ACLU’s ‘Myths and Facts’ About Transgender Athletes Debunked

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The election of Joe Biden has opened the floodgates to activists advocating for erasing the lines between biological sexes, an extreme agenda embodied in the administration’s executive order proclaiming that people can choose their gender identity and be granted unrestricted access to women’s sports.

The order has drawn criticism from women’s rights groups, female athletes, and faith groups — all with the common goal of protecting biological women from being forced to compete against biological men.

It has also caused left-wing organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to put forth a narrative that turns science on its head by creating “facts” about what it means to be transgender.

The ACLU posted an article on its website titled: “Debunk the myths fueling anti-trans legislation.”

A growing number of states are advancing legislation to reserve sports participation based on biological sex instead of gender identity.

“Though we are prepared to fight in the legislature to defend trans rights, it will take more than legislative action,” the report said. “It will require rooting out the inaccurate and harmful beliefs underlying these policies.

Here are the four “facts” and “myths,” which seem to present “myths” as “facts” and vice versa.

• The ACLU said it is a fact that including “trans athletes benefits everyone. The myth is that “participation of trans athletes hurts cis women” — or biological women who live as women.

“Many who oppose the inclusion of trans athletes erroneously claim that allowing trans athletes to compete will harm cisgender women,” the report said. “This divide and conquer tactic gets it exactly wrong. Excluding women who are trans hurts all women. It invites gender policing that could subject any woman to invasive tests or accusations of being ‘too masculine’ or ‘too good’ at their sport to be a ‘real’ woman.”

“The real motive is never about protection — it’s about excluding trans people from yet another public space,” the report said.

This claim is not backed up by data, including reports of women suffering injuries wrestling with biological men who have been allowed to compete with women as transgender women.:

In 2014 Fox was fighting her female opponent Taika Brents. Ultimately it should have been just “another fight” for Fallon and Tamika, if Tamika did not suffer serious injuries before she was finished via TKO.

Everything happened in the first round within the first two and a half minutes,” Brents said. “It was a messy, bloody fight and not easy for everyone to watch. During the fight Tamika suffered a concussion and fractured her orbital bone in her skull and Fallon Fox didn’t stop until Tamika Brents was finally TKO’d. After the fight she received several staples in her head.

After the fight, Tamika Brents gave an interview where she went on to say she had never felt so much power and strength in any woman before she fought Fallon Fox.

“I have struggled with many women and I have never felt the strength I felt in a fight like that night,” Brents said. “I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say that I have never felt so dominated in my life and that I am an abnormally strong woman in my own right? I still disagree with Fox’s struggle. Any other job or career that I say I try, but when it comes to a combat sport I don’t think it’s fair.

As for allowing people to use whatever bathroom, locker room and, in many places, homeless shelters based on their perceived sex, is not a safety issue,” according to the ACLU.

• The second “fact” is that trans athletes do not have an unfair advantage and the “myth” is that physiological differences make a difference,

“Women and girls who are trans face discrimination and violence that makes it difficult to remain in school,” the ACLU wrote. “According to the U.S. Trans Survey, 22 percent of trans women who were perceived as trans in school were harassed so badly they had to leave school because of it. Another 10 percent were kicked out of school. The idea that women and girls have an advantage because they are trans ignores the actual conditions of their lives.”

In fact, transgender women — who would not be considered elite if competing against other biological men — have been dashing the hopes of talented women athletes, including Selina Soule. Bianca Stanescu, Soule’s mother, wrote about her daughter’s experience in a USA Today last year:

I am the mother of an elite track-and-field athlete in Connecticut. Through our attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, my daughter, Selina Soule, and I filed suit in February with two other female athletes and their mothers to challenge Connecticut’s policy of allowing biological boys to compete in girls’ sports. Connecticut is one of at least 17 states that allow this.

My daughter would have qualified for the New England regionals in the 55-meter dash in Spring 2019, but instead, the top two spots went to biological boys who identify as girls. She lost her chance to compete and instead had to watch from the stands.

The third “fact” is that “trans girls are girls.” In other words, just by pronouncing that you are a girl when, in fact, you are a boy, erases the two biological sexes — male and female.

The “myth” is that there are only two sexes or “sex is binary, apparent at birth, and identifiable through singular biological characteristics.”

“Girls who are trans are told repeatedly that they are not ‘real’ girls and boys who are trans are told they are not ‘real boys,” the ACLU report said. “Non-binary people are told that their gender is not real and that they must be either boys or girls. None of these statements are true. Trans people are exactly who we say we are.

“There is no one way for women’s bodies to be,” the report said. “Women, including women who are transgender, intersex, or disabled, have a range of different physical characteristics.”

And, according to the ACLU, part of becoming another sex is “social transition,” and “that includes participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.”

In fact, stating that a biological boy or man is a girl or woman does not change the reality that biology defines one’s sex.

• The fourth “fact” is that trans athletes need to be on teams alongside those who are the sex they want to be. The “myth” is that perhaps trans should be on teams with other trans people.

“Trans people have the same right to play sports as anybody else and acutely excluding trans people from any space or activity is harmful, particularly for trans youth,” the report said. “Believing and perpetuating myths and misconceptions about trans athletes is harmful.”

The ACLU sees participation in sports as a “right” while denying the rights of women who have been sidelined by their transgender competitors.

Focus on the Family’s The Daily Citizen reported on the people behind the ACLU effort:

Chase Strangio, who was born female but lives as a man, is the deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. Gabriel Arkles is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project. Arkles, too, was born biologically female, but lives as a man. The two wrote an article for the ACLU in April, 2020, “Four Myths About Trans Athletes, Debunked,” in which they lay out these exact arguments.

The two quote Dr. Joshua D. Safer, the Executive Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. He said, “A person’s sex is made up of multiple biological characteristics and they may not all align as typically male or female in a given person.”

As Breitbart News reported, the debate on transgender athletes is growing, including the recent formation of the Women’s Sports Policy Working Group.

The group is planning to propose federal legislation to codify protections for girl and women athletes from competing against biological men in sports while creating a way for transgender competition.

USA Today reported on the development: 

While the controversy over transgender girls and women in sports is not new, the issue bubbled to the surface in the United States a few years ago when two transgender girls were allowed to compete in state track and field meets in Connecticut, winning a combined 15 girls’ state indoor and outdoor championship races from 2017-19 and highlighting the piecemeal nature of state laws governing the issue.

The women’s sports leaders, including tennis legend Martina Navratilova, several Olympic gold medalists and five former presidents of the Women’s Sports Foundation, is asking Congress and the Biden administration to limit the participation of transgender girls and women who “have experienced all or part of male puberty (which is the scientific justification for separate sex sport),” while accommodating and honoring their sports participation in other ways. Options could include separate heats, additional events or divisions and/or the handicapping of results.

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