Caitlyn Jenner: “Not fair for trans pupils to play girls’ sports” The Sunday Times 02.05.21

The original article is here.

Caitlyn Jenner, who won the men’s Olympic decathlon gold medal before transitioning to become a woman decades later, has said that she opposes transgender girls competing in girls’ sports at school.

Jenner, 71, a reality TV personality who is running for Republican governor of California, said that it was “unfair” for girls to face trans opponents.

More than two dozen Republican state legislatures are preparing bills to ban trans girls from girls’ sports after several examples attracted national controversy.

Jenner said last month that she will compete for the governor’s job after opponents of Gavin Newsom, the Democratic incumbent, raised enough signatures to press for a recall vote this autumn, a year ahead of his full term, amid dissatisfaction with his handling of the pandemic.

The contest promises to be just as colourful as the state’s first gubernatorial recall election in 2003 when Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor-turned-Republican politician, unseated Gray Davis, a Democrat.

Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida seen as a potential presidential candidate, said last week that he will sign a bill to ban trans girls from girls’ sports that was rushed through the state legislature.

Jenner, who won gold in the 1976 Olympic decathlon, told TMZ: “This is a question of fairness. “That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school. It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”

Newsom has a long record of defending trans rights. When the Trump administration reversed an Obama-era order allowing trans students to choose school lavatories, Newsom tweeted: “Trump admin makes life more difficult for one of the most vulnerable groups of ppl, citing their desire to further ostracize them.”

Jenner has campaigned to raise awareness of trans rights but her views on school sports put her at odds with many other advocates. Lambda Legal, a legal organisation for LGBT rights, tweeted: “Trans youth deserve the right to play the sports that bring them joy and give them confidence. #LetKidsPlay”

Jenner’s views came on the heels of another prominent celebrity contribution to the debate when Elliot Page, the actor previously known as Ellen Page before he transitioned, criticised the trans athlete bans. He told Oprah Winfrey: “If you’re not going to allow trans kids to play sports, children will die, and it really is that simple.”

President Biden signed an executive order in his first days in office to guarantee equality in schools that was interpreted by conservatives as forcing schools to accept trans girls in girls’ sports or lose funding. The White House said it was reinforcing the status quo as set in Supreme Court rulings and pointed to guidelines set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The regulator requires one year of hormone treatment for trans women athletes prior to competing on a women’s team, while trans men remain eligible to compete in women’s sports until the athlete begins a transition using testosterone.


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