Author Topic: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games  (Read 2076 times)

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Offline Deborah

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Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2017, 08:56:35 pm »
Men have superior lung capacity to women. Do we lose that if we transition?
We lose red blood cells which in turn reduces the oxygen transport capacity of the blood which in turn lowers VO2max.  So aerobic capacity declines.  This accounts for the slower running speeds.

Lung capacity itself, assuming we mean lung volume, is not really a factor in performance.


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Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2017, 09:53:42 pm »
She left the door open.  Still no study exists which validates the idea that trans athletes have an advantage in sprinting, weight lifting, etc, and so far no trans female has become an elite athlete in any sport.  The author also opines that people are fine with her competing so long as she never wins.  Hers is the only study to date that shows how any athlete ranked within their discipline pre and post transition.
There is a somewhat unofficial study in the case of Renee Richards. She was competitive as a male but after her transition she was unable to compete against a top rated female.
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rmaddy

Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2017, 11:43:27 pm »
Men have superior lung capacity to women. Do we lose that if we transition?

I play on a (women's) soccer team.  While it is true that my height makes me well suited to play keeper, I have nowhere near the endurance I had pre-HRT.  Whatever fears my teammates and/or opponents had about me joining their league, it quickly vanished when they saw what my capacities really are.  When it comes to running, I used to finish top 10 in local races.  I can barely finish them now.  And, I'm much slower on the sprint.  Nevertheless, this is just my experience.

So I ask again, what do you know that the IAAF, IOC, and NCAA do not, and to what trans athletes can you point as an example of their supposed advantage?

Offline MistressStevie

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Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2017, 11:45:12 pm »
I have read some studies pointing out that post MTF transition there is nearly zero testosterone and recovery times increase quite a bit.  That would be a lot more work build or train.  There are other studies pointing out that where physical dimensions count, say reach for arm leverage, there may be some benefit post as that structure does not change.  I suspect this will be studied and discussed for some additional time as there is possibly a bit  of bias here and there. 


rmaddy

Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2017, 11:56:57 pm »
I have read some studies pointing out that post MTF transition there is nearly zero testosterone...

Correct.  In order to compete, trans athletes need to demonstrate levels <7 ng/dl.  Typical female levels are 20-90.  If, as some are saying, testosterone is some sort of a trump card in sport, the trans athlete doesn't hold it.

It is true that skeletal size pre-transition remains, but what happens is that transfemales end up with musculature insufficient to move that skeleton around.  The only trans athletes I know to have competed in the Olympics are FTM.  Correct me if I'm wrong, and then I'll have one more thing to feel good about today.

The problem with relying on "common sense" is that the world is more complicated than it seems.  After thorough study, and without serious evidence-based objection, every major governing body of athletics has concluded that transgender athletes pose no threat whatsoever to fair competition.

Offline Daisy Jane

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Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2017, 09:47:43 am »
It's not all about testosterone levels. The smaller hips and broad shoulders allow for more raw power, which is an enormous advantage in fighting sports. I believe those of us who transitioned after puberty shouldn't compete against cis women in combat sports.

I would be willing to bet bone structure offers an advantage in power lifting as well.

Offline Deborah

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Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2017, 10:34:40 am »
She left the door open.  Still no study exists which validates the idea that trans athletes have an advantage in sprinting, weight lifting, etc,
And no study exists that suggest there is no advantage.  There are only assumptions based on post puberty testosterone levels that posit that strength is based solely on current testosterone levels.  We know this is false. 
Quote
and so far no trans female has become an elite athlete in any sport.
That’s meaningless unless you compare it to the number of trans females that have attempted to be elite athletes.  It’s also not surprising given that most until now have transitioned past the prime age of even becoming an elite athlete.
Quote
The author also opines that people are fine with her competing so long as she never wins.
Of course.  So if someone is actually good enough to win then it’s no longer acceptable to compete?

Before HRT I nearly always placed in the top 10 percent overall in any distance, from 5K to marathon, of any local race I ran and usually won or placed in the top three of my age group (>50).  The only women that ever beat me, and they were few, were from the local University cross country team and they were 35 years younger than me.  So it’s not unreasonable to guess that if I put my mind to seriously training again I could beat most of the women and certainly the ones in my age group, even if I was running 10 to 20 percent slower.  But according to your evidence that would not be acceptable.  How are you ok with that?

