Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot, a male-t0-female transgender athlete became the first trans student to compete for a high school state championship last week.
Wangyot, a senior at Haines High School in Alaska, beat a number of biologically female competitors to the finals at the state Track & Field meet in Anchorage. But her presence at the race was met with some criticism from her fellow runners.
“I don’t know what’s politically correct to say, but in my opinion your gender is what you’re born with” said Peyton Young, another competitor at the meet, in a comment to Alaska Dispatch News. “It’s the DNA. Genetically a guy has more muscle mass than a girl, and if he’s racing against a girl, he may have an advantage.”
The event was also protested by the conservative group Alaska Family Action, who according to USA Today, arrived at the meet with a dozen supporters.
The group’s president, Jim Minnery, told the Alaska Dispatch News that allowing Wangyot to compete was unfair. “Allowing students to play on teams of the opposite sex disproportionately impacts female students, who will lose spots on track, soccer and volleyball teams to male students who identify as female.”
However, other Alaskan high schoolers at the event disagreed with the protests. “It’s cool that she’s got the confidence to be here,” one male high schooler said.
Alia Bales, another female high schooler at the event, told Alaska Dispatch News that if other female competitors, like defending chapion Tanner Ealum, were able to beat Wangyot, it would disprove the unfairness argument.
“If Tanner can beat her, anybody can have a chance to beat her” said Bales.