction that you were a gorilla. Sure, you'd be entitled to hold that conviction and structure you life around it but the bottom line is that other people need to be free to consider the evidence and conclude that no, you're not a gorilla. Should they be legally compelled to accept your self-given identity when it contradicts the physical evidence they normally base their judgments on? You can ask them to, that's fair enough, but you can't complain because they won't accept your arguments.
    I mean I donít currently identify as a gorilla and probably never will, but if youíd like to live your life as one Iíd support that. Gorillas are adorable majestic creatures. But letís not use extreme examples to make a point mmk?

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    CaroCO,

    Let me just say that I think it's very brave of you to speak out about what it's like to be a trans racer. I race BMX (I'm not very good at it, lol!) and find that, regardless of the other racers on the track, the only person you really have to beat is yourself. Ride on, sister

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    But letís not use extreme examples to make a point mmk?
    I just did. Of course it's an extreme and ridiculous example but I am making a point. You don't get to decide what constitutes reality for other people. Yes, I will support your right to live as you want to and make free choices concerning your life. No, I won't support the idea that you should have the right to dictate what other people believe or force them to structure their lives to according to what you believe. Can't you see the distinction?

    It comes down to how you define free. You want to be free to define yourself as a women but in a genuinely free society other people have to be free to look at the evidence and decide that you're not one. You both need to be free to hold those views without fear of persecution. That's not what you want. You want to be free to hold your views but you do not want other people to be free to hold theirs. You want to compel them to accept your views. That's not freedom, that's a dictatorship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    CaroCO,

    Let me just say that I think it's very brave of you to speak out about what it's like to be a trans racer. I race BMX (I'm not very good at it, lol!) and find that, regardless of the other racers on the track, the only person you really have to beat is yourself. Ride on, sister

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    Rock on! Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I just did. Of course it's an extreme and ridiculous example but I am making a point. You don't get to decide what constitutes reality for other people. Yes, I will support your right to live as you want to and make free choices concerning your life. No, I won't support the idea that you should have the right to dictate what other people believe or force them to structure their lives to according to what you believe. Can't you see the distinction?

    It comes down to how you define free. You want to be free to define yourself as a women but in a genuinely free society other people have to be free to look at the evidence and decide that you're not one. You both need to be free to hold those views without fear of persecution. That's not what you want. You want to be free to hold your views but you do not want other people to be free to hold theirs. You want to compel them to accept your views. That's not freedom, that's a dictatorship.
    Itís not so much about what I want, but what I am. Iím not trying to convince you Iím a woman. Medical science has already provided evidence that I am. And the brains scans and autopsies prove that:

    ďThe developmental mismatch idea draws support from two sets of findings. Animal studies demonstrated that the genitals and the brain acquire masculine or feminine traits at different stages of development in utero, setting up the potential for hormone fluctuations or other factors to put those organs on different tracks. (See ďSex Differences in the Brain,Ē The Scientist, October 2015.) And human studies have found that, in several regions, the brains of trans people bear a greater resemblance to those of cis people who share the trans subjectsí gender than to those of the same natal sex.Ē

    https://www.the-scientist.com/featur...r-people-30027

    They didnít mention anything about resemblance to gorillaís brains, unfortunately. Weíll have to wait for that study a while I imagine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Itís not so much about what I want, but what I am. Iím not trying to convince you Iím a woman. Medical science has already provided evidence that I am.
    I don't want to argue with you over how you choose to interpret the evidence. For millennia people have defined men and women very simply and clearly based on obvious evidences. My point is that if people wish to continue to do so they should be free to.

    To talk about fairly obscure things like brain scans and cell differences while ignoring the obvious biological differences between men and women seems crazy to me. There is less than one-percent difference between all of the people on earth, irrespective of race or gender. Heck, there is only a couple of percentage difference between humans and chimps. Does than mean that we are all the same? No, it just means that those few percent matter. But you want to ignore the obvious and only give any credence to the obscure and unfounded?

    Like I said, it's not about who you think you are. It's about whether or not you have the right to force other people to agree with you.

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    Iíd say an autopsy of a brain is pretty strongly based in biology and the brain has a pretty huge impact on the rest of the bodyís structure and function would you not? Just because itís not easy to understand doesnít mean it isnít valid.

    This article brings up multiple important points, chief of which are that itís not a choice, like you mentioned in your guerilla example, and that the science is on my side of the argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Iíd say an autopsy of a brain is pretty strongly based in biology...
    Ok, but so is whether or not you have a male or female genitalia. You can't have it both ways.

    I don't know you or your history. I don't know what brought you to the point in your life where you came to believe you were a woman despite what your body looks like but I respect your freedom to make that choice. Perhaps you were 'hard-wired' to feel the way you do, I have not lived your life so cannot comment on that, but it's your life. I wouldn't seek to stop you living it the way you want.

    But you are seeking to stop others living the way they want. If a woman wants to compete against other biological women she should be free to do that. She should be free to say to a transsexual that she doesn't want to compete against her because she doesn't think it's a fair contest. She should be free to say that she doesn't agree that someone who was born a man is now a woman just because they say so.

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    Wouldn't an examination of chromosomes settle this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Ok, but so is whether or not you have a male or female genitalia. You can't have it both ways.

    I don't know you or your history. I don't know what brought you to the point in your life where you came to believe you were a woman despite what your body looks like but I respect your freedom to make that choice. Perhaps you were 'hard-wired' to feel the way you do, I have not lived your life so cannot comment on that, but it's your life. I wouldn't seek to stop you living it the way you want.

