Transgender weightlifter is lightning rod for critics
Transgenders, especially trans women, are being urged not to compete in women's events. The latest victim of this argument is the transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard.
Trans woman weightlifter Laurel Hubbard recently won gold at the Pacific Games. However, a New Zealand women's organization has lodged a complaint with the sport's authorities against Hubbard. They want the trans women to stop participating "unfairly" in their events.
Before becoming a woman, Hubbard competed in men's weightlifting until the age of thirty. Hubbard won three golds and one silver in the women's heavyweight division at the Games in Samoa earlier this month.
Samoan runner-up and Commonwealth Games champion Feageiga Stowers, who was behind Hubbard, provoked a stir in Samoa.
Hubbard will be able to take part in the Tokyo Olympics next year, so she is a lightning rod for those who criticise the International Olympic Committee (IOC) guidelines for the inclusion of transgender athletes.
The New Zealand-based group, "Speak Up for Women," argues that there should be separate categories for competitors based on gender. She also urged the sports minister to "defend women's sport".
"These people know that it is unfair for men to participate in women's sports,” said Ani O'Brien, spokesman for the group.
According to the IOC guidelines released in 2015, any trans woman can compete if her testosterone levels are less than 10 nmol per liter 12 months before competition.
Bones and muscular densities can be physically beneficial for athletes who were born men biologically and later became trans women.
They want a special section for transgenders, or a new law to find a solution. Trans actors and trans activists do not agree with this. Hubbard has not yet responded to the press on the issue.
“I think they shouldn't be in this tournamen," Samoan Prime Minister Tulaipa Sailele Malieleghao said that "everybody should take part in the competition ... but they have to participate in their own category."
[Autotranslated from Malayalam]