January 20, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

In High School Sports, the Battle Over Gender Rages On

BY GENNA RIVIECCIO| The polarizing argument over “acceptable” testosterone and estrogen levels has frequently been at the forefront of what it means to be a certain gender in the trans community. In the world of competitive sports, the debate over hormones has become even more disputed in recent years.

The question how to decide what constitutes an unfair advantage in women’s competitive sports has been at the center of controversies teams at the professional level all the way down to high school sports. In the case of Connecticut transgender teen Andraya Yearwood, who just won both the 100- and 200-meter races at her high school’s track meet, a change in testosterone levels could mean a controversial drop in performance.

“Since the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s 2015 erasure of any testosterone limits for women,” wrote Deadspin in an article about Yearwood’s case, “intersex athletes, like Caster Semenya, and transgender athletes can compete as women without pharmaceutical or surgical suppression of their testosterone.”

But switching between gendered sports categories at school is still a point of contention at even the most liberal high schools across the country.

In competitive sports, players with higher levels of testosterone are going to have an unjust leg up in women’s leagues.  As the most effective drug there is when it comes to improving performance, testosterone in amounts higher than the former 10 nmol/L limit automatically makes “the average woman” contending in a race of any kind something of a superhuman. Although the International Association of Athletics Federations had formerly put in place the 10 nmol/L cap on testosterone back in 2011 in a noble attempt to stop classifying gender by exterior appearance, the rule was removed in 2015 as a result of sprinter Dutee Chand insisting on wanting to compete without being forced to censor her testosterone levels. When the CAS ruled in her favor, the complicated issue of unfairness in female sports arose anew all over again.

One of the key authorities on the subject has been transgender physicist Joanna Harper, who also just so happens to be a marathon runner. Of the complex topic, Harper has stated,  “Those Intersex athletes who previously used medications to reduce their T are now off of those medications, and are running faster. Allowing these athletes to compete in women’s sport with their serious testosterone-based advantage threatens the very fabric of women’s sport.”

The future of competitive sports, in an age of growing transgender visibility, is an uncertain one. Whether new leagues will form to encompass wider spectrums of gender variance or the gendered separations in current sports will fade in place of something more modern, one thing is certain: Change is inevitable.

Related Posts

Missing Compton Trans-man

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

UPDATE: Luckie Alexander Fuller has been found as on Jan. 19th, 2021. Luckie Alexander Fuller, a local Los Angeles transman...

L.A. Makeup Artist Is First Trans Man To Compete On “RuPauls Drag Race”

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The cast of RuPauls Drag Race Season 13 has been announced this week revealing its first trans man contestant will...

Local LA Teen Named Member Of HRC Foundation Youth Ambassadors

December 10, 2020

December 10, 2020

The Human Rights Campaign have announced that Nico Craig, an 18-year-old DJ and music producer from Los Angeles, has been...

Laverne Cox Gives Details On Transphobic Attack

December 3, 2020

December 3, 2020

Trans Actress Laverne Cox star of the Netflix series “Orange Is The New Black” took to social media to detail...

Actor Elliot Page Announces He Is Transgender

December 2, 2020

December 2, 2020

Canadian actor Elliot Page announced on social media that he is transgender.  The 33 year old Oscar nominee and ‘The...

Transgender Day Of Remembrance

November 16, 2020

November 16, 2020

The International Transgender Day Of Remembrance will be held on Nov. 20th, 2020. Trans Day Of Remembrance (TDoR) is a...

WeHo Commemorates Transgender Awareness With Online Events

November 1, 2020

November 1, 2020

The City of West Hollywood and its Transgender Advisory Board recognize November as Transgender Awareness Month with a series of...

Hate Crime In MacArthur Park

October 7, 2020

October 7, 2020

Another transgender woman of color was brutally attacked in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles’ Westlake neighborhood on Sunday night after...

Tech Companies Offer Hormone Therapy At Home

October 4, 2020

October 4, 2020

Plume, the first health tech company built for the transgender community, announced that it has been named Preferred GAHT Provider...

Trans Lifeline, A Transgender Crisis Hotline Run By Trans People

September 27, 2020

September 27, 2020

Trans Lifeline, which describes itself as the only crisis hotline for trans people operated entirely by trans people, is flooded...

Trans Women Will No Longer Be Incarcerated In Men’s Prisons In California

September 12, 2020

September 12, 2020

After passing the state legislature with a vote of  29 in favor and 10 against, Senate Bill 132 is headed...

LA Pride Names First Black Trans Woman As President Of Board

September 6, 2020

September 6, 2020

Christopher Street West, the nonprofit organization that produces LA Pride, has named a Black transgender woman as president of its...

Two Men Charged After Three Trans Women Are Attacked In Hollywood

September 2, 2020

September 2, 2020

Two men have been charged with robbery against three transgender women on the evening of Aug. 17 in Hollywood. Carlton...

Three Trans Women Attacked in Hollywood

August 20, 2020

August 20, 2020

On Sunday August 16th, 2020, Instagram influencer Eden the Doll and her friends Joslyn Flawless and Jaslene White Rose were...

Three CA Bills for the LGBTQ+ Community to Keep An Eye On

January 6, 2020

January 6, 2020

Three key pieces of California legislation that were tabled last year for various reasons will see the floor in 2020. ...