Trans athlete competing in race

Andraya Yearwood captured the top spot in the girls’ 100 and 200-meter races at the Connecticut high school state championships last year.


Transgender rights have expanded rapidly in recent years, but some topics – such as bathroom rules and locker room policies – are still roiled in controversy. More recently, a new question has emerged: whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete against the gender they identify as.

When freshman track athlete Andraya Yearwood captured the top spot in the girls’ 100- and 200-meter races at the Connecticut high school track and field state championships last year, it was her biology – and not her posted time – that grabbed all the headlines.

That’s because the transgender teen won as a girl, even though she was born a boy.

Some say this policy is unfair, while others believe it poses no problem. One thing seems clear: as our society continues to evolve and progress, this is a moral question we’ll be forced to grapple with. To help facilitate a respectful conversation, we’ve invited two ministers who are split on the issue to share their thoughts.

Trans Athletes Should Compete Against Their Birth Gender

– Guest submission by ULC minister Sharon Simmons

Let me first say, it’s wonderful that our society is moving to accept transgender people for who they are. Nobody deserves to be ostracized for their true identity, and freedom to express oneself – whatever form that “self” takes, is a quintessential human right.

However, I have to admit being a bit troubled when I heard that trans athletes are being allowed to compete against people of the biologically-opposite sex.

No matter what gender you identify as, if you were born a male, you have a distinct advantage over females when it comes to physical activities such as athletics. Males naturally have higher testosterone levels, higher bone density, and more muscle mass than their female counterparts. Simply put: they are better athletes.

Should these biological characteristics be ignored for the sake of progress? It doesn’t seem right.

In my opinion, allowing trans athletes to compete against their new gender is inherently unfair to all the biological girls out there. They train so hard to compete and succeed at the highest level only to be soundly beaten by a stronger, faster competitor. If it was my daughter who lost, I honestly don’t know what I would tell her. Sometimes life isn’t fair? I’m not sure that would cut it.

Finally, it’s not like these girls are simply seeking a trophy and an ego boost. For many high school athletes, winning competitions helps you get noticed by colleges, who in turn might offer scholarships. But how likely are you to stand out if you fail to make the podium?

We all want to see transgender people succeed. But when it comes to athletics, it makes no sense to give them an unfair advantage. Here’s a better alternative: have trans athletes compete against people of their birth gender. That would ensure an even playing field on which everyone can happily participate.


Stop “Othering” – Let Them Compete!

– Guest submission by ULC minister Rob Caldwell

Negro Leagues baseball players

“We’ve been down this road before. It wasn’t so long ago that black baseball players were relegated to the Negro Leagues,” writes Rob Caldwell.

It was only to be expected. Transgender people finally have a shred of success, something to be proud of, and the criticism immediately comes pouring in:

  • “They’re not really girls!”
  • “It’s cheating to let them in!”
  • “Ban trans athletes from competing!”

Look, we’ve been down this road before. It wasn’t so long ago that black baseball players were relegated to the Negro Leagues and organized women’s sports were a mere pipe dream.

Do we really want to notch another mark in our society’s dark history of excluding certain people from participating in activities based on immutable characteristics? Because that’s what we’d effectively be doing if we tell trans girls they’re unwelcome in girls sports. Transgender people have it tough enough as it is. Between higher rates of suicide and depression, and the ever-present feeling of being “othered” by society, there’s really no need to make things harder on the trans community.

Plus, it isn’t even a proven medical fact that male athletes are superior to females – not in this age group, anyway. According to Dr. Myron Genel, a Yale professor of pediatric endocrinology, “there is no such thing as a level playing field… Athletes succeed in part because of special traits they have or traits that others may not share. Or they had the good fortune of having good training facilities and a good training program.” And because males go through physical development later than females do, having the two compete is not necessarily unfair from an athletic standpoint. “You cannot necessarily assume any one of these girls is succeeding because they have not fully converted their gender,” Dr. Genel explains.

Think about it this way: would this debate still have occurred if Andraya Yearwood had placed third in the race? Nope. I guarantee you wouldn’t have heard a peep about it. So, how much of this supposed “controversy” boils down to high school athletes simply being sore losers? Not to mention the parents, who went as far as to start a petition to ban transgender athletes from girls track and field events.

Let’s remember that trans people have a long track record of being marginalized – a track record that unfortunately continues to the present day. Here’s a suggestion: for the good of everyone involved, let’s quit the whining and let them compete. 

 

57 comments

  1. John Owens says:

    Well, this should be interesting.