Just to be certain I’m not talking out of place I looked up some recent race results and I would certainly have placed second, if not first, right now with mediocre training, for my age group.  I run faster in six mile training runs with my legs blasted from powerlifting that all but the winner ran in the 5K.  The winner ran 25 percent slower than I was running 5Ks four years ago. 


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MaryT

Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2017, 11:02:23 am »
I hate myself for saying so, but I can't see how growing up in a male body can't have a permanent effect even after HRT and SRS. 

Apart from the muscle nuclei, there is increased length, and possibly thickness, of the long bones, that is not going to be eliminated by HRT.  The MAAB trans athlete may not exceed her FAAB opponents in any dimensions, but those dimensions could still have been smaller if she had not grown up in a male body. 

It may be different for trans women who had T-blockers in childhood, but I heard somewhere that even T-blockers might temporarily cause extra growth, by causing the pituitary to work harder and by cutting off the puberty signal to stop growing.  For the same reason, ancient eunuchs were often remarkably tall.

Having said that, I approve of trans women competing against cis women.  I just understand why some cis women might have other ideas.

Offline amandam

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Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2017, 11:07:16 am »
With bigger bones, are the tendons, etc. bigger and stronger also? If they get weaker, how much? There are so many things besides muscle mass that can "potentially" tip the odds. Has there been a study of endurance and strength between females and trans at say, years 1,3,5,10?

I bet if Caitlyn Jenner transitioned in her 20's, that not only would she win a women's decathlon, she'd outclass all other competitors by a large margin.


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« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 06:13:04 pm by Laurie »

Offline Deborah

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Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2017, 11:59:59 am »
With bigger bones, are the tendons, etc. bigger and stronger also? If they get weaker, how much?
Bone density and tendon strength are related because both are dependent on the stress put upon them by the muscles.  If one exercises, particularly with weights but also with running, the bones will become denser and the tendons stronger to compensate for the stress induced by the working muscles.  If the muscles get weaker or one becomes sedentary both bones and tendons will get weaker over time.

That’s why the best antidote to aging and osteoporosis is exercise, both aerobic and strength training.



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rmaddy

Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2017, 03:19:15 pm »

Before HRT I nearly always placed in the top 10 percent overall in any distance, from 5K to marathon, of any local race I ran and usually won or placed in the top three of my age group (>50).  The only women that ever beat me, and they were few, were from the local University cross country team and they were 35 years younger than me.  So it’s not unreasonable to guess that if I put my mind to seriously training again I could beat most of the women and certainly the ones in my age group, even if I was running 10 to 20 percent slower.  But according to your evidence that would not be acceptable.  How are you ok with that?

You were highly competitive before you transitioned and you would be highly competitive afterwards.  This is precisely what the Harper study observed--one tends to compete at the same level relative to women that one previously did relative to men.  What's wrong with that?

And, getting beyond the point of performance, no one transitions to compete just as no one transitions to use a different bathroom.  Transgender equality includes equality of opportunity.  It boggles my mind that the majority of the participants in this thread seem to think it would be some sort of injustice if a trans woman did well in a sport, and use the same justifications that transphobic bigots use to exclude us from other areas of the public sphere.

What the heck is that, really?

Offline Deborah

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Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2017, 03:40:31 pm »
You were highly competitive before you transitioned and you would be highly competitive afterwards.  This is precisely what the Harper study observed--one tends to compete at the same level relative to women that one previously did relative to men.  What's wrong with that?
The difference is that to be highly competitive in the past my running training load was three times greater than it is now complete with lactate threshold and speed work.  Plus I wasn’t lifting weights at the same time which works against building aerobic capacity.

The point is that it’s about an order of magnitude easier to be highly competitive now.

In strength I’ve achieved in six months what you would expect to take at least a few years for a CIS woman.  I did that after 2+ years of HRT and with undetectable levels of testosterone, much lower than the average CIS woman.  Before that I hadn’t even touched a weight of any sort for nearly four years.

How can any of this be if simply lowering testosterone evens the playing field.

The reason I care is not to fuel the bigots but because winning a medal in an athletic competition is a huge accomplishment, even for amateurs.  If I and others hold some kind of competitive advantage not possible for any CIS woman to have as I believe we do then we are stealing someone else’s accomplishment.  This is not only unfair to them it’s sure to fuel resentment and works against our cause.   Additionally, if I can now get medals with 1/3rd the training effort it cheapens the whole thing for me.

