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Lia Thomas & Trans Sports Debate


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So...recently, an old friend of mine made an anti-trans facebook post about Lia Thomas, essentially saying that she has an unfair advantage and should be disqualified from the Women's Swimming team. 

Now...I'm not out as trans on facebook yet, and he has no idea that I'm a girl. I wanted to ignore so as to not perhaps accidentally out myself, but I couldn't stop myself lol. I told him posts like that were just propaganda created by bigots who have no idea what they're talking about, and that if Lia Thomas should be disqualified from competing against other women, then ALL women with a height advantage should be disqualified from competing against other women lol.

...Am I wrong? 🥺

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In my view I think it is not so much what you say but how you say it. Confrontation is only likely to raise tempers and barriers so making things worse, not better. I feel it is more about education not confrontation. Many times steps forward have been reversed many years by people pushing too hard for change as they, intentionally or otherwise, finally get peoples backs up and destroy good will.

 

Tracy

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In my view I think it is not so much what you say but how you say it

I totally agree, Tracy. It would be a good idea to review rule # 6 which reads thusly.  The following behavior is strictly forbidden everywhere on the site: flame wars, trolling, deliberately provoking arguments, intentionally insulting others 

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I am on the fence here.  I think athletes who took (take) puberty blockers so that they never were fully male athletes should be allowed to compete as girls/women in sports.  But in Lea’s case, from what I understand, she went fully through male puberty and muscle development.  Does that give her an unfair advantage?  I don’t really know.  At least she isn’t winning everything and there are ciswomen who are better than she is.

 

I think this is a real debate, her rights verses her competition’s rights.  But it needs to be handled scientifically and not with a lot of haters with little or no knowledge or understanding mouthing off.

 

Willow

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I do not believe that trans women have a muscle-mass advantage over cis women, once they have been on HRT for a year or two.  However, men are generally taller than women, so an average trans woman would have a leg length advantage over an average cis woman, which could be significant in running events. 

 

But those are averages.  What if a 6'2" trans woman is competing in a marathon against a 6'5" cis woman?  Do you disqualify the shorter trans woman because she allegedly has a leg-length advantage over the taller cis woman?  That makes no sense at all.

 

Just let them compete.  A trans woman boxer from New Zealand competed in the last summer Olympics.  She didn't even make the medal round.  How many national or international level sports trophies are in the hands of trans woman?  I would guess that the number is very close to zero, in spite of the fact that trans women have been allowed to compete in most sports for years.  That in itself is evidence that trans women do not have an unfair advantage.

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41 minutes ago, KathyLauren said:

I do not believe that trans women have a muscle-mass advantage over cis women, once they have been on HRT for a year or two.  However, men are generally taller than women, so an average trans woman would have a leg length advantage over an average cis woman, which could be significant in running events. 

 

Research says that after 1-2 years on HRT you no longer have an advantage in muscle mass and density. Can absolutely confirm. I'm a big girl, but I work out every day. The thing I've noticed most though is that athletic cis women? They're built exactly like I am: Broad shoulders. Narrow hips. Really affirming actually.

 

I doubt the leg thing makes much of a difference. You take a pretty significant endurance hit. Picture a big car with a small engine. My female metabolism doesn't deal as well with the extra mass as you'd think.

 

Hugs!

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nobody seems to be talking about all the trans swimmers in the NCAA as a group and I would like to see those rankings as opposed to cherry picking this one individual.  Are most middle ranked at best?  Unless Lia is the only one in the NCAA in which case I would say how is a single person in the league a problem when you have teams of 50 from each school? (supposedly UPenn has a team of 53 swimmers)

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On 2/17/2022 at 12:35 AM, tracy_j said:

In my view I think it is not so much what you say but how you say it. 

...I dunno if it would be inappropriate or not for me to just copy/paste the whole conversation between my friend and I, (and two of his friends who were also on his side of the argument.) I was greatly paraphrasing what all I said during the various exchanges. ...Not sure if simply sharing the convo would help things or hurt things? 🤔

Mom read it all; she agrees with me...but she's my mom lol. 😅

On 2/17/2022 at 12:35 AM, tracy_j said:

Confrontation is only likely to raise tempers and barriers so making things worse, not better. I feel it is more about education not confrontation.