    But you are seeking to stop others living the way they want. If a woman wants to compete against other biological women she should be free to do that. She should be free to say to a transsexual that she doesn't want to compete against her because she doesn't think it's a fair contest. She should be free to say that she doesn't agree that someone who was born a man is now a woman just because they say so.
    Well, first off, that article about brains I posted? It proves that itís not a choice. So Iím not choosing anything. Itís part of the way I work. Just is. And genitals are characteristic of sex, not gender. Very different things.

    Secondly, she has and still is free to state her disagreement and has openly done so. I havenít taken away her ability, or yours, to do that. Youíre still posting arenít you?

    Iím not taking her right away to race against biological women. She can still do that, too.

    However, that doesnít mean your view of what it means to be trans is correct. Cause itís not. Way off base and youíre ignoring the facts being presented to you in favor of extreme examples that have literally no connection to what being trans means. Itís same argument of ďooooh no! What if people want to start marrying pillows and bricks and sheep!?Ē Well, thatís not what they were fighting for when gay marriage was up for study just as Iím not fighting for the right to call myself a chimpanzee.

    If anything, my right to have a place of competition is being compromised. But thanks for making my point that Iím not welcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Wouldn't an examination of chromosomes settle this?
    Not quite. Chromosomes arenít necessarily an accurate measure of sex anymore, especially since the discovery of the gene that makes the sex designation in utero. Itís not even chromosomes anymore. Itís one tiny little gene that makes a switch one way or another. And in addition to that, chromosome testing wouldnít be much help for intersex athletes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Not quite. Chromosomes arenít necessarily an accurate measure of sex anymore, especially since the discovery of the gene that makes the sex designation in utero. Itís not even chromosomes anymore. Itís one tiny little gene that makes a switch one way or another. And in addition to that, chromosome testing wouldnít be much help for intersex athletes.



    okay, thanks for the response. FWIW, I think the women that have to compete should be the ones deciding these matters, way beyond of my pay scale.
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    okay, thanks for the response. FWIW, I think the women that have to compete should be the ones deciding these matters, way beyond of my pay scale.
    I don't totally disagree with that. This discussion happened at UCI/Olympic level without us peons here being involved. So let's have that conversation here. Yesterday people in this thread weren't talking/thinking about this at all most likely. Well, now it's in their brains.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Well, first off, that article about brains I posted? It proves that itís not a choice. So Iím not choosing anything. Itís part of the way I work. Just is. And genitals are characteristic of sex, not gender. Very different things.
    Ok, so let's accept your argument for second that gender and the physical body are not necessarily the same thing. That is what you mean isn't it? So let's say that by gender you are a woman but your physical body is that of a man. You agree? Isn't that the very definition of a transsexual?

    If you accept that your body is biologically that of a man, and men are characteristically stronger than women, why is it fair that biological women should have to compete against someone with a male body? Why should it be determined by what you feel about yourself and not by the physical body you posses? Why is your way of defining yourself more valid than your physical body?

    Sport is primarily a physical contest. Throughout time, competitors have been divided by physical gender, because the disparity between the physical abilities of the men and women is very obvious. The emotional or psychological characteristics of the competitors doesn't come into it. For example a gay runner can compete against heterosexual men as they are both physically men so it's perfectly fair.

    What you are saying is that we should ignore the physical differences and base selection on mental and psychological characteristics. Have you really thought that through? A huge male wrestler could say he identified as a woman and beat the crap out of female wrestlers. I could list countless examples but you see my point?

    It doesn't matter what you identify as. Whether you are straight, gay, trans or whatever. Sport is a physical contest and the only reasonably fair way to divide competitors is by their physical bodies.

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    Ok ok I see where you're going with this. Let's get a few definitions out of the way for clarity's sake:

    Gender Identity: Oneís internal sense of being male, female, neither of these, both, or other gender(s). Everyone has a gender identity, including you. For transgender people, their sex assigned at birth and their gender identity are not necessarily the same.

    Sex Assigned At Birth: The assignment and classification of people as male, female, intersex, or another sex assigned at birth often based on physical anatomy at birth and/or karyotyping.

    Transgender/Trans: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term transgender is not indicative of gender expression, sexual orientation, hormonal makeup, physical anatomy, or how one is perceived in daily life. Note that transgender does not have an ďedĒ at the end.

    Transsexual: A deprecated term that is often considered pejorative similar to transgender in that it indicates a difference between oneís gender identity and sex assigned at birth. Transsexual often Ė though not always Ė implicates hormonal/surgical transition from one binary gender (male or female) to the other. Unlike transgender/trans, transsexual is not an umbrella term, as many transgender people do not identify as transsexual. When speaking/writing about trans people, please avoid the word transsexual unless asked to use it by a transsexual person.

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    Ok now back to your question, Mr Pig. Let's take your example of a really strong, AMAB (assigned male at birth) individual. How well do you think that person would do without the skills, knowledge and experience of a trained wrestler? Probably not too well. They'd just be a big meat bag that would get overtaken by anyone with some skill. Which is learned, and recorded in, you guessed it, the brain.

    Sport isn't solely physical. And the best athletes in any given sport dedicate time and energy into the mental aspect of their chosen sport. Men aren't born great at hitting a baseball. Neither are women. They're learned skills. Take that same large AMAB individual, who's never biked, and throw them on a double black diamond dh trail, and they'll most likely break their neck.

