Transgender trends and politics in the US

Asking dumb questions that have probably been covered, but is Lia Thomas widely supported by the transgender community in trying to compete in the Olympics?

i am curious as well, but people who care about sport, yet ignoring any comments of Caitlyn Jenner

I am torn when competitors get to this level. I am more to the fairness of the competition, than the fairness to the individual.

At lower level competition i lean more to the individual

Lia Thomas isn’t nearly good enough to compete in the Olympics (the NCAA event she won, the 500 free, she won in a time that was 9 seconds slower than Ledecky’s time from a couple years earlier). But yes, the trans community does support trans women competing in sports. The most recent IOC sponsored study from earlier this year found that trans women have lower VO2 max / weight and strength / weight ratios than cis women, which suggests that for sports in which you propel your entire body that trans women may even be at a disadvantage compared to cis women, although for sports based on pure strength (e.g., throwing) there may be an advantage.

sorry for awkward wording, i don’t always know proper terms

i consider anyone born looking male, who feels they are female to be trans

so. i think of a trans person as anyone from a fully masculine guy with no alteration to those on hormones only to fully post surgical. and all the dtages in between.

i would think for sports, not all Trans people are thought of equally, or are they?

How good Thomas is shouldn’t matter as to the ruling

I’m asking specifically about Lia Thomas. Is she widely supported?

She generates controversy, and being slower than Ledecky is not a counter to that controversy. People want fair competition over inclusion. Is Thomas even a good example to use in the debate about that?

Good point. One can certainly be trans and not do anything medical. In terms of sports, however, there isn’t any serious effort to have people who are not on hormones compete not as their AGAB. E.g., there is a transmasc nonbinary Canadian soccer player who competes on the women’s team (and won the gold medal), and also a transmasc nonbinary runner who won the US championship in maybe the women’s 1500m.

The exact hormone regulations are somewhat up in the air. The IOC’s original rules were 1 year of suppressed testosterone, which they defined as somewhere around 100 ng / dL. Many of the physical changes from HRT occur during the second year, so people today tend to lean towards 3 years of hormones, and at a lower level. Medically, most people aim for under 50 ng / dL if not even lower.

Yes, Thomas is supported. The comparison with Ledecky is relevant as Thomas was ranked #6 among NCAA men in the 1000 free her freshman year of college. If she can do that well pre-transition, and if she has an unfair advantage, then she should be able to compete against Katie Ledecky. Or Grimes. But she can’t.

Side note: Much of the narrative about Thomas is inaccurate. Riley Gaines, who is basically making a career out of complaining about Thomas, regularly says that Lia Thomas is 6’4". She is actually 6’1", in between Ledecky (6’) and Franklin (6’2") in height. People who dislike Thomas talk about her 100 free ranking pre-transition (it wasn’t good), not her rankings in the distances she focused on. She transitioned with the expectation that her competitive career was over, and only was eligible to swim in her senior year because COVID wiped out the year she was on meds and would have been in her final year of eligibility.

Random question… i think you’ve only talked about women here. Are there top ranked trans men athletes?

If there are, is there similar concern?

I would assume that they would be on a bunch testosterone, which would just be considered doping by default? Right? Or are there already rules to account for that?

The most successful trans man I know of is Schuyler Bailar. He was 85th percentile his senior year of college. You can take T with a medical usage exception, but I think that if a trans man were to start winning then they would cut back his T levels to stop it.

Edit: the enby athletes I mentioned earlier are both AFAB and competing against women, and not taking T.

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Most people would argue that Thomas is 6’1" because she went through male puberty, and that is a permanent advantage over other women. The fact that other women can be naturally taller or have naturally higher levels of testosterone isn’t a compelling argument against that.

I think a lot of people could support wider acceptance of trans women athletes, but aren’t ready to accept Thomas as part of that. Trends are trends, and public opinion shifts slowly. This seems like the wrong hill to die on right now when there are other important issues facing the trans community that affect many more people.

