WASHINGTON -- Some time ago, I wrote that there was a very easy and suave way to solve the trans guys’ yearning for an opportunity to compete against the girls, who now dominate women’s sports.
My solution will end the heartless intimidation of these tender youths -- the guys, not the girls. It will allow the guys to thrive against the conventional ways of female sports, which can be brutal. Having now researched the problem carefully, I take it that the word “bullying” comes very close to the heart of the matter. Mature, serious and sober do-good organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union rarely take up the issue of trans guys in girls’ sports without mentioning bullying. The bullying comes from the girls, not from the guys. Some of these girls can be brutes.
The guys may be bold enough to show up at a girls’ athletic events wearing a girls’ frilly competitive outfit. Think of the feminine frills worn by female tennis stars or the tattoos worn by women boxers. Yet even the toughest transgender guy has got to be shaken after one of the burly girls snickers at him/her or offers to hold his/her towel. There are dozens of ways to bully a transgender athlete, and no matter how aloof or calloused he or she might be, still every slight has its affect.
Recently, Deirdre Schifeling, the ACLU’s national political director, spoke out against a Republican anti-trans drift and in doing so revealed the ACLU’s obsession with the vulnerability of transgender youth. As she put it, “Today’s vote was a cynical attack against some of the most vulnerable youth in our country.” Her ally from the House floor, Rep. Donald Payne, chimed in, chastising Congressional Republicans for “nothing more than an attempt to score cheap political points and bully transgender youth.” Well said, Ms. Schifeling and Rep. Payne, who speak for many liberal-minded people. The bullying of transgenders has got to stop. Yet how will it end?
This is where my solution comes in. Years ago, when the female of the species began swimming competitively, they were faced with many of the same problems that trans guys are faced with today. Some of the girls thought they could swim as fast as the males. Some still do believe this. I doubt that the girls wanted to dress with the boys. People were more sensible then, but some thought they would compete with the boys. Good sense prevailed, and the girls settled for competing with other girls, while the boys competed with the boys and never thought of competing with the girls. A similar evolution took place in track and field and other sports. Why cannot a similar evolution take place among those who wish to transform their gender? Why cannot there be a third and, for that matter, a fourth category for the gender-revised athletes?
When I made my suggestion for the gender-revised some years ago, I thought I was going to be inundated by calls from the television stations of the nation and the newspapers. At least I thought there would be interest shown from the world of sport. My plan was greeted by thunderous silence. My suggestion would introduce a new category in sport for a sexually revised sector of our society that could compete with others who did not feel comfortable with things as they were and wanted change, change that would discomfit no one.
Well, even the trans guys would not endorse my plan. Even the ACLU was remaining mum, and I was counting on it. I figured if I could win the ACLU’s support, I might even win the Democratic Party’s support, or at least the Democratic Party as it is now constituted in California. My conclusion is straightforward. The trans guys who want to compete with the girls, however, are really interested in something other than liberation. They want to make a spectacle of themselves. They want to be at the center of a controversy that will change the face of sport in America. All I can say is that I tried.
Glory to Ukraine!