There is a great irony that distinguishes men’s sports from women’s sports. If a man has some kind of distinction or advantage, we celebrate it, even to the point we as a society value “raw talent” to the detriment of training and teamwork. In women’s sports, however, it seems like we value “playing fair” and “an equal playing field”, to the detriment of winning.

I have spent years researching about trans men’s issues, rather than focusing on the legal, medical, and social issues facing trans women. This is because I have found that “general” discussions on trans rights focuses more on trans women, to the exclusion of my brothers; if the discussion were more “progressive” and ”inclusive”, we would include our non-binary (“enby”) siblings … but us straight, transsexual men, especially if we’re white, would still not have a seat at the table.

This is why I have long since withdrawn my support from helping the “trans community”.

I have an idea why binary, transsexual men are often invisible in this battle for legalizing sex change recognition. We “benefit” from the “cis-tem”, rather than “suffer” from it; any remaining or perceived issues we still have fall by the wayside compared to the major issues that trans women, trans people of color, and transtrenders “enbies” still face.

Besides the “bathroom issue”, another major point of contention with “trans” women are whether they should be allowed in women’s sports. Because, during puberty, trans women develop physically as men—more muscle, less fat, grow taller, are usually physiologically larger and stronger than women. When women develop intersexed conditions that give them a competitive advantage (especially with women of color), often ones that produce much more testosterone than what women usually produce, they are required to take a hormone regimen to bring their hormones back down. (It’s not just trans women that these new rules are targeting, despite what the media tries to narrate.)

It’s simple at least if trans men want to compete in sports: if I can’t meet team qualifications, I’m barred from joining the team. It wouldn’t be fair to the sports team or the competition in general to lower their standards to accompany me; as I also take testosterone and have become much stronger, it’s now unfair for me to compete against biological women.

One of the national swim team organizations has lengthened the time required to join a women’s sports team from 12 to 36 months. Fina, the international organization overseeing swimming, has banned trans women from swimming in women’s competitions altogether, though will create an “open” league for anyone to compete in.

Defenders of these bans have a right to be critical of including trans women. While trans women may have less muscle per pound of body weight than other women after a year (or several) of taking HRT, they are still generally larger and stronger than non-trans women. This increases their chances of winning unfairly, denying non-trans women an equal chance to shine, obtain scholarships, advance their sports careers. “Trans” women who were middling or worse in men’s divisions could otherwise just claim they’re “trans” and improve their stats, if not more easily win, against women, especially if they refuse to take feminizing HRT or other steps to minimize testosterone’s effects upon their body.

And what about male-born enbies who “identify” as “transfeminine” but not as “women”? Should they be allowed to compete against biological women? Definitely not. Because women’s sports are meant for women, not androgynes.

I once argued that maybe biological women should dial up their training and playing to an 11, if women’s sports were purely about competition. However, women’s sports seem more about fair play than winning, unlike the objectives of men’s sports; it only makes sense that trans women should be excluded from professional, elite sports and competition, to keep things even among everyone. You don’t have to complete professionally; there’s always minor, junior, and municipal sports teams you can join, many whose leagues allow trans women even if they haven’t undergone a sex change. You can always start your own league, too, if you’re that adamant about bringing your politics into sports.

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