According to Ciaran Fahey for AP News, World’s swimming has officially banned transgender women from competing in women’s events. Due to the large uproar from the masses after Lia Thomas dominated the NCAA Division I championships. She was the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I title. While many LGBTQ community members continue to be upset by the latest decision to ban transgender athletes. Many may truly not understand what the policy entails. The “gender inclusion policy” states it will only permit swimmers who have transitioned before the age of 12 to compete in women’s events.
“This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair,” James Pearce, who is the spokesperson for FINA president Husain Al-Musallam, told The Associated Press.
“They’re not saying everyone should transition by age 11, that’s ridiculous. You can’t transition by that age in most countries. Hopefully, you do not have to. Basically, what they’re saying is that it is not feasible for people who have transitioned to compete without having an advantage.”
World swimming’s governing body has effectively banned transgender women from competing in women’s events.
FINA members voted 71.5% in favor of a policy that only permits swimmers who transitioned before age 12 to compete in women’s events. https://t.co/2fZ93vZb08
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 19, 2022
The Future of Transgender Athletes
On the contrary, while it may appear alienating to LGBTQ members they are attempting to an evening out the playing field. However, with the ways things are shifting to play out they may end up having to join their own league. This seems much easier said than done. However, many are skeptical of how lopsided the results are favoring the transgender athletes’ way. Many believe the idea of equality continues to be deteriorating, however, this hasn’t proven to be true. In fact, implementing equality would be allowing these transgender athletes to compete with the women. Yet, there have been major discrepancies that appear too much to overcome for the masses.
According to AP News, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health has lowered its recommended minimum age for starting gender transition hormones treatment to 14. However, surgeries range between 15 to 17 years of age. Thus the new policy which attempts to even the playing field is problematic at the core. For example, if the transgender athlete can’t compete until they transition before 12, but the minimum age to begin transition hormones is 14 there will be no transgender athletes. Therefore, the policy is problematic and absolutely unequal.
In reality, if the LGBTQ community is able to start their own league and space for these athletes to perform in peace without backlash from the majority of the world, that would be ideal. The ideology may be a long shot; however, it will satisfy all parties. Over the years, it’s proven to show tons of progression, yet, there’s still room to grow.