    We talked about skeletal structure and longer limbs. Ok, yes, longer limbs allow for more torque to be applied per given measure of force. But, if the muscle isn't there to apply that force, if the bones aren't strong enough to support that force, the lever arm will either break, or not employ that same torque. And since cis women's body types are hugely variable, this one kinda falls flat as well unfortunately. There are tall cis women, short cis women, round, thin, buff cis women. And they all have different strengths and weaknesses. So by this point we've established through the research into bone density, muscle mass, and aerobic ability of trans athletes, it's not some inherent physical advantage, but how your brain utilizes those strengths and weaknesses that matters, not the vessel itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    okay, thanks for the response. FWIW, I think the women that have to compete should be the ones deciding these matters, way beyond of my pay scale.
    Interesting article regarding that gene I mentioned:
    https://www.popsci.com/science/artic...ale-mice-males

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Ok ok I see where you're going with this.
    I don't know that I'm going anywhere. I feel I've been there and maybe heading going around in circles but forward progress seems unlikely. I apologize for using the incorrect terminology. It's not something I am familiar with. I'm not trying to insult you and I hope you understand What I mean?

    Of course mental strength and skill development play a part in sport. Not denying that. What I am saying is that it's not a foundation for segregating competitors. Well sometimes it is, in the lower grades of Judo for example, but not at senior or professional level. They don't disqualify a basketball player because he's practiced too much. Instead, the development of skill forms a part of the competition but it remains true that in physical competition the only consistent division has been the gender of the physical body.

    Think what would happen if you throw that away. Imagine that in the Olympics men and women fought against each other, what would happen? Would women even bother to continue competing? It might not be a perfect way to segregate competitors, I'll give you that, but it's the only reasonably fair way that I can see.

    Incidentally, I'd like to thank you for keeping the debate civil. You are being articulate and polite when I'm sure you feel very strongly about the issue so please do not think that you are unwelcome on the forum. I do disagree with you on this subject but that doesn't mean I don't want you here. If you ride mountain bikes you are part of the family so please stick around.

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    Iím not really here to win arguments honestly, and even if I was, name calling and personal jabs donít really do that well at that anyway. Iím here to show people the information as I understand it, share my experiences, show those outside my community that weíre not a bunch of crazies, and hopefully, one day, another trans person will stumble across this and realize theyíre not alone.

    Yes there have absolutely been some instances where I wanted to blow up because lots of this stuff just isnít understood from our shoes and it gets very difficult not to have an emotional response. Itís a contested topic. Weíre contesting it like adults. I didnít walk into this expecting a cakewalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Iím here to show people the information as I understand it, share my experiences, show those outside my community that weíre not a bunch of crazies...
    Well you're not going to fit in very well here then ;0)

    No one is normal. Even normal people are only normal on the surface. Sorry, guess you're not so special after all? :0)

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    I'm pretty vanilla beyond the scope of this topic honestly. I don't drink, I don't party. I work, ride bikes, watch Frasier, and cook dinner. True, I'm a goofball at heart, but really, I just wanna be a weirdo mountain lady.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    but really, I just wanna be a weirdo mountain lady.



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    RadioLab just aired a really interesting set of podcasts regarding human reproduction titled "Gonads" but it delves very deeply into how we're made and what makes us. The 4th episode in the series titled "Dutee" is pretty on point for this discussion about gender tests, how they started, why they started, where they're at now, and how they negatively effected people's lives. There's a follow-up episode as well about what it means to be intersex that's also really good.

    https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/dutee

    Honestly all 5 episodes of the Gonads project are super interesting, but figured this one would fit best here.

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    I think a lot of what is trying to be brought up here is the physiological difference between a male and a female. Much more goes into body type than what you choose/feel that you are (genitalia removed from the equation)

    None the less, I dont think anyone was trying to attack anyone here, and I was enjoying reading this thread until it started to get more personal.

    But please do carry on.

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    I feel national bodies have done a disservice to trans athletes by allowing them to compete without extensive research. Of course it's unfair to that athlete that they cannot race.And testosterone levels are not a great measure either.
    However a friend of mine is 198cm tall and roughly 120kg and is 30 years old and is very strong. He doesn't ride a bike, but what sort of advantage would he retain through HRT compared to a woman who had grown to the same size, weight and same sporting background?
    That unfortunately is what we don't know. And until we do then I don't think you can race with woman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    I feel national bodies have done a disservice to trans athletes by allowing them to compete without extensive research. Of course it's unfair to that athlete that they cannot race.And testosterone levels are not a great measure either.
    However a friend of mine is 198cm tall and roughly 120kg and is 30 years old and is very strong. He doesn't ride a bike, but what sort of advantage would he retain through HRT compared to a woman who had grown to the same size, weight and same sporting background?
    That unfortunately is what we don't know. And until we do then I don't think you can race with woman.
    So this kind of begs the question: what would be definitive information? What would you want to see before making this call? Iím not trying to call you out or set a trap. Iím curious what the input would be. Is there a definitive answer? What would that look like? What I learned from that podcast is that the following forms of testing have been used and were ultimately discarded:

    Genital examinations (extremely invasive)
    Chromosome testing (inaccurate due to myriad of chromosomal combinations that arenít XY or XX, such as XXY, XYY, occurring in both cis male and female athletes)
    Testosterone level testing (cis female levels range from below 10 nanomole/L to 30nm/L, which is well above average cis male levels so this one is still not conclusive)
    Bone density scans - unsure why this was stopped, but itís such a variable thing across all people I canít see it being accurate.

