In less than a month, New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard will make history as the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympic Games. Hubbard, 43, was confirmed last week as one of the country’s athletes that will participate in the Tokyo Olympics, July 23 to August 8.
Her inclusion in the Olympics is as a result of changes to the International Olympic Committee transgender guidelines in 2015, under which athletes who transition from male to female can compete in the women’s category as long as they maintain low testosterone levels.
Her inclusion has been welcomed by trans groups, it has also been questioned by those who believe she has unfair advantages in strength and power, having gone through male puberty before transitioning in 2012.
Amid the controversy, we asked South Florida residents if they think transgender athletes should be allowed to participate in the Olympic games. Here are the responses:
Brandon Johnson: I do not feel as though anyone from the transgender community should be able to compete in the Olympics or any other sport unless they’re playing among themselves. Nine times out of ten a man is going to dominate in a competitive sport more than a woman. No matter the estrogen level or lowered testosterone level. A woman would have to be extremely dominant against other women to be deemed as okay against men.
Brittney Bethea: Yes they should be able to compete but they should only be able to compete with their burn gender. I disagree with them competing with their opposite gender because the playing field is unfair. It would be nice for the transgender community to one day establish their own Olympic Games to compete.
Thomas Everline: No. Because genetic fairness would not be achieved do to compensation of the situation’s emotional state. Competition is a balance meant for the original state.
Trey Goodin: Depends. I think if they transition at a young age then hormones they take will have kicked in enough for them to be able to compete with their chosen gender. If they’re older I’d say no because it would pose a disadvantage.
Elliot Harris: No they shouldn’t. Create their own thing if what they should do but in a lot of these sports, it presents an unfair advantage, especially for women.
Chad Wilson: I think they can as long as they’re competing with their original gender. Just to make things fair.