Lucy Frazer Urges Banning Transgender Athletes From All Elite Women’s Sports

Source: Lucy North

Transgender issues have been at the front of many different cultural discussions in the last few years. Since Donald Trump took office, the rhetoric around many controversial issues has ramped up, and transgender individuals are no exception to this rule. 

Negative Rhetoric Towards Trans People

In large part, this has looked like the same homophobic rhetoric that transgender individuals have been enduring for years and decades. Popular and public trans people have been misgendered and deadnamed, and these small but important microaggressions have pushed forward the negative sentiment towards trans people.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Quinn Dombrowski

And while many might say that these small aggressions are nothing more than a nuisance, the truth of the matter is bigger than that. Transgender individuals are at highest risk of all gay minorities for mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and these tiny aggressions only make things worse.

Bad Press

Recent years have also seen an increase in the negative rhetoric around trans people, and with it, the negative press. The accusation of transgender people of “grooming” children has been a particularly insidious development in public relations between the LGBTQ+ community and the public, and even further, the United States government. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Brainy J

This increase in sentiment has resulted in some horrific laws passing in different state legislatures across the country. It’s true that most attention in the United States is paid to the federal government, but the fact is that state governments are the ones that can enact real change in the lives of Americans, and it’s in these governments that anti-trans legislation is proceeding at an alarming rate.

Banning Gender Transition for Minors

Various state legislatures have made moves towards making gender transition illegal for minors. Those familiar with these sorts of things know that the children are only the beginning of a slippery slope, though, and that the next logical step is making gender transition illegal altogether. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Alisdare Hickson

Other states haven’t gone as far as to enact formal legislation banning transition. That doesn’t mean that they’re not moving forward anti-trans legislation, though. Some of the smaller, yet more insidious moves from conservative state legislatures have included banning gender changes on formal paperwork like driver’s licenses, banning hormone therapy, and making it a felony for educators to support their students in social transitions. 

Mental Wellbeing Significantly Affected

All of these different laws have a horrific effect on transgender individuals, particularly trans youth. Teenagers are a vulnerable population whose mental wellbeing is particularly affected by the anti-trans rhetoric that has perpetuated in the last few years, as is evidenced by heightened rates of depression and suicidal ideation in trans youth. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/PantheraLeo1359531

The real effect on transgender people hasn’t stopped far-right legislatures from trying to push their anti-trans agenda, though. Conservative rhetoric from groups such as Moms for Liberty has gone a long way to pushing Republicans away from their LGBTQ+ constituents, and it doesn’t seem like that pattern is going to change anytime soon. 

Not Just in America

The United States is not the only nation that has seen an increase in anti-trans rhetoric, though. England has also seen a change in the way the public and politicians view trans people, and new laws have started to be implemented in the wake of it. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Alisdare Hickson

Most recently, the National Health Service (NHS) has made an adjustment to rules regarding hormone blockers, banning their use by transgender youth. This was a controversial move that many trans activists protested, which is currently being reviewed by independent groups to evaluate efficacy.

Public Sentiment Against Trans People

And publicly, there have been some British officials who have openly come out against trans people. Lucy Frazer, the Culture Secretary, recently released a statement which urged sporting chiefs to ban transgender athletes from elite women’s sporting events.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Number 10

Writing in the Mail, Frazer said that sporting bodies have a “duty” to set out clear guidance, and take an “unambiguous position” on whether transgender athletes are allowed to compete.

Transgender Athletes

Transgender athletes in sports has been a common talking point by conservatives when trying to turn the public against transgender people. Transgender women in particular have been targeted by these conservative groups, with anti-trans activists claiming that trans women have an unfair advantage in sports due to their “biological sex.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

The issue became particularly notorious after one transgender swimmer, Lia Thomas, tied with another competitor in a NCAA race in 2022. Riley Gaines, the woman that Thomas tied with, came out strongly against transgender women in sports after this event, in a move that trans activists have called “wildly transphobic.”

A Statement from Frazer

Frazer has followed a similar line of thinking in her statement to the Mail. She said that she had spoken to representatives of sports, including cricket and football, at a meeting this past Monday.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/UK Government

“For years it was too loaded an issue to touch, despite the fact that it has the potential to make women’s playing fields far from level,” she said. “That’s why, this week, I called together representatives from key sporting organisations, like the England and Wales Cricket Board and Football Association, to encourage them to follow the lead of other sports in not allowing trans athletes to compete against women at the elite level.”

“Biology Matters”

The Culture Secretary then went on to say that “biology matters” when it comes to sports. “Sporting bodies have a duty to women competing in sport to set out clear guidance and take an unambiguous position.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Department for Culture

“In competitive sport, biology matters. And where male strength, size and body shape gives athletes an indisputable edge, this should not be ignored. By protecting the female category, they can keep women’s competitive sport safe and fair and encourage the young girls who dream of one day being elite sportswomen.”

Nuances of the Issue

This line of thinking, aside from being transphobic at the heart of it, also ignores the nuances of the issue. While anti-trans activists claim that biological sex matters above all other factors when it comes to transgender women competing, there are more details at play. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Tony Webster

Whether the trans person is on hormones, when they started transitioning, and what their true sex chromosomes are, are just a few of the details to be considered when looking at the issue of transgender individuals in sports. It’s not simply a matter of a person who is assigned male at birth trying to compete against women, despite what anti-trans activists might say.

Sports with “Positive Progress”

In her statement, Frazer gave examples of sports, such as cycling and running, which she stated had made “positive progress.” 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/VautrinThomas

“By implementing an ‘open’ category for transgender athletes to compete against those with a birth sex of male, the ‘female’ category remains solely for those with a birth sex of female,” she said. “Everybody can take part, and nobody experiences an unfair advantage.”

The Cass Review

When referring to the Cass Review – the report requested by NHS England to make recommendations regarding NHS gender identity services – Frazer said that inaction “cannot be an option.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Ted Eytan

“Among the many lessons of the Cass Review, it has shown us that inaction and a failure to confront the issues at stake cannot be an option.” The Cass Review found that children had been let down by a lack of research and evidence on the use of puberty blockers and hormones, and recommended that NHS England review the use or hormones in both adults and children. 

Work Cut out for Activists

These issues are nuanced, and it’s clear that anti-trans activists will continue to push their agenda when it comes to attempting to block transgender people from public life. Sports is one small facet of the world that activists are using to make their agenda clear, and LGBTQ+ activists are fired up about the work that’s ahead. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Ted Eytan

Trans individuals have existed for thousands of years, and they will continue to exist despite the sentiment and legislation that is building up against them. Trans people are the most vulnerable of the LGBTQ+ population, and it’s clear that legislators and activists have their work cut out for them to protect this portion of the population. 

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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