    Interestingly, naturally occurring testosterone is apparently less likely to have major muscular, aerobic, or Sprint advantages when compared to synthetic T. Itís the synthetic stuff that really gives the huge edge. I also learned that, when studied in track and field, T levels had the greatest influence in sports like 100-200m sprint, shotput, and high jump, but almost no impact on longer distance events. So itís kinda a huge mess.

    So what else do we test? What is the silver bullet? Is there one? And if not, is it worth refusing entry to an entire demographic for decades if there is no cut and dry answer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    So what else do we test? What is the silver bullet? Is there one?
    I can't pretend that I think it's a perfect solution, and clearly no answer is going to please everyone, but for me it has to be kept simple. If you were born male you run against men. The system that has been in use for thousands of years. It doesn't matter what you do there will be looser but the way things are going the result will be chaos which upsets just about everyone. Will we see an Olympics were all of the 'female' runners are trans athletes? How do you think that would go down with the pubic?

    This video illustrates the problem. These two young trans athletes are beating the girls and some people are unhappy about it. Just looking at them I find the argument that they are biologically female hard to accept. They both look large, masculine and strong and the fact that they are beating the girls seems hardly surprising. If I was a girl running against them, I'd be upset.


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    So back to that original post about definitions, Iíd like to add that ďfemaleĒ or ďmales in quotes is hugely offensive. Along with he/she, transgender-ed, ďitĒ, and using someoneís previous name/pronouns (aka deadnaming).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I can't pretend that I think it's a perfect solution, and clearly no answer is going to please everyone, but for me it has to be kept simple. If you were born male you run against men. The system that has been in use for thousands of years. It doesn't matter what you do there will be looser but the way things are going the result will be chaos which upsets just about everyone. Will we see an Olympics were all of the 'female' runners are trans athletes? How do you think that would go down with the pubic?

    This video illustrates the problem. These two young trans athletes are beating the girls and some people are unhappy about it. Just looking at them I find the argument that they are biologically female hard to accept. They both look large, masculine and strong and the fact that they are beating the girls seems hardly surprising. If I was a girl running against them, I'd be upset.

    Weíve been keeping this topic to trans women until now, but what about trans men? By that logic, if a trans man was AFAB (assigned female at birth) then he would be forced into running against a cis female group. Would that be fair to the cis women in the group? Running against someone who is on testosterone? What effect would that have on the trans maleís accomplishments and emotional well being?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Weíve been keeping this topic to trans women until now, but what about trans men? By that logic, if a trans man was AFAB (assigned female at birth) then he would be forced into running against a cis female group. Would that be fair to the cis women in the group? Running against someone who is on testosterone? What effect would that have on the trans maleís accomplishments and emotional well being?
    Neither is fair, there should be a new category added to the current. Or get rid of all cats and just have one open for all athletes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LargeMan View Post
    Neither is fair, there should be a new category added to the current. Or get rid of all cats and just have one open for all athletes.
    So, like, separate, but equal? With equal payouts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Would that be fair to the cis women in the group? Running against someone who is on testosterone?
    That's a good point. The answer I guess is no because they are taking a performance enhancing drug. Just as the trans women running against natural women is unfair because the physical development of their bodies has been boosted by years of systemic testosterone.

    Is it unfair on the trans people? I guess it is, but the alternative is unfair on everyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    So, like, separate, but equal? With equal payouts?
    Separate but equal, correct. Most races in our area have a pay out that is a percent of the total amount of racers per each cat. But since gender is becoming harder and harder to define, would be best just to remove it from competition and have the best rider win, regardless of gender. Just go by age and cats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    So what else do we test? What is the silver bullet? Is there one? And if not, is it worth refusing entry to an entire demographic for decades if there is no cut and dry answer?
    As you've pointed genetic gender is not black and white, and yet for competitive sport it has been split into just two for, well a millennia or two.
    Is it fair? No. And as we learn more and more about gender it is will only become harder and harder for sporting bodies. Would it be better to adopt the Para-Olympic model which has categories for different disabilities? And don't for one second I'm trying to suggest that a trans athlete is disabled.

    There are so many factors to consider, at what point a person transitions, as a mature adult, like Laurel Hubbard who transitioned at age 34 having been a successful junior weight lifter. Is there a physical difference between Laurel and someone who transitions at 16 or 17 years of age?

    Taking my enormous friend for example. If we are being cynical and he undertook HRT for no other reason other than to compete with women and go to an Olympics, would the benefit of spending 30 years as male (and a very strong and large male) be mitigated by HRT? He is not likely to lose height or reach, he will lose muscle mass of course, but how would that compare to a CIS female of similar height and weight with a similar sports upbringing?
    The answer I suppose is we don't know. I have no idea how many trans athletes there are, or could be, creating separate categories makes sense on one level, but certainly in local DH races there are not large numbers of CIS Female entries compared to CIS males. Or we just have one category?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    As you've pointed genetic gender is not black and white, and yet for competitive sport it has been split into just two for, well a millennia or two.
    Is it fair? No. And as we learn more and more about gender it is will only become harder and harder for sporting bodies. Would it be better to adopt the Para-Olympic model which has categories for different disabilities? And don't for one second I'm trying to suggest that a trans athlete is disabled.

    There are so many factors to consider, at what point a person transitions, as a mature adult, like Laurel Hubbard who transitioned at age 34 having been a successful junior weight lifter. Is there a physical difference between Laurel and someone who transitions at 16 or 17 years of age?