Beyond that, I agree that nobody transitions just to compete.  The issue also is probably moot for those that transition before puberty.



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rmaddy

Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2017, 06:49:27 pm »
The difference is that to be highly competitive in the past my running training load was three times greater than it is now complete with lactate threshold and speed work.  Plus I wasn’t lifting weights at the same time which works against building aerobic capacity.

The point is that it’s about an order of magnitude easier to be highly competitive now.

In strength I’ve achieved in six months what you would expect to take at least a few years for a CIS woman.  I did that after 2+ years of HRT and with undetectable levels of testosterone, much lower than the average CIS woman.  Before that I hadn’t even touched a weight of any sort for nearly four years.

How can any of this be if simply lowering testosterone evens the playing field.

The reason I care is not to fuel the bigots but because winning a medal in an athletic competition is a huge accomplishment, even for amateurs.  If I and others hold some kind of competitive advantage not possible for any CIS woman to have as I believe we do then we are stealing someone else’s accomplishment.  This is not only unfair to them it’s sure to fuel resentment and works against our cause.   Additionally, if I can now get medals with 1/3rd the training effort it cheapens the whole thing for me.

Beyond that, I agree that nobody transitions just to compete.  The issue also is probably moot for those that transition before puberty.



I don't think you can infer that your experience is typical, particularly in response to a study of trans women competing in the same sport as you do which lays down considerable evidence against your contention.

Beyond that, I think we just disagree.  If I may (and feel free to contest this if you think I am misrepresenting) I think the competing arguments are:

1.  Transgender women may have advantage in competition post transition such that they might win unfairly.  They should therefore not compete.
2.  Transgender women are legally no different from other women, therefore rules to treat them so are unjust.  There is no evidence that anyone transitions to game the system.  Let them compete.

I personally think you put way too much emphasis on "finding the true winner" and not nearly enough on social justice.  I am sensitive to your point that we wouldn't want to harm our cause by appearing to go too far.  Nevertheless, this is settled law since Renee Richard won her case against the USTA in 1977 at the New York Supreme Court.  Do you think this needs to be relitigated?  Why?

Offline Deborah

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Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2017, 07:09:19 pm »

I personally think you put way too much emphasis on "finding the true winner" and not nearly enough on social justice.  I am sensitive to your point that we wouldn't want to harm our cause by appearing to go too far.  Nevertheless, this is settled law since Renee Richard won her case against the USTA in 1977 at the New York Supreme Court.  Do you think this needs to be relitigated?  Why?
I see it as a violation of social justice to impose an unfair advantage on other competitors.  We’ll just have to agree that we view this issue differently.   

I have no position on the law.  Lawyers will do what they will do and legal justice often has at best a tenuous relationship with right and wrong.

The athletic governing bodies though ought to be concerned with athletic fairness and not with social justice at all.



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rmaddy

Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2017, 11:21:12 pm »


The athletic governing bodies though ought to be concerned with athletic fairness and not with social justice at all.



Why do you think they are not?  And where are all the transgender super athletes?

Offline Deborah

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Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2017, 03:33:58 am »
Why do you think they are not?  And where are all the transgender super athletes?
I am willing to admit that possibly my argument is flawed in regards to running only.  But it is not flawed in regards to strength sports; the topic of this thread.  The athletic governing bodies have no evidence for their decision in regards to strength.  There is no study in existence and anecdotal evidence suggests they are wrong.  I provided a possible scientific explanation for this in an earlier post and the author of the study for running that you quoted (a study that itself was based of an extremely limited sample size) said that her results do not apply to strength dominated events. 

If and when someone can produce a legitimate study demonstrating that I am wrong then I’ll admit that I’m wrong.

As far as where are the athletes, we can start with the one in the article quoted in the opening post.  A quick internet search turns up others:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/14/champion-runner-lauren-jeska-jailed-for-attempted-of-uk-athletics-official-ralph-knibbs
http://www.courant.com/sports/high-schools/hc-hs-cromwell-track-andraya-yearwood-0407-20170406-story.html
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallon_Fox
http://golfweek.com/2010/10/13/who-former-long-drive-champ-lana-lawless/

And then there is simply my case.  I did some googling last night and found out that in at least one world class powerlifting meet I could right now place (not win) in my age and weight group for women and I am far from being anywhere close to an elite athlete.  I’m not even very big with flexed biceps less than 13 inches after a few months of training and with very little prior exposure to the sport.  I was also never particularly strong at any time before HRT.

