The trans sports debate

One question that has vexed me for awhile is how and why trans issues and trans people have so much influence and such a large voice despite being such a small minority. “A survey in 2016, from the Williams Institute, estimated that 0.6% of U.S. adults identify as transgender. Studies from several nations, including the U.S., conducted at varying time periods, have produced a statistical range of 1.2 to 6.8 percent of the adult population identifying as LGBT.”

Yet trans people and trans issues are always in the news. A Google news search for trans sports reveals tons of recent stories. My guess is, the trans community has way more money and societal influence on a per-capita basis than other groups. It seems trans people are employed in government, tech, academia and other high-paying, high-status positions at a rate much higher than predicted by population size alone.

Another reason why there is so much controversy is because both sides can mount reasonable-sounding arguments that are very difficult, if not impossible, for the opposing side to summarily refute; for example, the issue of trans sports or if bakers should be forced to make gay cakes. No one disputes that animal cruelty is bad, but hunting is controversial because there are convincing and reasonable arguments presented by both sides of the issue. Although abortion is legal, it’s still controversial because the determination of whether or not killing a fetus constitutes murder, will never be resolved.

In a recent podcast, Joe is right that trans athletes have a huge advantage over cis-female competitors, specially if the transition occurred relatively recently, and he’s right that trans athletes should not be allowed to compete with cis-athletes. However, Adam, as annoying as he is, is right though that there will always be inequality.

There’s a misconception, by both sides of the political spectrum, that fairness in sports is an “unalienable right” like “life , liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and that extraordinary efforts should be undertaken by policy makers to ensure such fairness. It isn’t though. There’s no rule in any national document that stipulates that sports have to be fair. That’s the determination of sports & gaming commissions, leagues, teams, and other people involved, but it’s not an issue of national importance. People accept and expect inequality, corruption, and unfairness in other accepts of life, but sports occupy some place of sanctity in the collective consciousnesses even though very few people compete at the Olympic level or compete in MMA, and the stakes are very small. Maybe MMA organizations could allow cis female fighters to take PEDs in order to be able to compete with trans fighters, because it would be counterproductive for trans women to take them.

The issue of trans people in sports is an example of a tiny issue hijacking the national dialogue, which is why I don’t care about the issue that much. According to the media and sentiment online, the determination of whether trans people can or cannot compete in certain sports is of upmost importance that deserves as much attention as policy of national importance.