Saturday, August 20, 2016

Playing A Transsexual In A Bad Movie Doesn't Make You An Expert On Our Sporting Lives

One of the things I and many trans persons get sick of is people who don't live our trans lives making loud and wrong commentary about them that is detrimental to our humanity as trans people and our international human rights cause.

The latest person to fall into that trap of flapping their loud and wrong gums about our lives is actress Michelle Rodriguez.  She's already catching flak from our community concerning an upcoming movie in which she plays a doublecrossed male assassin that gets kidnapped and given SRS against his will in a movie originally called Tomboy but has now been renamed (re)Assignment.

Still not going to deflect from the fact this looming transphobic trope filled disaster of a movie will be desecrating multiplexes soon, and Trans World will still be calling out the problems in it.

Michelle Rodriguez tweet on Caster Semenya
I'll deal with that transphobic trainwreck of a movie in another post.  What I need to do right now is address the WTF tweet that Rodriguez sent calling for a transgender category in the Olympic Games that was aimed at South African 800m runner Caster Semenya, who goes for gold later tonight.

The first problem with this tweet is it's conflating the issues of transgender participation in sports with the issue of hyperandrogenism, and is spreading misinformation to do so.

Let me state for the record Ms. Rodriguez since you obviously aren't aware of this fact, but the IOC since 2004 has allowed trans people to compete in the Olympic Games after consulting with medical experts from around the world familiar with transgender medical issues and transgender inclusion in world sport.    

The International Olympic Committee was obviously satisfied enough about what they  heard from the IOC Medical Commission concerning transgender sporting participation in the Games to issue the Stockholm Consensus that many international sporting federations use as their guidelines for transgender sporting participation in the sporting competitions they oversee.

The International Olympic Committee also in November 2015 refined those procedures and policies in the wake of the IOC Meeting On Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism.

The NCAA also allows transgender athletes to participate in collegiate sports, and those rules are mirrored by 34 state high school sporting associations and counting.

Let me also point out for you as well Ms. Rodriguez and any other peeps believing the fallacy, that trans women after a year on estrogen and testosterone suppression hormone protocols lose whatever strength and endurance advantage stemming from going through a masculine puberty.

I played varsity tennis in high school and still play from time to time, and I noticed I lost speed on my serve as a result of being on hormones since 1994,

The fallacy that because I or any trans feminine athlete went through a masculine puberty I could go out and for example join the women's professional tennis tour and dominate it is ludicrous at best and would be demolished the nanosecond I stood on a tennis court with Serena Williams on the other side of it and had to face her 120 mph serve she would blast past me with boring regularity.

And with trans feminine kids transitioning at earlier ages, they will be going through FEMALE puberty, not a masculine one.  It's also a disservice and an insult to cisgender female athletes everywhere to falsely claim that a trans feminine athlete would simply take over their sport just because we transitioned.

I'm also disappointed Ms. Rodriguez as a fan of your acting career, a fellow woman of color and BTLG community member that you resorted to attacking Caster Semenya as your vehicle to slam trans Olympic participation.  

I'm tired of seeing the racist attacks on Semenya from white women mad that Semenya has run the fifth fastest time ever in the 800m, and alarmed about the perceived threat in their minds that she presents to their hold on a track event they have recently dominated.

The fact that Semenya was 18 and from South Africa when she ran that 1:55:49 time at the 2009 world championships, and would only get better with time and training has really 'scurred' them into action to stop her since they feared they couldn't beat her on the track.

The ongoing attacks since 2009 on Semenya's femininity and gender presentation also plays into the racist 'unwoman' trope that has plagued African descended women across the African Diaspora since slavery, and has been exacerbated by the fact she is in a same sex relationship..

Looks like Mariya Savinova, the Russian woman who won the gold in London in 2012 had to allegedly get her better athletic performance through chemistry to beat Semenya.

But back to talking about trans people and their Olympic Games participation.

The IOC has made it clear in 2004 and again in 2015 that I or any trans person who puts in the work in their chosen sport, meets the criteria from their international sporting body and their national Olympic Committee to qualify for their national Olympic team in their chosen sport will be allowed to participate in the Olympic Games.

I want to see trans women do more in the Olympics than just be part of the opening ceremonies, I want to see a trans women one day standing on a medal platform and competing and winning in their chosen sports.  The trans kids growing up today also need to see that happen in a future winter or summer games and I hope they do in the rest of my remaining time on Planet Earth.

Ms. Rodriguez, being a cisgender person playing a transsexual in a bad transsexual trope filled movie doesn't make you an expert on our sporting lives.

Being a trans person or trans ally that is cognizant of the issues that impact our lives, and has either the lived experience or has done the research to intelligently talk about it does.

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