My sentiment exactly. I was hoping to educate and enlighten him lol. I was attacking ideas whereas he and his friends were attacking people, (his friends attacked me, but he defended me; he's a good guy, just kinda misguided and ignorant. We agree to disagree about a lotta stuff but also agree about a lotta different stuff lol. 🙃

On 2/17/2022 at 12:35 AM, tracy_j said:

Many times steps forward have been reversed many years by people pushing too hard for change as they, intentionally or otherwise, finally get peoples backs up and destroy good will.

...I dunno what this means. I'm autistic; metaphors and allegory make my brain glitch lol. Explain it to me like you would a little kid lol. 🤭

 

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@Nora Michelssometimes you can push too hard on a thing and people will get extra defensive about it.  Think of the force fields in Dune.  fast things can't penetrate the shield so guns are ineffective, but slow things can so knives are effective.

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4 minutes ago, Kelly2509 said:

fast things can't penetrate the shield so guns are ineffective, but slow things can so knives are effective.

 

And really fast things (AKA particle weapons) make them explode.

 

Hugs!

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On 2/17/2022 at 5:08 AM, Willow said:

I am on the fence here.

I used to be as well, but I ended up reaching the conclusion that trans women who meet the hormone level requirements should be allowed to compete on the women's team. (I honestly don't know much about how all that regulations stuff is done or who it's by.) I've never been real interested in sports because I was smaller than average, hated being touch, and had to have a chaperone from the agency follow me around everywhere to make sure I didn't get myself hurt or in trouble lol. ...My autism was worse back then; I'm a lot more independent now with a lot more coping skills lol. 😅

On 2/17/2022 at 5:08 AM, Willow said:

I think athletes who took (take) puberty blockers so that they never were fully male athletes should be allowed to compete as girls/women in sports.

Totally agree there.

On 2/17/2022 at 5:08 AM, Willow said:

But in Lea’s case, from what I understand, she went fully through male puberty and muscle development.  Does that give her an unfair advantage?  I don’t really know.  At least she isn’t winning everything and there are ciswomen who are better than she is.

Perhaps an even better question: What even is "unfair advantage"? ...Have sports...ever been fair? Should not competitors have varying degrees of skill and physical ability? People with innate physical advantages have been a factor in the sporting arena since the dawn of sports lol. Should black people not be allowed to play basketball because they have an "unfair advantage"? Or maybe we should just have a separate competition for them instead? ...Sounds kinda silly when you put it that way, huh? Really helps put things into perspective. ....History sure has a funny way of repeating itself lol. 😞

On 2/17/2022 at 5:08 AM, Willow said:

I think this is a real debate, her rights verses her competition’s rights.  But it needs to be handled scientifically and not with a lot of haters with little or no knowledge or understanding mouthing off.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that her competitors should already understand that it's a competition, and sometimes in a competition, you lose because your rival has either more skill and/or innate physical advantages. If they start crying about their loss being unfair, then they're just being a sore loser with bad sportsmanship. It used to be that kind of behavior was shunned in sports lol. Apparently it's okay though if the girl who won happens to have XY chromosomes due to an accident during pregnancy lol. 😅

On 2/17/2022 at 6:11 AM, KathyLauren said:

I do not believe that trans women have a muscle-mass advantage over cis women, once they have been on HRT for a year or two.  However, men are generally taller than women, so an average trans woman would have a leg length advantage over an average cis woman, which could be significant in running events. 

 

But those are averages.  What if a 6'2" trans woman is competing in a marathon against a 6'5" cis woman?  Do you disqualify the shorter trans woman because she allegedly has a leg-length advantage over the taller cis woman?  That makes no sense at all.