    Taking my enormous friend for example. If we are being cynical and he undertook HRT for no other reason other than to compete with women and go to an Olympics, would the benefit of spending 30 years as male (and a very strong and large male) be mitigated by HRT? He is not likely to lose height or reach, he will lose muscle mass of course, but how would that compare to a CIS female of similar height and weight with a similar sports upbringing?
    The answer I suppose is we don't know. I have no idea how many trans athletes there are, or could be, creating separate categories makes sense on one level, but certainly in local DH races there are not large numbers of CIS Female entries compared to CIS males. Or we just have one category?
    Itís extraordinarily difficult to get on HRT so I donít see people just one day waking up and starting it. I went through years of therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, endocrinologists, and GPs, just to get the prescription. And even then most insurances donít cover it so itís expense is another barrier to overcome. And it wasnít that I needed all that therapy. I needed some to come to terms and accept who I am, sure. But mostly it was either gate keeping, or people covering their asses. Lots of them never wrote the letter. Even after I walked in the door saying, ďIím here for a letter.Ē I even had one paychologist tell me ďI donít believe trans people are realĒ when heíd advertised himself as a gender therapist!

    So itís not really something anyone can just up and do on Friday and then go compete on Monday. And the majority of trans women I know, not speaking for all of us here, but most I know, want nothing more than to lose that muscle mass. Also, no doctor would prescribe to your friend. Anywhere.

    I think the likelihood of that scenario is small.

    And since LGBT questions have been removed from census questionnaires, thereís really no somewhat accurate count of how many of us are out there, beyond speculation and estimates.

    I think I saw something from 2016 that estimated 1.4 million people identified as transgender. Out of 300+ million. Thatís a lot of trans people, but itís only .4% of the population. My point is, weíre already a small community relative to cis people. Among us is an even smaller niche of people who actually want to be athletically competitive. Weíre not gonna take over the world and make it all sparkly queer, as amazing as that would be.

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    I won't dive in to this thread too much, because the previous one I felt I was completely respectful yet I was called names and the thread was locked (immediately after I was called names).

    There is quite a bit of just incorrect info spouted about in a few of the Pro-Tran 'facts' and news articles going around. My background is in Micro-biology and I'm personally a male on HRT so understand a fair bit about that as well. We are all susceptible to believing sources that agree with our preconceived notions after-all.

    I will say that throughout my life I've known some wonderful Trans people, and I would be cheering louder than about anyone to see one competing per their biological sex. Being different is tough and requires courage.

    HOWEVER, I would be anything but cheering for a Trans individual that competed with biological women. The pendulum has swung too far left trying to correct for past mistakes, and bad decisions are being made. And frankly everyday people are kind of getting aggravated about it.

    With all due respect to Trans-women, it truly bums me out that women frankly have enough obstacles in this world to success, they get a competitive group that is all theirs, and well, a biological male shows up and races them. I think it's a real insult to women actually.

    I'm going to talk about the real effects of T in a biological male just to clear up that misconception. Normal T levels in a healthy man are around 400-1200 (the unit is n/ dl I think but that's not important for this conversation). It takes a hell of a lot of juice for me to maintain that minimum. The last T test I did I was about 17, which is well below the average woman. And frankly the physical effects are pretty small. I'm pretty beastly on a MTB, or a dirt bike even with very low T levels. I pick up 1-3% BF on very low T, but still look and act like a typical dude. I do feel more risk averse, a bit more timid on big obstacles, my skin looks a bit smoother, and my hair looks great when my T has been very low for months. I happen to know many ex body builders that are big hulking men that are ripped and tough that basically have no T either as a result of steroid abuse. The current T levels matters but it isn't really the be all end all. The ingrained strength and behavior of males runs deeper in their bodies than just their current hormone levels.

    ~ take care

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I won't dive in to this thread too much, because the previous one I felt I was completely respectful yet I was called names and the thread was locked (immediately after I was called names).

    There is quite a bit of just incorrect info spouted about in a few of the Pro-Tran 'facts' and news articles going around. My background is in Micro-biology and I'm personally a male on HRT so understand a fair bit about that as well. We are all susceptible to believing sources that agree with our preconceived notions after-all.

    I will say that throughout my life I've known some wonderful Trans people, and I would be cheering louder than about anyone to see one competing per their biological sex. Being different is tough and requires courage.

    HOWEVER, I would be anything but cheering for a Trans individual that competed with biological women. The pendulum has swung too far left trying to correct for past mistakes, and bad decisions are being made. And frankly everyday people are kind of getting aggravated about it.

    With all due respect to Trans-women, it truly bums me out that women frankly have enough obstacles in this world to success, they get a competitive group that is all theirs, and well, a biological male shows up and races them. I think it's a real insult to women actually.

    I'm going to talk about the real effects of T in a biological male just to clear up that misconception. Normal T levels in a healthy man are around 400-1200 (the unit is n/ dl I think but that's not important for this conversation). It takes a hell of a lot of juice for me to maintain that minimum. The last T test I did I was about 17, which is well below the average woman. And frankly the physical effects are pretty small. I'm pretty beastly on a MTB, or a dirt bike even with very low T levels. I pick up 1-3% BF on very low T, but still look and act like a typical dude. I do feel more risk averse, a bit more timid on big obstacles, my skin looks a bit smoother, and my hair looks great when my T has been very low for months. I happen to know many ex body builders that are big hulking men that are ripped and tough that basically have no T either as a result of steroid abuse. The current T levels matters but it isn't really the be all end all. The ingrained strength and behavior of males runs deeper in their bodies than just their current hormone levels.