    1. Michael Barnett says:

      There is no such thing as a transgender, because if that is true, it simple means that God make a big error in his creation when he made man and woman.

      Our body declared our sex, biological sex is not assigned, sex is determined at conception by our DNA, stamped into every cell of our bodies. Those who accepted the notion of transgender is a liar.

      1. Rev. Francis says:

        What about those born intersex? Or with XXYY chromosomes? I agree God doesn’t make mistakes. I believe God wants us to learn how to be tolerant of difference.

        1. Iconoclast says:

          Well, that .0001% of humanity should be accepted, of course. That still doesn’t mean men should be allowed to compete in women’s sports. It should be all right if women compete in men’s sports, though, if they really want to compete.

  2. Amanda says:

    Why are minsters even remotely qualified to anwser this question? Why is this of spritual importance.

    I bet the only people who try to explain end up sounding g ignorant.

    1. Frank Villari says:

      We aren’t.

      1. pastor richard h. says:

        GOD created Adam n Eve not Adam, eve an this other thing.
        this guy could not compete with the other young guys puts on a dress for a couple months n now he is Winning Races Woo Hoo.

        It is happening in all the sports that allow this Abomination they should do Chromosome tests to ALL competitors
        If you are an X you compete with the X’s if you are a Y compete with the Y’s SIMPLE
        An Much safer to all competitors, Recently in MM Arts fighting a women had her eye socket crushed a broken nose and a Concussion ended her carrier this came at the Hands of a Man Pretending to be a Women
        AND This is what you people think is Fair to Real Women who train their whole lives to compete against other women, Not men in drag. its no MATCH

        Women Rights Champions should Be OUTRAGED at these things.

        1. Rev. Francis says:

          While I understand your argument with people who are “pretending to be” a gender that they are not, you talked about testing chromosomes. Science is messy. What are you going to do with the people who don’t have just XX or XY? There’s many variations of chromosomes that fall outside of what you’re calling male and female. Where do those people fit in your demographic? God created them just as God created you. I believe God put us all here to teach us to get along peacefully rather than all of this fighting and hatred that has found it’s way even here. What a sad state this is when we can’t find a way to be at least tolerant of each other.

          1. Iconoclast says:

            Now, if someone is born a little mixed up, abnormal, deformed, special, unique, different, of course that should not be held against them, and for the most part, I think, people try to be accepting. Where do you find the proof of all these variations of which you speak? What would you call them? Not hermaphrodites? These extra-gendered human beings? I can easily comprehend there may be degrees of masculine and feminine, but outside of that? I do not see how that could be.

            I would think the FACT that biology requires one male, and one female to procreate (when speaking of mammalia, that is) would show plainly that there are two genders and only two, because those two are required for procreation, and ONLY those two are required. There is neither need nor room for a third, fourth, fifth, etc.

            Still, if there is some factual evidence to support the idea that there are others, I would like to be enlightened to that extent, so as not to walk around in the dark. Thus far, I have seen no proof of such a thing.

            None of which has to do with the question of this blog. The fact is, generally, in most heavily physical sports, women cannot compete with the men of the same sport. I realize that Holly Holmes or Rhonda Rousey or many female fighters could most likely lay an average guy out like a sack of potatoes, but they cannot generally compete with males in their same sport, weight, and height class, because of their physiology. It is therefore very unsporting for a male who has ostensibly become a woman to compete with females who have always been females. That is not a criticism of females at all. It is just an unemotional observation.

    2. CW says:

      Ministers are real people, and most of us are not using religion to answer these question. As for someone born in a man’s body in sports for born women. That ass hat needs to either get out of sports or play with his own body type regardless of if they got their dick cut off. A born males muscles are stronger than women just from the way the muscle knit in the born body. It is a throwback to when men hunted and woman did not have to outrun wolves and lions. Yes this is a benefit from the sexism millions of years ago. Woman can do anything a man can to a limit, but that limit is in a muscle fiber of birth. Besides in highschool you are not transgender you are pre op transgender and really just a teen exploring your sexuallity. So why as teen when the human body changes so much should a transgender be able to use their boy body to compete against girls in sports? Where is the women’s rights people screaming that a non post op transgender is trying to take away a scholarship from a woman by a non biological or even post op female?

  3. Jess Martin says:

    I am a Transperson and I think the advantage is obvious and unfair. Choose to live out the trans-life and accept the consequences.

    1. Frank Villari says:

      Nuff said. Thank you, Jess!

