trans athletes culture war

Trans athletes just want to play sport

Monday 9 May 2022 5:17 PM

I don’t get it. Why are Christians (and some others) so desperate to make trans athletes an election issue? Why?! Here are the facts, at least as far as I’m able to discern them, and some thoughts of my own: 

  1. I’m a novice on the subect myself, as I suspect nearly all of us are. But I think I’ve grasped enough to realise that there’s quite a bit more to the biology of gender than "blue for boys, pink for girls". I’m bemused then by what seems more than a little of the Dunning-Kruger effect at work in some of what others declare with confidence.
  2. I’ve heard the claim that allowing sporting governance bodies to decide what should happen between trans and non-trans women or girls on the hockey field or the running track means ceding to those bodies the very determination of reality itself. But then again those who believe this don’t want the government determining it either. They might call it wrong! (And we want them out of our lives anyway, right?) So then we must ask whom we would trust to make the call. Is there anyone in fact? Or would we prefer an eternal stalemate over the wrong call being set in stone?
  3. What operatives on this particular war front seem to me to overlook is that trans athletes aren't a theoretical construct fabricated by lefties to get one over on us. They're actually people. They exist. And they want to play sport. They're not anyone's enemy. And by the way Christ died for them too. (Just in case we have visions of sharing the gospel of God’s prevailing love with them).
  4. I’m wondering if anyone fighting for the rights of women and girls on the track has asked female athletes if they're feeling threatened. I've yet to hear of one who is. Maybe they don't need our protection afterall?
  5. Some players having degrees of physical advantage over some other players is nothing novel. I can still recall well the days (20 years ago) when our kids were playing teen junior sport, mainly cricket. They’d regularly be competing against lads the same age but 50% larger and stronger. None of us felt the need to lobby anyone. It was all simply part of the challenge of competition.
  6. I may be more receptive to these pleas on behalf of women and girls if they were accompanied by calls for trans male athletes to get a leg up against their competitors. I’m not expecting this to happen.

Can I suggest this political fuss is just the latest in the long line of cultural changes related to minorities and difference? It's new, it's different, and so we're anxious. Mixed-race marriages received a similar fuss not so long ago. Likewise women’s suffrage, women behind the wheel, and women in parliament. We all got there without civil war, and we don’t even blink now. And if one is already suspicious of government, the anxiety is readily compounded, resulting in cries of statism or worse.


That’s not to mention the Bible’s teaching on care for marginalised minorities. And one more thing too … The trans community being a minority are less a threat to us than we to them.