A local transgender woman has slammed the recent backlash against trans women participating in sports.
Saoirse Mackin told Tipp Today that sports for transgender people isn’t always the “nicest place” and branded the negative response Giulia Valentino received for playing in a ladies’ shield final in Dublin last week a “real shame”.
She highlighted that less than 1% of the population are transgender, even less are trans women and even less again actually playing sport, and that it makes “very little difference” overall.
Saoirse gave some perspective on and debunked the supposed “advantage” that transgender women have over CIS women.
“In all sports, no matter what your gender is, there will always be people who physically – because of height, weight, strength, ability – will always have advantages over other people of the same gender in sports.
“It’s not really true that trans women have advantages over cis women in sports, depending on what stage they are at, in things like hormone therapy, for example. Hormones actually reduce your muscle mass and make you physically weaker.”
She says that the conversation around transgender women in sports often only seems to come up when they have been successful.
Saoirse used American swimmer, Lia Thomas, who is a transgender woman, as an example.
“Lia Thomas was in a competition in January this year, where she came 5th. The five women who beat her, one of them was a trans woman, but the other four were cis-gender women. But we don’t hear about those races in the media because she lost. We will only hear about the ones that she wins. That’s possibly not always going to be the majority of her race. Maybe it will be, but for most trans people, it won’t be. They’ll win some. They’ll lose some, just like any other woman will as well.”