    2. Todd says:

      Jess, I stand with you. But let’s not think of it as “consequence” – that sounds negative or part of a punishment. But at the same time…there are some areas, like this, where it isn’t about discriminating, but more about fairness to everyone competing. Identifying female, but biologically male, has distinct differences that do matter for physical competition – that’s why there are divisions already. We can love and respect people who identify differently and still keep it fair. — Shalom

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        I bet some boys say that to get in the girls locker room. Guess what happens when boys and girls undress and shower together. Something’s bound to come up.

    3. Rev James Gibb says:

      Well said Jess you sound like a good and fair person irrespective of gender I believe fair is fair. Thank you.

      1. Rev. Francis Jay Smith says:

        I’m transgender, a minister, and a therapist who specializes in gender dysphoria. It is important to understand that once the appropriate hormones are added and the other hormones are blocked these girls will be competing on an equal level just like the trans-male wrestler in Texas who won his division. Jess no disrespect but there has been a long hard fight for trans athletes right to compete in school and they have to be on the appropriate hormones, have doctors letters, etc… to prove that they have undergone transition. As a trans person I don’t believe there should be any “consequences” for living my life authentically other than being happy.

        1. SherriLee says:

          I’m very proud of you Rev. not only for speaking up but for doing so with facts, details,n no fallacies. If more people would look into what goes in to the life of a TG person they would see it’s not all roses.
          Rev SherriLee Slade

          1. Iconoclast says:

            Which facts?

        2. Todd C says:

          Unfortunately, we aren’t talking about “adult” athletes, who may have taken extra steps, like taking hormones or hormone blockers. Actually, there was no mention of anything like that in this particular case. Also – there is debate over the individuals who “are” taking hormones or blocking agents, because of rules governing drug usage, in athletic programs. It is artificial enhancement, to achieve a physical state which is not your own. It isn’t a punishment to those who are trans – and you can still live your life authentically. But, when it comes to athletic competition, anything that may give an unfair advantage, one way or the other, must be scrutinized. Shalom.

    4. Tom says:

      Jess…well said…i agree…Peace…Tom

  4. ron wolfe says:

    I most admit i dont have a real strong opinion on this. but if the commenter in favor of transgenders is trying to say theirs no proof males are superior to femalle athletes really ! then why do no females ever cut it making a male basketball team or soccer team or any other professional team obviously any team would take a female if they were superior as they make money fielding the best team. so it is obvious the advantage. That is why they were seperated to begin with. look at all the world records do you see ANY female with the fastest times in the 100m dash or high jump or any ahtletic evernt. Just saying it is the male athelte who is superior and it is proven medically via hormones strentght tests etc.

    1. Frank Villari says:

      No reason for me to repeat the blatantly obvious. Thank you, Ron!

  5. Dr. Tinsley Keefe says:

    I’m transgender and and a minister….athletes who are transgender do indeed have a hard time of it! People who are transgender in general do…it’s sooo hard…I’ve been fired as a minister before just for being transgender…😢

  6. Frank Villari says:

    I am also glad that transgender is finding a place in society, however… fair is fair. We all know the physical differences and the advantage that can give. Having said this, any victory with this kind of an edge, which is viewed by others as an edge, will be a shallow victory, if it is viewed by others as a victory at all. Is this really what a true athlete wants? Shallow victories? I think not, not for the true athlete. While it may stroke the ego of those in need of some faux validation, it really isn’t a validation. This will be viewed as a cheat as surely as doping. We have levels of competition in many sports for those of different classes (eg, lightweight, heavyweight, etc.) and this might be better viewed as a class which needs to compete against themselves for best in class.

  7. Gilbert Mason says:

    If these sporting events require people to be of similar genetics (sex), then why is the transgender person allowed to participate? What you identify as shouldn’t even be relevant. It’s like a heavy weight boxer fighting a light weight boxer.

    Other examples of this are: UFC’s Fallon Fox (male identifying as female), and Texas high school wrestler Mack Beggs (male identifying as female). Both of which dominate their opponents.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      It seems to me like they should have whole teams of transgender people who play against each other, instead of trying to join all boy or all girl teams. I can’t understand why anyone would want to fit in with a group that they can’t relate to. That’s as bad as mixing the special Olympics with the regular Olympics. It’s not prejudism. It’s just about being with people who play relate to each other, and aren’t disadvantaged by those who can’t.

  8. Sandra says:

    Males are more athletic than women. Bigger muscles, bigger bones, all the things listed in the above article. This “man,” and he is a man, won this competition unfairly.