    ~ take care
    Im not going to pretend Iím an expert on the biology. Iím going based on the information presented to me and through my own personal experiences. From your experience, what was the process of obtaining supplemental T like? Was it easy? Difficult? Are your levels and dosage closely monitored or is it more free reign? How low is your T without supplements?

    You mentioned the body fat, the risk averse nature, hair, and skin. Do you imagine those side effects of low T would be more pronounced if you made none at all aside from the tiny percentage from your adrenal gland? What would that look like?

    Iím not an expert on biology. But I am an expert on living in a world that doesnít have a place for you. On trying to find a place. You donít want trans women competing against cis women. Ok. Thatís your take. But knowing what you know about male physiology, would it be an equal playing field for me to compete against cis men?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Im not going to pretend Iím an expert on the biology. Iím going based on the information presented to me and through my own personal experiences. From your experience, what was the process of obtaining supplemental T like? Was it easy? Difficult? Are your levels and dosage closely monitored or is it more free reign? How low is your T without supplements?

    You mentioned the body fat, the risk averse nature, hair, and skin. Do you imagine those side effects of low T would be more pronounced if you made none at all aside from the tiny percentage from your adrenal gland? What would that look like?

    Iím not an expert on biology. But I am an expert on living in a world that doesnít have a place for you. On trying to find a place. You donít want trans women competing against cis women. Ok. Thatís your take. But knowing what you know about male physiology, would it be an equal playing field for me to compete against cis men?
    I can go buy androgel right now. Testerone gel. As well as test-e (injectable test)

    It's not hard to obtain to be honest.

    Now, to obtain through a legal prescription may be a bit more difficult.

    Sent from my LG-H931 using Tapatalk

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    Ya legal was more the way I was leaning with that. Itís quite difficult. Are you getting your levels checked regularly? I mostly ask out of concern because of the warning Iíve heard from doctors of friends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I won't dive in to this thread too much, because the previous one I felt I was completely respectful yet I was called names and the thread was locked (immediately after I was called names).

    There is quite a bit of just incorrect info spouted about in a few of the Pro-Tran 'facts' and news articles going around. My background is in Micro-biology and I'm personally a male on HRT so understand a fair bit about that as well. We are all susceptible to believing sources that agree with our preconceived notions after-all.

    I will say that throughout my life I've known some wonderful Trans people, and I would be cheering louder than about anyone to see one competing per their biological sex. Being different is tough and requires courage.

    HOWEVER, I would be anything but cheering for a Trans individual that competed with biological women. The pendulum has swung too far left trying to correct for past mistakes, and bad decisions are being made. And frankly everyday people are kind of getting aggravated about it.

    With all due respect to Trans-women, it truly bums me out that women frankly have enough obstacles in this world to success, they get a competitive group that is all theirs, and well, a biological male shows up and races them. I think it's a real insult to women actually.

    I'm going to talk about the real effects of T in a biological male just to clear up that misconception. Normal T levels in a healthy man are around 400-1200 (the unit is n/ dl I think but that's not important for this conversation). It takes a hell of a lot of juice for me to maintain that minimum. The last T test I did I was about 17, which is well below the average woman. And frankly the physical effects are pretty small. I'm pretty beastly on a MTB, or a dirt bike even with very low T levels. I pick up 1-3% BF on very low T, but still look and act like a typical dude. I do feel more risk averse, a bit more timid on big obstacles, my skin looks a bit smoother, and my hair looks great when my T has been very low for months. I happen to know many ex body builders that are big hulking men that are ripped and tough that basically have no T either as a result of steroid abuse. The current T levels matters but it isn't really the be all end all. The ingrained strength and behavior of males runs deeper in their bodies than just their current hormone levels.

    ~ take care
    Here's the question I've always had. How would it compare in a purely competitive environment to juicing and then maintaining. Sure you can pass the screens, sure you've lost quite a bit of what you had gained while juicing but there will still be some unnatural, residual gains that stick around even if you have been clean for some time.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Im not going to pretend Iím an expert on the biology. Iím going based on the information presented to me and through my own personal experiences. From your experience, what was the process of obtaining supplemental T like? Was it easy? Difficult? Are your levels and dosage closely monitored or is it more free reign? How low is your T without supplements?

    You mentioned the body fat, the risk averse nature, hair, and skin. Do you imagine those side effects of low T would be more pronounced if you made none at all aside from the tiny percentage from your adrenal gland? What would that look like?

    Iím not an expert on biology. But I am an expert on living in a world that doesnít have a place for you. On trying to find a place. You donít want trans women competing against cis women. Ok. Thatís your take. But knowing what you know about male physiology, would it be an equal playing field for me to compete against cis men?
    I could go in to the entire history of it, but several people one this forum are fellow local riders so I don't want to get to personal.

    Suffice it to say, that it became clear once I began supplementing that I had always had low T naturally. (i.e. I had smooth skin like a woman, no body hair, etc.. all changed within months of starting T)

    My current natural T levels, are that of a low- average T woman. However I'm still strong like a guy, ride like a guy, have hetero sex like a guy, etc.. It doesn't have as much effect as you might think. I try to maintain low male levels around 300 it's just my body converts a lot so it's hard to maintain. On 300 T I'll do any obstacle, climb like a beast, and I keep my hair. 1000 T and I just might attack someone for shooting the finger at me or something. It's pathetic but true. My hair falls out in clumps on 1000 T.

