Trans athlete says transgender people DO NOT have competitive advantage
Jenna Weiner: “Transgender people do not have competitive advantages.”
Jenna Weiner, 27, a transgender athlete and education coordinator for an LGBTQ+ youth nonprofit, claims that “young trans people should play as they identify.”
Commenting on the recent scandal over New Zealand’s transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard’s participation at the Olympics, Weiner, who started her transition in 2016, told Unilad:
“Trans people should be able to compete in the Olympics for the gender with which they identify full-stop.”
The 27-year-old educator has a long sports history, having played soccer as a child, being involved in track and cross-country running in high school, and playing ultimate frisbee in college. She came out as a queer transgender woman in 2017.
After her transition, Jenna herself faced issues with feeling included in sports.
She admits that “sometimes didn’t feel like [she] quite fit into the male sports culture” because there was “something different” about her. Luckily, her ultimate frisbee teammates respected her choice and accepted her as one of them, despite her differences.
However, other transgender people are being slammed for wanting to be included in sports.
In 2015, the International Olympic Committee allowed transgender athletes to compete in women’s events, depending on their testosterone levels. But instead of being hailed as progressive, the IOC faced severe criticism over the policy and allowing male-born weightlifter Laurel Hubbard to compete in the women’s +87kg division at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
People slamming IOC’s decision believe it is unfair to women due to the physical advantage that trans women have.
Laurel Hubbard, a weight lifter from New Zealand, made history on Monday at #Tokyo2020 as the first openly transgender woman to participate in the Olympics.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 3, 2021
But Weiner strongly disagrees, saying:
“Transgender people do not have competitive advantages due to their sex assigned at birth, and the variety of human bodies and experiences means that assumptions that certain genders have strengths that might make them better in a sport is unfounded.”
The LGBTQ+ youth coordinator added:
“Young trans people should play as they identify and should be able to change what teams they play with as they wish. Playing sports is important to young people’s growth and development and that applies to young trans people just like everybody else.”
Contrarily, Joanna Harper, one of the world’s leading researchers on transitioning athletes, who is a trans woman athlete herself, said that trans women do have advantages over cisgender women. As per ABC News, Harper explained:
“Many critics of transgender women have suggested that trans women have unfair advantages over gender or typical women, and it is certainly true that as a population group, trans women do have athletic advantages over [cisgender] women.
We do, however, allow advantages in sports.”
Here is Jenna Weiner explaining her views on gender inclusivity in sports at a 2019 TEDx Talk:
Do you believe sports should become more inclusive and allow transgender individuals to compete in women’s divisions? What do you think about trans weightlifter Laurel Hubbard’s participation at the Olympics? Let us know in the comment section!