  9. Robin says:

    All I can say is if he is not fully female, he should not be participating in a female sport because as far as I’m concerned if he still all male then he should be participating as a male whether he identifies as a female or not and vice versa. If this is the case, then females who identify as males should be required to participate in male sports instead of female sports even though they still have female attributes to make it fair on both sides.

    1. Rev. Francis Jay Smith says:

      They do

  10. Robin says:

    The only sex that seems to be affected by this is the females….Let’s start requiring females who identify as male and still have all their female attributes require them as mandatory to use male facilities only and participate in male sports only and see how that fairs with everyone. Then we will see how quickly things get resolved.

    1. Rev. Francis Jay Smith says:

      Please inform yourselves. This is already happening.

    2. Minister V says:

      And in the case of Texas wrestler Mack Beggs, he wanted to. But Texas decided to side with Ms. Simmon’s (one of the authors of this piece) view that he should be required to compete against people who were assigned the same sex at birth as he was. And so he was forced to compete against the girls.

      And then came the squawking and hand-wringing of people with Ms Simmons’ mindset.

      You can’t have it both ways. Either trans people are forced to compete against those who match their assigned sex at birth, or they compete against those with the same gender (trans men with cis men, trans women with cis women)

  11. Kathleen Kardaras, PsyD. says:

    Why is it that we have male and female sports teams, if there is no “difference” in performance based on gender characteristics? Of course, there is an advantage to the biological male in most sporting events, precisely because of their male gender characteristics already noted- greater muscle mass, strength, etc. Simply “feeling” like another gender doesn’t make one so when it comes to competition or in any other way. Those who grapple with gender dystopia indeed have a struggle, and counseling to either help adapt to one’s birth gender OR live harmoniously within the identity one develops, can be helpful.

  12. David says:

    In the spirit of sports competition the playing field should be a fair one…Boys vs boys and girls versus girls as your birth and natural biology dictates…If you prefer to be something different then advocate for a different category that allows for that.

  13. Terrence Brannon says:

    Perhaps we need 2 more genders for athletic competition? Male turned female and female turned male?

  14. bri h says:

    of course he:s a boy. he@s got a moustache. He just wants a college scholarship.

  15. Chuck Sypult says:

    As I have read before, the person in the above article also competed and won as a boy in the boys state meet. I think the real victims are the girls who ran against her. It was not fair that they trained and trained, had determination and hope only to lose to someone with a definite advantage.

  16. Minister Macomber says:

    Penis’ should not be racing against Vaginas’ unless it is classified as a mixed sex race.
    The Olympics will be adding a mixed team event (2 men and 2 women) to track and field in 2020. That I have no problem with.

    1. pastor richard. h says:

      I think they should be separate like Always. I mean if its not Broke.

      And These TRANS. should only compete with their birth sex .OR a Trans G. race of their own. .I could see Mike Tyson competing in women’s boxing after his ” Lopitoffomie” operation

      Women’s Groups should be Outraged that Trans can compete against Women who have trained their Whole lives an just get Wiped out by a GUY who had an operation.

      Its just wrong

  17. SherriLee Slade says:

    I’m a wife of a TG woman and a mother of a TG daughter. I can’t choose who they are made up to be. All I can do is love them for who they are. Life is not always fare but God sure can play some great jokes.. All we can do is hope for the best in the next world.
    People really need to slow down like my wife and I are and look around. Life isn’t all black and white there are colors in between.
    May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today and always.

    1. Rev. Lombardo says:

      I will pray for your child. Obviously they were abused by your husband which perpetuates the sick cycle of degeneracy, one which you have allowed to take place within your home. God does not “play jokes;” apparently you have gotten Him confused with the devil.

      1. Todd says:

        This is not the forum for hate and intolerance. The topic was transgendered athletes and fairness in competitive sports, with the gender they identify with. Hateful responses show know thought or reasoning, only emotional judgement. None of us is qualified to judge another person, regardless of title – unless that title is God. You don’t have to agree with a lifestyle. But hatefully telling someone off, for any reason, is not appropriate…especially if you carry the title of Reverend, Pastor, Minister, or even just Believer in God. Remember the book of James, regarding “Taming the tongue.” James 3:9 – 10 : “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth came praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” Take care and God Bless.

  18. SkipNClair says:

    Let it run alone, without competition, the victory is meaningless. If the parents and the children of these events would boycott these events, soon there would either be no events, or things would return to being fair and normal.

