LETTERS: Transgender athletes and how times are changing

LETTERS: Transgender athletes and how times are changing



Times are changing

Editor:

I write in response to the letter by Mr. Frank Milano Jr. on March 2 regarding the “fairness” of integrating transgender athletes with cisgender athletes and his resulting opposition to Dr. Cardona’s nomination. I encourage Mr. Milano and residents who may feel similarly to consider the facts and implications.

First, there is no single biological factor that determines sex. Scientists have said this, advocates have repeated this, yet critics seem to ignore this when it’s time to support discrimination.

Second, how exactly should we confirm the gender of each student-athlete, given that hormone levels and body-types naturally vary? Should referees pull down students’ pants to verify before each game?

Finally, even if transgender women did have some magical athletic ability that outshone cisgender women — which, to be clear, they don’t — just 0.42% of the population is transgender (according to one survey). An even smaller number are transgender women. This is not some astronomical amount that will upend sports teams and suddenly dominate.

On a personal note, as a former student-athlete, I know there will always be those who have a natural edge over me. My stubby legs will never outrun those whose legs reach my eyebrows. Likewise, the difference between my high school in Wallingford playing field hockey against Cheshire was stark; one team had players who had been playing since kindergarten while my school, well, typically did not. Instead of getting upset or insisting there be a separate league, we embrace our diversity and train harder.

Times are changing and becoming more inclusive. There will always be naysayers complaining about progress and shouting at the sky that the world is turning upside down. But I, for one, applaud Dr. Cardona for his compassion and dedication to students of all genders.

Lexie Farkash, Wallingford


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