Transgender Track Athlete Competes Against Girls At an Event, Sparking Outrage

Source: Flickr/tableatny

An Oregon high school has been facing severe backlash for its decision to allow a transgender athlete to compete against girls. This most recent situation underlines the divide between the two camps in this debate. Let’s find out why the school did that and if they believe it was justified.

Competition Blown Away

Aayden Gallagher is a 10th-grader at McDaniel High School. Gallagher was a competitor in the Sherwood Need For Speed Classic held in Sherwood, Oregon.

Source: Flickr/Westmont Track and Field

In one of the clips recorded at the track meet, Gallagher was seen blowing away all the competition, overtaking and easily beating all the women on the track effortlessly.

Anger Despite Poor Results

Recorders clocked Gallagher at 25.49, finishing up in second place for that event. The youngster also finished in seventh place in the 4x100m relay and eighth place in the 4x400m relay.

Source: Flickr/Steven Pisano

Despite the results of the run being far less than would be expected for a transgender athlete competing against the opposite sex, many of the parents were unhappy that Gallagher was allowed to run.

Many Voice Outrage

The Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) stated on X that they believed the decision to be an example of blatant misogyny to include boys in a girls’ only sport.

Source: Flickr/Denis Dervisevic

Some of the outspoken social media outlets called it a travesty and even cast aspersions on “women’s sport,” including men. One TikTok account called Gallagher a cheater for running the event.

Commenting On The Situation

The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) has a well-defined policy regarding inclusion in sporting events, and this policy also covers transgender students.

Source: Flickr/Ted Eytan

According to the OSAA, they provide a safe and inclusive environment for transgender students to compete while ensuring it remains safe and fair for all competitors involved.

One Gender Per Season Only

The OSAA has stated that if a student who has come out as a particular gender chooses to compete in that area, they should be allowed to compete in the interest of fairness and inclusion.

Source: Flickr/Enid Martindale

However, suppose a student does try out for a particular gender-limited event. In that case, they cannot switch their gender and try again for the event as a different-gendered student to limit abuse and unfairness.

Transgender Athletes In Sport

There has been a lot of commotion over the inclusion of transgender athletes in sports specifically related to including transgender women in sports dedicated to women.

Source: Flickr/John Sachs

In some cases, these transgender women have dominated their opponents, making it difficult for biological women to compete and pushing them out of the space completely.

Not Just Track and Field

While the Sherwood incident shows the attitude of people to having transgender students involved in sports, it’s not the only situation where transgender athletes are allowed to participate.

Source: X/MailOnline

In a recent situation, a transgender basketball player was seen abusing the other team on the court, making use of their superior size and characteristics to dominate the opposition.

Biological Changes Post-Puberty to Blame

Transgender women, especially those who are post-puberty, have already had high levels of testosterone during their development. Scientifically, this leads to more defined muscles.

Source: Quizlet

As a result, transgender women athletes are significantly more muscular, faster, and have higher endurance than their female counterparts, making it difficult to have a fair competition.

Teenagers Are Different

Because bodies develop at their own rates, a transgender girl may likely be able to compete on an equal footing with other girls. However, as kids age, their development continues.

Source: Flickr/Phil Roeder

Choosing to identify as the opposite gender could afford some athletes a benefit when competing. As the video showed, Gallagher was far better than most of the rest of the competitors.

Cutting Women Out of Sport

The people who were against Gallagher competing complained that their presence in the event undermined the class specifications for female competitors. They don’t think she should have been included.

Source: Flickr/CityofStPete

Internationally, a similar debate is raging with adult athletes. Many international sporting bodies have already banned transgender women from competing in sanctioned events. The bans have come because many women competitors have stated they find the practice to be unfair.

Inclusivity At Any Cost

Many of the opponents to including transgender athletes in competition don’t do it because of hate for transgender people but instead because they believe it would be unfair.

Source: Flickr/Carla Lewis

Gallagher’s poor finish in the relay events might have been cited as an example of how others could out-compete them, but since it was a relay, only one leg depended on Gallagher anyway.

Losing The Thread

Those who believe Gallagher should be included seem to have a very limited view of the world, where competitive people would not lie to gain an unfair advantage against their opposition.

Source: Flickr/RCabanilla

It won’t be the first time that a male identified as a female to compete in women’s sports because it was easier, and they were guaranteed to stand out from the rest of the field.

Gender Expression Doesn’t Always Listen to Biology

Those who believe transgender students should be banned from sports reference a biological perspective when they argue for their point of view. Transgender women tend to have more defined muscles than biological women.

Source: Flickr/Lauren Close

It’s under this advisement that most of the international bodies have limited transgender women competing in their only-for-women events, leading some people to claim it’s discrimination against their gender expression.

What’s The Solution?

Inclusivity is essential, especially for transgender students. However, competition is designed to show off the best of a particular class of athlete. Transgender bans usually only ban transgender women from competing in sports because transgender men have to go up against other trained athletes and don’t have the biological edge.

Source: Flickr/opacity

Some proponents of a ban suggest as a trade-off that transgender women still be allowed to compete, but alongside men, removing that biological edge that they have on their competitors. Transgender women have been adamant that they identify as women and should compete as such. However, allowing them to do so will lead to an imbalance. Before long, transgender women would be the only ones to end up on podiums.

What do you think?

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

Sally, a dynamic and viral writer, has taken the literary world by storm with her exceptional storytelling prowess. With an uncanny ability to tap into the collective consciousness of her readers, she crafts narratives that resonate deeply and linger long after the last word is read.

Born with a creative spirit, Sally honed her writing skills from a young age, cultivating a unique voice that blends emotion, wit, and social insight. Her work spans a wide spectrum, from poignant short stories that tug at the heartstrings to thought-provoking essays that challenge conventional thinking.

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