 

Just let them compete.  A trans woman boxer from New Zealand competed in the last summer Olympics.  She didn't even make the medal round.  How many national or international level sports trophies are in the hands of trans woman?  I would guess that the number is very close to zero, in spite of the fact that trans women have been allowed to compete in most sports for years.  That in itself is evidence that trans women do not have an unfair advantage.

100% agree all the way; I've been an HRT over a year and I need help opening jars and bottles sometimes now lol. That was a weird day / profound realization. I get winded a lot faster now too when I have to run. Somehow I've shrunk as well; thinking it must have something to do with my muscles and ligaments changing their shape and size because obviously HRT doesn't do jack for the male bone structure. I used to be 5'11" and 180 pounds (lean/muscular, former firefighter). Now I'm 5'9" and 150 pounds. Blew my mind; had no idea I was shrinking; the world looks exactly the same at 5'9" as it did at 5'11" inches. Which is coincidentally the same height as my cisgender female cousin; I may be tall for a girl, but she's taller than me now lol. 🤭
 

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On 2/17/2022 at 6:56 AM, Jackie C. said:

The thing I've noticed most though is that athletic cis women? They're built exactly like I am: Broad shoulders. Narrow hips. Really affirming actually.

Totally relate and feel this. It's a great feeling. 🥰

On 2/17/2022 at 7:48 AM, Kelly2509 said:

nobody seems to be talking about all the trans swimmers in the NCAA as a group and I would like to see those rankings as opposed to cherry picking this one individual.  Are most middle ranked at best?  Unless Lia is the only one in the NCAA in which case I would say how is a single person in the league a problem when you have teams of 50 from each school? (supposedly UPenn has a team of 53 swimmers)

Indeed; selective research abounds when it comes to anti-trans propaganda. 😠

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On 2/17/2022 at 6:56 AM, Jackie C. said:

I doubt the leg thing makes much of a difference. You take a pretty significant endurance hit. Picture a big car with a small engine. My female metabolism doesn't deal as well with the extra mass as you'd think.

Ahhhh, that's why I can't run to save my life anymore lol. 😅

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1 minute ago, Nora Michels said:

Ahhhh, that's why I can't run to save my life anymore lol. 😅

 

You can, you just have to train a LOT harder to get half the results.

 

Hugs!

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Just now, Jackie C. said:

You can, you just have to train a LOT harder to get half the results.

I'm scared of exercise even though I know I shouldn't be because I wouldn't build muscle like I used to but still...intense training scares the crap outta me lol. 😅

Planning on getting into yoga/pilates and resistance training, mixed with martial arts training and parkour/gymnastics (we have a local gymnastics academy that teaches both; loads of martial arts dojos too, yoga studio as well. Love living in the middle of the city lol. Thinking that'll be a well-rounded regimen with a focus on cardio and flexibility without bulking up and simultaneously developing useful skills for personal protection and escape and evasion...I have C-PTSD and am kinda terrified of people lol. 😅

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1 hour ago, Kelly2509 said:

@Nora Michelssometimes you can push too hard on a thing and people will get extra defensive about it.  Think of the force fields in Dune.  fast things can't penetrate the shield so guns are ineffective, but slow things can so knives are effective.

Never seen Dune, but I think I see what you mean. ...How can one know if they're pushing too hard on a thing? ...What if in someone else's mind, simply suggesting equal treatment is "pushing too hard"? ...If that's the proverbial bullet, what would the proverbial knife be as an alternative to suggesting equal treatment??? 😖

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1 hour ago, Jackie C. said:

 

And really fast things (AKA particle weapons) make them explode.

 

Hugs!


I like that idea lol. 😅

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15 minutes ago, Nora Michels said:

Never seen Dune, but I think I see what you mean. ...How can one know if they're pushing too hard on a thing? ...What if in someone else's mind, simply suggesting equal treatment is "pushing too hard"? ...If that's the proverbial bullet, what would the proverbial knife be as an alternative to suggesting equal treatment??? 😖

yeah exactly.  sometimes it appears that if societal changes are made gradually they face less pushback, but if we try to go all-in all at once people think the world as they know it is at risk or something.  I kind of equate it to transition actually.  So far it has taken me over a year and a half to get where I am with lots of small changes along the way (clothes, hair, how I speak and gesture, etc.) and each of those small changes taken one at a time are manageable for people, but if I'd shown up at work fully presenting it may have shocked people into reacting poorly.