Not saying you are making that argument, but i feel like I the discussions i have had personally outside this forum, conceding we are in the process of defining the right rules that may or may not allow Thomas to compete seems like it would lead to more productive discussions on broader trans rights issues.

Since the Olympics actual test (not sure what specific) hormones, testosterone. the lines are actually more clear.

I feel the lack of wider support is due to ignorance as the the physical advantages. I don’t mean to imply ignorance as a negative here, as I feel many LGBT supportive people aren’t sure either.

I think fundamentally that most people don’t view trans women as women, and it isn’t really about fairness in competition as much as the idea that trans people weird most people out. The loudest opponents to trans women in sports also vocally complain about them playing in the women’s section in darts and chess, where there is no reasonable pretense of a biological advantage. There was a volleyball player this past year who was on puberty blockers and hadn’t gone through a male puberty who had her D1 scholarship revoked after anti-trans agitators learned about her.

As was pointed out, no one talks about trans men in sports. And in general, even though the number of trans men is comparable to the number of trans women, trans men tend to be treated as non-existent in a lot of anti-trans rhetoric. For example, their existence gets ignored in a lot of discussion of bathroom bills. I don’t know how much of that is based in sexism and how much is due to the fact that trans men are much more likely to pass than trans women.

Or to put it another way, the image that people have of trans women is much closer to

Than it is to

Or I could cheat and go with

I’m not sure I agree with this. While Grimes, for example, best time in the 500 this year was a 4:28 she also swam a 4:36 earlier this same year. Lia Thomas did a 4:33 at the championships. And Thomas’ best events were longer distance than the 500. Also while it was 9 seconds slower than Ledecky, it was also the fastest NCAA time in that event since Ledecky and the lady who got second in the 500 behind Thomas, Emma Weyant by 1.5 seconds, did go on to win a Silver in the Olympics.

There was a dip in her top performance after transition, but if her top time decreased by 6% (500 free) when the male vs female split is 10% and has held at that difference over time, is that a 4% advantage gained? Her 200 decreased by 4% vs the male/female split of 7-8% difference so again, is that a 3-4% advantage based on going through male puberty?

I believe it is neither. I feel there is no one no matter how anti-trans that feels a trans male has any advantage in sport, so why question it.

Not to say trans men don’t have issues, but from my life experience it does seem trans men are either accepted or ignored, while trans women tend to get more hate.

I can’t really fathom why, because it’s a feeeemale entering the patriarchy. It seems like men would hate that most, but for some reason they seem to hate one of “their own” giving up that privilege and becoming a woman.

Plenty of trans men enter men’s bathrooms each day and nobody blinks an eye. Same with trans women and women’s bathrooms. But it’s much more common for trans women to get in trouble over bathrooms, be called pedophile rapists, groomers, etc.

FWIW, now that you tell me the people in your first image are trans, I can believe it. But I also know cis women who look more masculine than either of those women.

Long-distance swimming, riflery, gymnastics, dressage…

AFAB people certainly have advantages at some sports, and if trans women do retain advantages then it makes sense that AMAB trans women retain advantages.

FWIW, all research I’ve seen has indicated that with appropriate durations of hormones, the only retained advantages are height, some flexibility (bolstering the gymnastics argument), and potentially the experience of having competed against better athletes of your assigned at birth sex.

bc it gives them the “ickies” if they think they might somehow feel they’d want to f a woman and then find out it was a transwoman. you gotta think w your dick first


leave reality out of it. I am talking about the belief of people who get their panties in a bunch over such issues

my belief as well

I think men consider other men as more likely to be predators, and women to be less able to defend themselves against predators. Probably that is true to a large degree. Of course there are other issues with the logic.

Segregated sports are also largely about giving women a handicap because they lose open competitions. As long as women are competing in a lower ranked bracket, it is going to be the one protected.