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In Focus

Lia Thomas, the Penn State Swimmer, has received a lot of attention and backlash as a transgender female competing in collegiate sports raising the question if this should be allowed.

Personally, I’m not a sportsperson. But it’s hard to ignore this when it pops up every three seconds on social media.

I have no issues with trans people at all. Do what makes you happy. If you identify with the opposite sex, or no sex at all, that’s perfectly fine with me. I will call you by what you prefer, he/she/they. Because that is your life and I will respect it.

Now a trans woman has captured the spotlight in the worst way for competing in women’s sports. Biologically, males are bigger and stronger, which would be an unfair advantage in this situation. But she has also been on hormone replacement therapy since 2019, which causes loss of muscle mass and drops in testosterone.

“The NCAA is in the process of changing its rules. As of right now, compliance with the 2010 policy need only to demonstrate a testosterone serum level below the maximum allowable limit for that sport within four weeks of the championship. The limit for women’s swimming had been set at 10 nanomoles per liter, the same threshold used by previous Olympic rules but double the threshold in the new USA Swimming policy.

USA Swimming announced its new rules for elite swimmers on February 1 which includes a requirement that transgender women swimmers demonstrate they have maintained a testosterone level below five nanomoles per liter continuously for at least 36 months before the competition. It also requires transgender women to provide evidence that they do not have a competitive advantage from being assigned male at birth. That evidence will be reviewed by a panel of three independent medical experts.

The announcement came the same day that more than 300 swimmers signed an open letter to the CSMAS supporting Thomas and urging the committee not to adopt the new USA Swimming transgender athlete policy ahead of the NCAA Division I championships in March.”

There was another transgender swimmer I have seen very little mention of. Yale junior Iszac Henig, a trans man, tied for fifth place. Henig was eligible to compete in the women’s category because he hasn’t begun hormone therapy.

Thomas placed eighth in the 100, tied for fifth in the 200, and won the 500. Thomas set no records during the meet. Clearly, she didn’t dominate all of the competition, her “edge” being a biological male didn’t mean much if she is being beat by biological women. Honestly, the NCAA allowed her to compete. So it is what it is. It’s unfortunate that she has to endure the hate for something she was clearly allowed to do.



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