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  1. At the risk of opening up a can of worms, or rather perhaps to stimulate one, what are people’s views on the transgender issue in sports? Sparked by this: Revealed: Swimming’s secret plan for historic transgender ruling Apologies if it’s paywalled for you, but in a nutshell it’s saying that FINA is set to rule during the current world championship to tighten up regulations on transgender participation in elite events - ie, not to recognise m2f trans swimmers in womens’ events. Now, I know this is a fraught issue. It was used as a wedge issue during Oz’s recent federal election and I know it’s also a culture war issue elsewhere (esp the US). But I wonder what members’ views are on it? Personally, let me start by affirming that I do support social equality for trans people. It’s fair enough that trans people are afforded legal and social recognition of their gender identities. But I don’t believe it’s so straightforward when it comes to pure, I suppose I’d have to describe it as, biomechanical equality. It’s not like an f2m trans can physically father a child or an m2f can gestate one. When it comes to elite sports competitions, we generally expect that al competitors should be competing on an equal playing field. We don’t accept performance enhancers like doping, for example. When it comes to trans competitors (and let’s be blunt, it’s basically mainly an issue with m2f athletes) I do believe that biomechanics offers them an advantage over biologically female born athletes. And just as I don’t believe para-athletes like Oscar Pistorius should have been allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes at the Olympics (his “blade runner” prosthetics were too much of a blurred line between offering advantage), I also think m2f trans athletes can hold an unfair advantage in elite competition for record marks or medals in an Olympics or world championship. Feel free to refute me if you feel otherwise - I’m prepared to be open-minded and change my views if you can convince me. I don’t want t be a JK Rowling. But I just think this is a case where trying to be fair and politically correct can have some negative impacts.
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