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Anti-Trans Activist Slams Governor After Girls Injured By Transgender Athlete

Source: MCKENZIE LANGE

Transgender issues are a hot button topic in America right now. Democrats, and notably the younger generation, have made LGBTQ+ issues as a whole an important part of their platform, and most importantly of those issues, transgender rights. Trans individuals are some of the most vulnerable of the LGBTQ+ community, and Democrats believe that it’s our job as society to protect the most vulnerable among us. 

A Deep Political Divide

This has led to a deep divide between Democrats and Republicans. The parties have always been pretty harshly divided on ideological issues, but the issues of transgender rights and protections seems to have driven a particularly nasty wedge between those of different political beliefs.

Source: Wikimedia/Rab_V

Where Democrats see the issue of transgender rights as one of protecting the vulnerable members of society, Republicans see a more sinister movement. Many conservatives believe that, like other members of the gay community, transgender people are seeking to take more rights than they’ve earned, and are willing to trample on other people’s rights to get what they want. 

Seeking Equal Rights

Of course, to hear transgender and gay people talk about it, they want nothing of the sort. The goal of movements like the gay rights movement is to seek out the same protections that cisgender and heterosexual people enjoy as a rule, not to take away other people’s rights in service of that protection. 

Source: Wikimedia/Alisdare Hickson

This is not a message that conservatives – particularly far right conservatives – are willing to hear, though. Fear-based political messaging has led to a deep terror of those who are different, and transgender individuals are currently enemy number one in that camp. 

An Era of Anti-Trans Legislation

This fear has led to a swath of anti-trans legislation being proposed, and passing through state legislatures all over the country. Many of the laws seek to make it more difficult to be transgender at all, including laws that ban hormone therapy, that prevent teachers from educating children about sexuality, and that allow doctors to choose not to service transgender people under morality exceptions. 

Source: Wikimedia/Tony Webster

While LGBTQ+ advocates are fierce, America is currently facing a wave of anti-gay sentiment that’s difficult to combat. Anti-trans sentiment, in particular, is overwhelming many communities, both liberal and conservative, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to argue with people who have deliberately decided to think a certain way. 

Transgender Women in Sports

This is especially true when the conversation surrounds an issue that is particularly nuanced. One such issue that is currently in the headlines often is the topic of transgender individuals in sports. Specifically, transgender women playing competitive sports. 

Source: Wikimedia/Iszac Henig

This is a topic that many anti-trans advocates have latched onto, because it’s easy to make a point that they believe is difficult to argue with. In many of these anti-trans activists’ eyes, transgender women are biologically male, and therefore, they shouldn’t be competing in women’s sports at all, let alone competitively. 

Pushed by Female Athletes, Themselves

This issue has been especially pushed in the last few years by disgruntled athletes, who believe that transgender women in women’s sports are muddying the rules and perceptions around women’s sports. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

One former athlete, Riley Gaines, has been particularly notable for her anti-trans work after she tied for fifth place in a NCAA finals swimming competition back in 2022. Lia Thomas, the openly transgender swimmer that Gaines tied with, was able to stand up on the winners stage with the fifth-place trophy, while Gaines’ trophy was mailed to her home. Gaines viewed this as a significant affront, as she was a “biological” woman and Lia Thomas was not. 

Advocating Against Transgender Women

Since then, Gaines has gone out of her way to advocate against transgender women being able to play sports. She’s spoken at conservative conferences across the country on the issue, and has created a significant platform on X, formerly known as Twitter, where she talks about the issues of transgender women in sports, as well as other conservative talking points. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Gaines has even gone so far in her “activism” as to sue the NCAA for harm that she alleges has been done by the organization towards herself and other female athletes. This lawsuit asks for the NCAA to ban transgender women from competing at all, ever again, and to negate any wins that transgender women have gained in the past several years, awarding those titles to “biological” women who competed in those races instead. 