    Honestly I really only notice it when I'm High (for me) T I have a real 'F' it attitude on big MX jumps and things like that. I just don't care a whole lot if I get hurt, or maybe I'm just more confident. When I'm low T I feel a lot more fear. It seems like I think much more about consequences of my actions when I'm low T.

    I guess knowing women and men and how they act generally, is any of that really surprising?

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    Here's a link to the IAFF vs. Dutee Chand and their arbitration judgment at the end:
    http://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/use...d_internet.pdf

    For the argument on the Testosterone levels:
    My T levels are so low they can't even be tested for accurately. And many of my friends are in the same boat, where they don't even register. So in reality, if T is an advantage, then cis women have higher T levels over us.

    And if we're going to talk advantage vs disadvantage, social influences like stress, family complications, income, unemployment, fear, also make huge physiological and psychological impacts on performance and ability to devote time and money to training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post

    And if we're going to talk advantage vs disadvantage, social influences like stress, family complications, income, unemployment, fear, also make huge physiological and psychological impacts on performance and ability to devote time and money to training.



    Every athlete deals with those issues, you aren't the Lone Ranger when it comes to all of that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Every athlete deals with those issues, you aren't the Lone Ranger when it comes to all of that.
    Everyone? Does everyone spend the equivalent of a down payment on a house on literally life saving medical coverage that is almost never covered? Does everyone have a day of the year to remember those in their community murdered for who they are while systematically being ignored and derided as insane, mentally ill, and/or perverted? And does every murder case have a Ďtrans panicí defense thatís actually law wherein the accused can claim they panicked and beat someone to death and go free no problem? Does everyone experience job discrimination and unemployment far above the national average? Suicide rates far above the national average? Does everyone subject themselves to public disdain and harassment to be who they are and are happier for it? And does everyone live in a world where all of the above are possibilities while at the same time the most powerful government in the world legislates against their safety, and fuels hatred towards them in their own homes?

    No. I donít think everyone has to deal with that.

    You know, Iíve been civil. And patient. And tolerant. But donít downplay these realities as if everyone has them. Donít downplay HRT because microbiology is your field of study and you are a cis male who has low T. Thatís not the same. Itís not even in the same ballpark. Donít pretend that youíve been disowned or thrown out like garbage because of religious beliefs.

    Donít sit here and tell me I donít have a right to race. Because Iíve worked my ass off to make that even a remote possibility. And Iíve earned it. Iíve been beaten, attacked, Iíve had friendís lives destroyed utterly by this. This. Is. Real.

    This was supposed to be a thread about what itís like, the personality, the human side of it, to illustrate a glimpse of who we are. To give you all a chance to get to know why I do it and who I am. Not a debate on why I should or shouldnít be there. Not a debate on whatís fair and what isnít. Not a debate about hormones or body structure or Olympic rulings. But apparently people canít see past that into who trans athletes are as people.

    I do it in spite of all the shit I just mentioned. Because Iím trying to find a life more beautiful, and do grass roots activism so people can meet me and understand me before they make a judgment call about who I am from one aspect of my personality. And guess what? Itís working. Maybe not here. But itís working elsewhere. And when I can go on a bike trip with 10 staunch Florida Republicans I just met, and by the end of it come out best of friends, respected, with solid relationships built from shared experiences, Iím doing something right. And guess what? They have zero problem with me racing in the womenís class.

    Because this sport brings people together. And anyone that isnít interested in that aspect of it, and only cares about race wins, should gtfo of my face. I donít have time for your crap.

    Moderator, Iím ready for this to be closed please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Everyone? Does everyone spend the equivalent of a down payment on a house on literally life saving medical coverage that is almost never covered? Does everyone have a day of the year to remember those in their community murdered for who they are while systematically being ignored and derided as insane, mentally ill, and/or perverted? And does every murder case have a Ďtrans panicí defense thatís actually law wherein the accused can claim they panicked and beat someone to death and go free no problem? Does everyone experience job discrimination and unemployment far above the national average? Suicide rates far above the national average? Does everyone subject themselves to public disdain and harassment to be who they are and are happier for it? And does everyone live in a world where all of the above are possibilities while at the same time the most powerful government in the world legislates against their safety, and fuels hatred towards them in their own homes?

    No. I donít think everyone has to deal with that.

    You know, Iíve been civil. And patient. And tolerant. But donít downplay these realities as if everyone has them. Donít downplay HRT because microbiology is your field of study and you are a cis male who has low T. Thatís not the same. Itís not even in the same ballpark. Donít pretend that youíve been disowned or thrown out like garbage because of religious beliefs.

    Donít sit here and tell me I donít have a right to race. Because Iíve worked my ass off to make that even a remote possibility. And Iíve earned it. Iíve been beaten, attacked, Iíve had friendís lives destroyed utterly by this. This. Is. Real.

    This was supposed to be a thread about what itís like, the personality, the human side of it, to illustrate a glimpse of who we are. To give you all a chance to get to know why I do it and who I am. Not a debate on why I should or shouldnít be there. Not a debate on whatís fair and what isnít. Not a debate about hormones or body structure or Olympic rulings. But apparently people canít see past that into who trans athletes are as people.

