June 29, 2022

US women’s soccer heroine Megan Rapinoe has spoken out strongly in favor of the inclusion of transgender women in women’s sport, calling the arguments against it “cruel and disgusting”.

The veteran soccer star, who co-captain the United States Women’s National Team in 2019 as they won a second straight World Cup, dismissed the idea that trans women dominate women’s sports and therefore must be regulated.

Instead, she argued that it was cruel to exclude them from competition at lower levels, because people valued “their kid’s high school volleyball team” before the life and well-being of transgender people.

Her comments follow the furor surrounding the new FINA (International Swimming Federation) policy that prohibits transgender women from competing in swimming races.

The decision came in response to UPenn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’ record wins in college swimming competitions, which sparked claims the trans athlete had an extreme advantage due to male puberty.

“Show me the proof that trans women are taking everyone’s scholarships, dominating in every sport, winning every title,” the Rapinoe said. “I’m sorry, that doesn’t happen.”

“I’m 100% in favor of trans inclusion,” she told TIME. “People don’t know much about it. We lack almost everything.

US women’s soccer legend Megan Rapinoe has said she is 100% behind the inclusion of trans people, saying the issue is misunderstood and the arguments for excluding trans athletes are “cruel and disgusting”.

Elite swimming is the first sport to ban transgender athletes from female racing if they have reached male puberty, the International Swimming Sports Federation announced on Sunday.  Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer, is pictured

Elite swimming is the first sport to ban transgender athletes from female racing if they have reached male puberty, the International Swimming Sports Federation announced on Sunday. Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer, is pictured

Zack Bridges before his transition

Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges after her transition

Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges was recently banned from competing against Laura Kenny at the National Omnium Championships by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body

Jenner, 72, who won a gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, spoke out in favor of banning transgender swimmers from competing if they transition past the age of 12 years.

Rapinoe, who co-captain the United States Women's National Team in 2019 as they won a second consecutive World Cup, is a strong advocate for trans rights

Rapinoe, who co-captain the United States Women’s National Team in 2019 as they won a second consecutive World Cup, is a strong advocate for trans rights

Rapinoe defended transgender female athletes on the grounds that the issue is little understood due to “talking points from the right, because they are very loud, very consistent and relentless.”

“At the highest level, there are regulations. In collegiate sports, there are regulations. And at the Olympic and professional level. It’s not like it’s a free game where everyone is doing anything.

She argued that we need to approach the issue from the perspective of how to include transgender female athletes – “but we cannot start from the opposite”. It’s cruel. And frankly, it’s just disgusting.

The U.S. women’s soccer captain dismissed arguments about fairness as pale in comparison to ‘people’s lives’ because people ‘commit suicide, they are told they are rude and different and bad and sinful and ‘they can’t play sports with the friends they grew up with.

‘I’m sorry, your kid’s high school volleyball team just isn’t that important. It is no more important than the life of a child.

But it’s the allegedly unfair physical advantage that some transgender female athletes have over cisgender women that has caused outrage across the United States.

In addition to the many international sports organizations that legislate against trans athletes, many US states are in the process of passing similar legislation. Texas is pushing for new laws regarding trans youth.

“We’re going all out ‘God forbid a trans person to be successful in sports,'” Rapinoe added. ‘Learn reality and take a step back.’

Caitlyn Jenner was a well-known transgender woman who spoke out against Rapinoe’s position, celebrating FINA’s ban on transgender women competing in women’s races if they completed their transition after age 12.

The decathlete shared her joy shortly after Sunday’s announcement, writing, “It worked!” I took a lot of heat – but what’s right is right! If you’re going through male puberty, you shouldn’t be able to take medals away from women. Period.’

To compete, transgender swimmers will need to prove to the federation that they have continuously suppressed their testosterone levels since that age.

Jenner followed up that post by tweeting DailyMail.com’s story about the ban.

Jenner, 72, won a gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal as Bruce. She also won gold in the same competition at the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City.

Lia Thomas has broken a number of women's swimming records for the NCAA since becoming a woman

Lia Thomas has broken a number of women’s swimming records for the NCAA since becoming a woman

She sparked controversy, with experts claiming she had an 'unfair' advantage because she went through male puberty, with fellow contestants refusing to pose with her for a photo.

She sparked controversy, with experts claiming she had an ‘unfair’ advantage because she went through male puberty, with fellow contestants refusing to pose with her for a photo.

However, to accommodate transgender athletes, FINA is implementing an “open category” for transgender athletes to compete at events such as the World Aquatic Championships, World Swimming Championships and World Cup of Swimming. swimming.

British trans cyclist Emily Bridges was also recently barred from racing against Olympic legend Laura Kenny at the National Omnium Championships by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body.

A healthy young man’s testosterone level will be between 20 and 30 nanomoles per liter (the measure of testosterone), compared to a range of 0.7 to 2.8 in a woman – transgender athletes who wish to compete with women must take anti-hormonal medication in order to be eligible.

Such a policy would prevent Thomas from participating in international events that would increase her position in international swimming and potentially earn her a place in the Olympics – something she said in a recent interview that she would like to participate in in the future.

Her rapid rise to the top of the women’s charts, however, caused an outcry across the United States, with many claiming she had an unfair physical advantage over her competitors.

Megan Rapinoe has been a strong supporter of a number of social justice issues, including gender equality in sport and the fight for equal pay between men’s and women’s international teams.

She has also been a consistent advocate for trans rights.

In 2019, Rapinoe – along with other female players – sued US Soccer for equal pay with her male counterparts.

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