Transsexual People in Sports

Transsexual and transgender people in sports initially involved people who had been assigned male at birth, later having sex reassignment surgery that changed their sex to female.  Part of the procedure involved the administration of appropriate sex hormones.

The Olympics required females to pass a chromosome test.

In the 1970s Renee Richards won the right to compete in women’s tennis.  she was a much better coach of Martina Navratilova than she was a singles player.  She was  a pretty good doubles player which is where older tennis players continue to shine.

Since then the testing of Olympic Athletes has become much more focused on sex hormone levels and other steroid use.

They passed a ruling that permitted post-op transsexual women to compete.

But transsexuals in the news for competing in sports was pretty much a T to F story.

For the last 25 years or so we have had the Gay games which have been open to TS/TG people.

But now T to M folks are also competing.  Some are not taking testo even though they have top surgery and are socially male.

From Sports Illustrated:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1198744/1/index.htm

The Transgender Athlete

Playing fields have long been segregated on the basis of sex. But what happens to the athletes whose physiology doesn’t match their gender identity? Against whom do they compete? What obstacles do they face? And how are they being treated by sports’ governing bodies?

PABLO S. TORRE, DAVID EPSTEIN
May 28, 2012

If you’ve never seen the hammer throw up close, especially during a New England winter, the most arresting part of every heave is the conclusion: how hardened earth erupts when the metal comet splits the ground. Weighing nearly nine pounds with a four-foot wire tail, the stainless-steel ball is menacing enough that airports ban it from carry-on luggage. And on a brisk February morning in Williamstown, Mass., every toss by Keelin Godsey offers further proof of its violence.

At 5’9″ and 186 pounds, Godsey is tautly muscular. He wears glasses and is dressed in black from his sneakers to his knit cap, which sheathes his blond, spiky hair. Over and over, from in front of a chain-link backstop, he grips the hammer’s handle and whirls in accelerating circles until it’s no longer clear whether he is spinning the ball or the ball is spinning him. His target distance, 226’4½”, is out on a gravel path beyond the frost-covered craters. That’s the qualifying standard for the London Games—a mark Godsey finally surpassed last month (with a throw of 227’8″) at a meet in Walnut, Calif. With a top three finish at the trials in Eugene, Ore., in June, he will realize his lifelong dream: to make the U.S. women’s Olympic team.

For transgender men and women, the physiological traits that distinguish them as male or female don’t conform to how they feel about themselves. Some have undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy to make their biological and gender identities match. Others, such as the 28-year-old Godsey, have not: He was born as a female and therefore competes as a female, but he identifies as male. Imagine a body, especially one as finely tuned as an elite athlete’s, feeling inescapably foreign—as if it were intended for the opposite sex. “I take a lot of pride in the fact that I have a good amount of muscle mass, and I’ve done it naturally,” says Godsey. “But in some ways, this is the last body I would ever want.”

A physical therapist who was known as Kelly until his senior year of college, in 2005, Godsey is the first American Olympic contender in any sport to openly identify as transgender. When not competing he dresses and lives as a man, renting a ground-floor duplex in North Adams, Mass., with Melanie Hebert, his fiancée of three years. “I’m a female when I compete,” Godsey says. “Every day I have to sweat, stress and freak out. How do I look? What is someone going to think of me? Is someone going to say something at a track meet?”

Consider something as simple as going to the bathroom. When using men’s rooms—his preference—Godsey usually tries to conceal his chest; in women’s rooms he accentuates it by wearing what he calls tight “girl shirts.” Still, he has been escorted out of an airport ladies’ room by security, interrogated at restaurants and once had to flee a group of snarling men at a truck-stop bathroom in Nebraska.

Continue reading at:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1198744/1/index.htm

From Lexie Cannes:  http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/transgender-soccer-player-scores-big-against-prejudice/

Transgender soccer player scores big against prejudice

By Lexie Cannes
May 22, 2012

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Miranda Salman, knocked out of a sport known for “masculine ethos,” returns again, this time as a woman, and ends up as one of the top players on an all-women soccer team in Mexico.

Salman previously played soccer professionally as a man, but a broken ankle and harassment over her feminine mannerism put an end to her first go at the game. Marriage, a kid, and sex reassignment surgery followed. Eight years later she’s back on the field, and according to a teammate, she’s the best player on the team.

Salman told her story in an International Day Against Homophobia PR video. Further research into Salman’s background returned a lot of interesting hits, but my Spanish, by a long shot, isn’t good enough for use in the media. If anyone can provide further information about her, post it in this blog’s comment section! I can tell you she has 75,000 subscribers to her personal Facebook page – that’s a heck of a lot of people following a transgender soccer player!

Complete article with photos:  http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/transgender-soccer-player-scores-big-against-prejudice/

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