    I do it in spite of all the shit I just mentioned. Because Iím trying to find a life more beautiful, and do grass roots activism so people can meet me and understand me before they make a judgment call about who I am from one aspect of my personality. And guess what? Itís working. Maybe not here. But itís working elsewhere. And when I can go on a bike trip with 10 staunch Florida Republicans I just met, and by the end of it come out best of friends, respected, with solid relationships built from shared experiences, Iím doing something right. And guess what? They have zero problem with me racing in the womenís class.

    Because this sport brings people together. And anyone that isnít interested in that aspect of it, and only cares about race wins, should gtfo of my face. I donít have time for your crap.

    Moderator, Iím ready for this to be closed please.
    Exactly. You want a thread that supports what you already believe and lauds you as a heroine.

    You donít want to consider alternative points of view. You donít want to learn to understand the physiology because that might threaten your justification for you want to do. You just want to believe what other trans-activists say is the science because that supports what you personally want to do. No one else matters. Omg, god forbid you should race with the men because thatís ďunfairĒ (even though you say you can beat them and also that you donít care about winning). But also god forbid a cis woman should express a desire that *you* not race in her field because thatís unfair.

    Iím sorry but your positions are just plain hypocritical. You want what you want for yourself. Damn the sport. Damn other women.

    You know what Iíd really respect? A trans woman who showed up at a race, raced in the menís field, placed wherever and when I went to say ďhiĒ and asked why she raced with the men got a response along the lines of ďwell, Iím transgender and I know some women wonder if I have an unfair advantage because of that, which I understand even if I think itís wrong. So the last thing I want to do is win a race with the perception of having an unfair advantage, Iíd rather just give myself a disadvantage and race with the men. For me, itís not about the results, itís about racing and being here, part of the community. I get it that being part of the community means respecting where others are coming from.Ē

    Sometimes you might start a conversation and then not like what other people say. When that happens, you have two options: put your fingers in your ears so you canít hear or actually listen to what other people say because thereís always a chance you donít yet know everything that you will one day come to learn and that other people outside your world view might actually have some things right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Donít sit here and tell me I donít have a right to race. Because Iíve worked my ass off to make that even a remote possibility. And Iíve earned it. Iíve been beaten, attacked, Iíve had friendís lives destroyed utterly by this
    Don't take the context out of this. The argument is allowing trans athletes to compete in what were fairly black and white categories. My personal opinion is that, no, trans athletes cannot compete in either male or female categories until it is established that there aren't residual advantages.
    I'm looking at this only from a competitive sport point of view. The social side, which I'm not dismissing, isn't relevant in this particular discussion. Of course mountain-biking brings people together. But talking about racing against CIS women and something about Republicans (I'm not American) and them not caring about whom you're racing with. But if I was a CIS female, and trained hard, and competed against someone who is now in the same race category, who may or may not have an advantage, is that fair?
    Should a 190cm and 110kg male with a low T level (if that's possible, for whatever reason) compete in women's sport?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Everyone? Does everyone spend the equivalent of a down payment on a house on literally life saving medical coverage that is almost never covered? Does everyone have a day of the year to remember those in their community murdered for who they are while systematically being ignored and derided as insane, mentally ill, and/or perverted? And does every murder case have a Ďtrans panicí defense thatís actually law wherein the accused can claim they panicked and beat someone to death and go free no problem? Does everyone experience job discrimination and unemployment far above the national average? Suicide rates far above the national average? Does everyone subject themselves to public disdain and harassment to be who they are and are happier for it? And does everyone live in a world where all of the above are possibilities while at the same time the most powerful government in the world legislates against their safety, and fuels hatred towards them in their own homes?

    No. I donít think everyone has to deal with that.

    You know, Iíve been civil. And patient. And tolerant. But donít downplay these realities as if everyone has them. Donít downplay HRT because microbiology is your field of study and you are a cis male who has low T. Thatís not the same. Itís not even in the same ballpark. Donít pretend that youíve been disowned or thrown out like garbage because of religious beliefs.

    Donít sit here and tell me I donít have a right to race. Because Iíve worked my ass off to make that even a remote possibility. And Iíve earned it. Iíve been beaten, attacked, Iíve had friendís lives destroyed utterly by this. This. Is. Real.

    This was supposed to be a thread about what itís like, the personality, the human side of it, to illustrate a glimpse of who we are. To give you all a chance to get to know why I do it and who I am. Not a debate on why I should or shouldnít be there. Not a debate on whatís fair and what isnít. Not a debate about hormones or body structure or Olympic rulings. But apparently people canít see past that into who trans athletes are as people.

    I do it in spite of all the shit I just mentioned. Because Iím trying to find a life more beautiful, and do grass roots activism so people can meet me and understand me before they make a judgment call about who I am from one aspect of my personality. And guess what? Itís working. Maybe not here. But itís working elsewhere. And when I can go on a bike trip with 10 staunch Florida Republicans I just met, and by the end of it come out best of friends, respected, with solid relationships built from shared experiences, Iím doing something right. And guess what? They have zero problem with me racing in the womenís class.

    Because this sport brings people together. And anyone that isnít interested in that aspect of it, and only cares about race wins, should gtfo of my face. I donít have time for your crap.

    Moderator, Iím ready for this to be closed please.
    As an outside reader that has been enjoying this discussion, nobody here has attacked you. Honestly. Its all been civil. And that comment that you quoted is 100% true. He wasnt tearing you down in any way shape or form.

    No need for hostility, honestly. Its been going good, I dont think that you are getting what you had hoped for though.

    But the information is good!

    *all of the above was 100% neutral tone*

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