  19. Louise says:

    Just to add something I haven’t seen yet…with all the talk of “more testosterone, higher bone density, bigger muscles”, etc., the argument could be made, at least in part, that the hormones required to truly transition would level the playing field (trans who are not taking hormones are still their birth gender in all ways physical), BUT there are some differences which would not be affected by hormones at all…larger lung and cardiac capacity, and percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers to slow-twitch fibers come to mind off the top of my head, there are surely more. There is no ideal answer, but there is certainly an unfair advantage at play, which is anathema to the ethics of sports, some would say the ‘essence’ of sports.

  20. David says:

    Sports – the opiate of the masses.

  21. Jeff says:

    This argument is difficult for a lot of people. My feelings…the chromosomes make the sex, if an individual has male chromosomes…he is a male, if the individual has female chromosomes, she is a female. No amount of hormones or surgery will change that. For a male to race against females is wrong, not matter how you spin it. Who is to say that this individual just couldn’t win as a male and saw an opportunity to win as a female. Its called cheating and its wrong. We need to teach our children to stop cheating and trying to get an advantage over others. While I do not hate those who are mutilating them selves or are confused as to what their sex is or who they want to have sex with, in fat I have gay friends that we socialize with regularly and we have discussions on the Bible, God and sexuality, I still tell them the truth, it is sinful. I even invite them to church, if nothing else Christ taught us one thing…to love sinners and to help them. In fact the Bible calls this type of activity an abomination. God made you a man or a woman…he does not make mistakes.

    1. Rev. Francis says:

      What about those born intersex? Or with XXYY chromosomes? I agree God doesn’t make mistakes. I believe God wants us to learn how to be tolerant of difference.

  22. Secretary3rd says:

    It has work for years in Russia. Just look at the gold they have won.

  23. Michael Martinez says:

    I’m going to answer this not as a Minister, but as a Man, Husband and Dad. The simple answer…and really the only answer, is to remember the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Kindergarten Cop when the little kid says, “girls have a vagina, boys have a penis”. If you have a vagina you use the girls room and participate in girls sports, and if you penis you use the boys room and participate in boys sports. In the above mentioned case a boys or man’s muscle structure is different from a girl or woman and so they have an unfair advantage. Someday we will all live in that Gene Roddenberry world of total equality where men and women will be on football teams together, baseball teams together, etc. That day however is far off. It’s fine and healthy to identify as what you wish. However, I do not believe it is appropriate to have a male that identifies as a female, in the same restroom as my 12 year old daughter or my wife. As Americans we have always tended to “go big” and overcompensate. In the last 30 years the “Politically Correct” movement has grown to an uncontrollable force driven by the social media frenzy of #who can go viral first. It sounds cliche to say that we need to go back to the good old days, but maybe we need to stop a moment and revive those things we have lost. Such as a moral compass, common sense, family values, and more of a love for each other rather than Me, Me, Me.

    1. Rev. Lombardo says:

      Star Trek was a Jewish, predictive programming psy-op to prepare people for the same PC culture that you speak of and the Antichrist’s eventual one-world government.

  24. Old Bill says:

    This is another case of liberal progressives wanting things “both ways”. The Olympics originally were for soldiers, so that the could compete without actually having to kill each other. Women didn’t compete in the original Olympics. When Rome became the power, the Olympics gave way to the Arena, where the goal was survival of the fittest. Women were “allowed” t compete, but there is no historical record of a woman ever winning at the Coliseum. Both Greece and Rome were morally bankrupt. There is natural competition and pretend competition. Choose your own cup of tea.

  25. Minister mark says:

    Please let us deal in facts.a good male highschool sprinter can beat the fastest woman in the world. Currently no woman athlete would rank in the top 1000 in any track or field event. So much for fairness. When reallity is checked at the door of ideologies we all suffer

    1. Tom says:

      Minister Mark…i agree…while i respect the right of anyone to be transgender, a biologic male should not be allowed to compete against women…Peace…Tom

  26. Michael Tifft says:

    If a person is born male and decides for some reason that he should have born female and decides to adopt that life style I have no problem with that but competing against girls in a sporting event is unfair, being male from birth gives him an unfair advantage! So no, I don’t beleive it should be allowed.

  27. Tom says:

    While I agree a biological male competing against a biological female, in many sports, is wrong (the male has the advantage) I do take offense at the term “is simply the better athlete”. If a male giving 100% beats a female giving 110% who is the better athlete? I say the female because she dug down and pulled all she had and more to compete.

  28. Magikfest2017 says:

    I believe this is not a question of sex, but a question of physical ability. The make up of men’s and women’s bodies are different, giving the transgender participant an unfair advantage. That’s why the genders are separated for competition.

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