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2 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

 

You can, you just have to train a LOT harder to get half the results.

 

Hugs!


I just want to say doctors say exercise, walk, ride a bike, use machines.

 

So a number of years ago, I decided I’d try to get in shape to do a 5k.  We had a treadmill at the time and had created an exercise room complete with a rubber mat floor in our basement.  I hit the 5k number but decided to keep going.  I was just about to sign up for a half marathon with my son the Iron Man.  I had a doctors appointment.  I tell him what I’m doing.  His response! STOP! That’s bad for your knees.  So what are you to do.  
 

Willow

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Unfortunately there hasn't been a significant amount of research about the performance of transgender athletes over time after beginning HRT, so it is unclear how much of an advantage there may be. Swimming is a power sport where strength separates performance at the elite level, where almost all swimmers have incredible technique. Additionally, being taller, having a longer arms relatively to one's torso and having big feet are an advantage. These are all considered 'male' traits. Women typically have a more efficient kick due to their pelvis shape. In the case of Lia, some of her early swim times were so far ahead of other swimmers certainly raised the prospect of an unfair advantage.

 

I guess one litmus test would be to compare her best times year to year to see how much or little they have changed since Lia's HRT began. USA swimming does have a set of rules based on a physiological measure of testosterone. If she fits within the rule let her compete, otherwise she unfortunately is not eligible for championships and records.

 

@Willow Research has shown the running is actually good for your knees. I am an active triathlete. I injured a knee and developed arthritis and my doctor at the time (who was in 70s) told me not to run anymore based on the myth that running hurts your knees. I stopped running marathon and moved to shorter races. My doctors since have encouraged to be active and continue running. One thing that has been shown to bad for your knees is poor running form.

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@miz miranda that’s what I always thought too.  So my doctor telling me to stop was a left field surprise.  I was never a runner.  So it took me a lot of work to make my mile stones, literally!

 

I got to a reasonably time for a mile before proceeding to 3miles, then on to 5,10 and was working on 13.5.  I was doing 7 minute miles plus or minus maybe 10 minute when the distance ramped up, but that was the first time I’d ever run more than a mile and a half.

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3 hours ago, Willow said:

So a number of years ago, I decided I’d try to get in shape to do a 5k.  We had a treadmill at the time and had created an exercise room complete with a rubber mat floor in our basement.  I hit the 5k number but decided to keep going.  I was just about to sign up for a half marathon with my son the Iron Man.  I had a doctors appointment.  I tell him what I’m doing.  His response! STOP! That’s bad for your knees.  So what are you to do.  

 

Ok yeah, absolutely use low impact exercises to save your knees. Preferably you should find someone who actually knows what they're doing to show you how to use the machines as well. Whomever draws the little diagrams on the side rarely knows WTH they are talking about.

 

Hugs!

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Turns out my "friend" posted another anti-trans meme about Lia Thomas. ...I feel a need to something...should I? ...Or should I just try to ignore it? ...I've since unfollowed him, but I can still find the post. ...Ugh. 😖

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I wasn't able to ignore it lol. Here's what I said:

"I don't see any problem with this. The only problem people seem to have with her is her looks. They might try to say that the real problem is she has an unfair advantage, but the fact is Lia Thomas has lost before and will lose again, because there's always going to be someone better. The article you posted even said she struggled during the competition. Personally, I congratulate Lia Thomas for getting this far, and wish her all the best, and feel it's sad that so many people feel a need to attack her. Godspeed."

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While the anti-trans masses are going off the deep end. What I look at the sanctioning body the NCAA has allowed this. So the Anti masses are just bigoted idiots, including the FL gov.

 

while this is my opinion and mine only. Wouldn't a cis athlete want to try harder against a perceived advantage that a trans athlete has. 

 

Kymmie

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