As if almost everything else about her wasn’t already terrible enough, Caitlyn Jenner has decided she just wants to be that little bit more awful.
This time the mega-rich athlete, turned reality star, turned political candidate has weighed in with her opinions on sport and whether or not it’s OK for transgender women to compete against other women.
Shockingly, the Trump voting Republican has come out firmly against the evidence and testimony set forth by the vast majority of experts on the subject.
Sport is, and always has been, a very touchy subject for transphobes, especially here in the UK. We’ve seen many dedicated anti-trans organisations spring up and make special mention of how important it is to keep trans women out of women’s sport. It is often used as a way to support campaigning against reform of the Gender Recognition Act, despite sport in the UK not being controlled by the government or birth certificates.
Time and time again, though, research has shown that the inclusion of trans women in women’s sport is safe. We are by no means dominating the leaderboards anywhere we are included. Yet still the story of a trans girl beating a cis girl in a race spreads around the internet like bigoted wildfire, whereas that same trans girl going on to be beaten by another cis girl does not. The narrative some people want you to believe is simply that “trans women aren’t really women” – and look, “this finally proves it”.
So I wasn’t surprised when Caitlyn Jenner joined in to say that trans women shouldn’t be allowed to compete. She has done and said a lot of things which support transphobic narratives already, including comments such as “if you look like a man in a dress it makes people uncomfortable”.
I wasn’t even surprised when her hypocrisy was immediately revealed, as Jenner had competed in a women’s golf tournament in 2016. She has form on hypocrisy. Despite her own transphobic comments, she was upset when podcaster Joe Rogan said transphobic things about her. It really is just her brand and if you want to buy into that, more fool you. Call me cynical but it’s self centred and she’s probably only saying it to get votes.
So rather than talking about Caitlyn Jenner, we should focus on more positive people like Kendall Martinez-Wright. She is the first transgender woman to run for the Missouri House of Representatives for 2022. Missouri’s House is the fourth largest in the US and one which Republicans have controlled since 2003.
Martinez-Wright re-announced her candidacy just days after the House approved the “sports teams proposal”, one of many attempts in the US to legislate trans people out of sports and life in general, really. She has a massive uphill battle against her, not only being transgender but also black and Puerto Rican in a country having an awful lot of issues with transphobia and racism right now. Send her love and send her support.
In fact, I’ll leave you with some words from Kendall Martinez-Wright herself: “I think about the people who are like me who have died or been murdered just because of who they are. A few weeks ago, a trans woman a year younger than me who lived only two and a half hours away from me was killed. And that amplifies why I’m doing this and, in a way, it keeps me going. Because here I am. I’m in the people’s house, fighting to ensure equal rights and equity.”
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