This, Too, Is a Start

To paraphrase an old trope, transgenders are people, too. Whether gender dysphoria is truly the case in particular individuals, or it’s a sham claim by some boys and young men in order to gain access to girls’ and women’s sports competition (or just their locker rooms), or it’s the manufacture of woke “schooling,” transgenders, those victimized by that pseudo-schooling, even the cheaters, need a place to compete.

Just not a place where males transgendered into women compete against women. Nor should women transgendered into men be competing against men, but given the nature of transgendering, that’s not a problem.

Men and women, boys and girls, start out with the facts of biology: an XX set of chromosomes or an XY set. That beginning, at the egg-sperm uniting stage and throughout subsequent development, confers on the male stronger, heavier bones, and stronger and heavier muscles. The different origin and development paths also impart permanently different hormone sets and bodily outcomes from those differing hormones. And that’s just the start. No amount of hormone therapy, no amount of testosterone withholding—or adding, in the case of girls transgendering into boys—changes those inherent physical advantages that born-boys have over born-girls. Not even the differing hip and shoulder structures change post-transgendering. The physical advantage is permanent.

Lia Thomas, via the recently concluded season of NCAA swimming, provides a canonical example. Her performance advantage was heavily illustrated both by her margins of victory in the women’s competitions and by the level of his performance when competing as a man the prior years.

And so we have the Utah legislature enacting, over Governor Spencer Cox’ (R) veto, a bill banning transgender competition in Utah’s schools. Cox had said he’d tried to do what I feel is the right thing regardless of the consequences. His veto letter centered on his concern that ensuing lawsuits

will likely bankrupt the Utah High School Athletic Association and result in millions of dollars in legal fees for local school districts with no state protection….

His four-page veto letter listed other concerns centered mostly on the process by which the bill was amended (several times) and then enacted.

Cox’ fiscal concern is valid, if somewhat overblown—a firmly zealous early defense would forestall further lawsuits and mitigate their total costs.

Still, the legislature’s move is—can be—only a start. Transgenders do need a place, a means, by which they can participate in sports. Now it’s time to set up a Title IX athletics program for transgender athletes so they can compete against their peers, and women can go back to competing against their peers.

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