As you are well aware, I’m all about equality in this world. As a transgender member of our society, I see discrimination on a daily basis. However, we are making strides in our struggle, and as our LGB brothers and sisters have taught us, it is well worth the fight. We are on stage and screen, grace the covers of magazines and now are emerging in the world of sports. That said, recently I was asked about my views on transsexuals in professional athletics and the fairness of them competing. I had to think on that and do a little digging for the facts to know my true feelings on this issue and weigh both sides. Can the basic physical structural differences between a man and a woman give an edge to a Female to Male transsexual over a genetic male in a footrace ? Should a Male to Female transsexual like Fallon Fox be allowed to fight a biological woman professionally?
Some argue that it comes down to when the transition takes place. This is especially relative to intersex children and babies born with ambiguous genitalia. The parents have to choose the assigned gender and are the deciding factor in their child’s future, which in this situation can hinder a child’s potential, or possibly maximize it in sports or any situation regarding physical fairness. So I would argue back that even an early transition prior to puberty still leaves behind the basic structural building blocks of the original gender. You can alter it, but never truly erase it.
In the case of Fallon Fox, the answer to me is more cut and dry. Even though Fox chose to make a full transition, I believe she still has an advantage as her body was already fully developed. A transition post puberty, and by her own admission a transition occurring at the age of 31, has already allowed all the innate male gender qualities and physicality to root. Bone and muscle composition solidifies in adolescence. Had Fox went on hormone therapy at a young age prior to 12 or 13 or when puberty kicks in then I would physically see no difference between her or any other women on the street. Even though Fox chose to make a full transition, I believe she still has an advantage as her body is already developed. She may lose the muscle mass but she will still have the bone structure.
All that said, I ponder if we do need MTF and FTM Transsexual games. It’s not discrimination for us to have female athletes compete solely with females and males with males. Why should this be any different? We are not an orientation after all but a gender with all it’s own facets and molecular twists and turns. Maybe in this particular case, a little segregation is a good, safe and fair solution to a most complicated issue.