Criticizing a Democratic Governor

Most recently, Gaines has taken to Twitter, openly criticizing the Democratic governor of Massachusetts after a transgender athlete was caught on video injuring other female athletes during a basketball game. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

The student, Lazuli Clark, who is a student at Kipp Academy where she is known for her height of over six feet, has participated in women’s divisions in various sports, including basketball, rowing, volleyball, track and field, and taekwondo. 

Multiple Controversies Around Clark

This is not the first controversy around Clark. According to the Quilette, Clark was also reportedly suspended from the women’s rowing team at a private club after making inappropriate comments towards another female student in the locker room. 

Source: Pexels/Kelly

This incident was detailed in a letter from 2022, from 15 parents to the United States Rowing Association. In the letter, they also mentioned that Clark initially competed poorly on the men’s rowing team, before joining the women’s team without adhering to the dress code. 

Commentary from Riley Gaines

Quilette reported that, following this locker room incident, the student was reported to the U.S. Center for SafeSport by team officials. Afterwards, Lazuli Clark was banned from participating in rowing for both the male and female teams. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Riley Gaines took to Twitter to express her opinion after this incident came to light in the report. “Stop letting these pervs hide behind preferred pronouns and blurred out images,” she said. “This photo was proudly posted by the school therefore it’s public domain. Name and shame them. Lazuli Clar is a man that sexually harassed women.”

Questioning the Absence of Fathers

Gaines then questioned the absence of parents in this situation, particularly fathers. She implied that strong male figures should be advocating for their daughters against these institutions, which she believes are allowing biological males to dominate women’s sports. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

This is a common talking point among anti-gay and anti-trans individuals. The idea that children and adults end up gay because they didn’t have strong enough parenting, and strong enough fathers in particular, is an old one which has been thoroughly disproved by psychological science. Still, it’s a strong, emotional talking point, which is why it continues to be brought up again and again. 

Attacking Governor Healey

“Where are the dads of these girls?” Gaines asked. She concluded her attack, targeting the governor of Massachusetts specifically, stating, “These girls were forced to participate in his sick fetish at the hands of @MassGovernor.”

Source: Wikimedia/Governors office

Beyond the implication that transgender individuals are sexually perverted, anti-trans advocates claim that there is a bigger issue here. Opponents of unrestricted transgender participation in sports express concerns about the level playing field that gendered sports allegedly offers. 

The Argument Around Transgender Women in Sports

The argument here, of course, is the idea that the biological differences between men and women, such as muscle mass and bone density, can provide a competitive advantage in some types of sports, impacting the fairness of the contest. 

Source: Wikimedia/Matt Hrkac

This idea ignores many of the nuances that come with a transgender transition. There are many important factors that impact transition, including the age of transition, whether the individual has undergone gender corrective surgery, whether they’re on hormones, and more. It’s not a simple case of saying that transgender individuals – and transgender women specifically – immediately have an advantage in certain sports. As with everything, there is a spectrum of details to be considered, which anti-trans activists ignore. 

Struggling to be Inclusive, and Fair

Professional athletics organizations have struggled with this issue. Inclusivity is an important part of policy making, particularly in the modern era, but the question of fairness is one that also cannot be overlooked. 

Source: Wikimedia/Ted Eytan

Many organizations have revised their rules and regulations to accommodate transgender athletes, often with specific eligibility criteria. These specific regulations are unlikely to be enough for activists who believe that transgender individuals don’t belong in sports at all, and sports organizations will have to continue walking the line of what is fair, and what is right when it comes to social justice issues. 

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Tori Bright

Written by Tori Bright

Tori specializes in biographical narratives and cultural analysis. Her articles often explore the intersections of gender and society, providing insightful commentary on modern social dynamics. Tori's latest project, a biography of a forgotten 20th-century feminist icon, showcases her meticulous research skills and commitment to uncovering hidden stories. Her engaging writing style and thorough investigation make her a sought-after voice in both literary circles and wider cultural discussions.

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