To avoid being misunderstood, this has nothing to do with their identity which I support.  It’s only a matter of athletic fairness.


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Offline Alexa Ares

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Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2017, 04:50:47 am »
It's not all about testosterone levels. The smaller hips and broad shoulders allow for more raw power, which is an enormous advantage in fighting sports. I believe those of us who transitioned after puberty shouldn't compete against cis women in combat sports.

I would be willing to bet bone structure offers an advantage in power lifting as well.

Thank you! This is very true. I feel people need to be fair here. Genetic Women experience alot of disadvantages in life, and the whole point of Gender Classes in sport is so to create a level playing field.
By all means any one who is trans can take place in any athletic activity they wish to do so, however to suggest that having male skeletal structure or previous muscle memory is not an advantage is not realistic.
I have years around sports, know a few elite atheletes both male and female, and know a few MTF bodybuilders. So theres some perspective here.

In activites where power, ie strength and speed, and muscle force are the main factor, a MTF individual even post SRS has a big advantage. Bone stucture, narrow hips, muscle points of inserts, muscle memory......
Just something to reflect on
Mens 100m WR 9.59 Second fastest time 9.63
Womens 100m WR 10.49* (wind guage was faulty) Second fastest time 10.61
Mens 400m WR 43.01
Womens 400m WR 47.60 (East German Athelte who later admitted Testosterone usage)

As Trans Women we should respect that we are different to GGs. We are just as valid in our identity however we are different.   There should be respect that we have to give GGs space in certain activities. For what it is worth, the fact some Activists find this hard to accept, makes it harder for Trans people to gain overall acceptance.

Sports are supposed to be a level playing field.
A class for Trans gender athletes is prehaps long overdue.....

As for where are the elite Trans Athletes, I would wager alot of money theres more than one like Phillipa York, who grew up as Robert Millar who was a world class Cyclist. Some Trans people may seek to transition post atheltic career. So far Im yet to see an elite athlete transition on the job so to speak, ie mid career. If they did, expect to see them beat any Genetic Female Times / Achivements.

If anyone finds my post offensive, I would suggest you look as to why you do so? Please accept there is a big difference between prejudice and being someone who can see as Trans women we have a duty to not seek to impose ourselves on Genetic Womens spaces unless invited. ....

If this gets deleted, well I will give up on this site......

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Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2017, 05:19:53 am »
Women from different ethnic backgrounds might have advantages in some events, women with abnormally high t levels may have an advantage in some events, tall women may have an advantage in some events, so what. Is she a woman? If yes, compete with women. There are you know, many different types of women, with many different types of conditions that will advantage or disadvantage them at certain events. We don't ban any other groups, why pick on trans women?

What do I know tho and I have never cared for sports.

Offline Deborah

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Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2017, 12:08:40 pm »
See this article on female muscle potential.  If it is true then simply changing our hormones won’t have a huge effect on strength.  By increasing estrogen other factors come into play and we start off at a higher starting point.  Testosterone is NOT the “end all” in strength building
https://bayesianbodybuilding.com/natural-muscular-potential-women/

Quote
Women gain the same percentage of muscle mass as men during strength training. In fact, women gain as much size and sometimes more strength than men. The only difference is the starting point. Men start off with more muscle mass and more strength, but the relative increase in muscle size is the same between men and women.

Research on protein metabolism comes to the same conclusion. Women build just as much muscle protein after training and after meals as men. In fact, one study found that given the same level of muscle mass, women have a higher rate of muscle protein synthesis than men.

How can this be? Testosterone functions differently in men and women, as I explained in my BioSignature review. In animals we have a good understanding of why testosterone is not needed for muscle development in women. It seems growth factors like IGF-1 and growth hormone take over the anabolic role that testosterone has in men. Growth factors are more important for strength and muscle mass in women than in men. Since women have just as much IGF-1 as men and women produce ~3 times as much growth hormone as men, this explains in part why having less testosterone does not limit how much muscle they can build. To make matters more complex, the sex hormones and growth factors interact and all these hormones also interact with your genes.
 
In short, saying women have less potential to build muscle mass because they don’t have as much testosterone as men is shortsighted.

Before you point out some huge males, realize that most of them in the sport are on anabolic steroids.

You can argue that none of this matters and social justice is the overriding concern.  But the general public is going to be much more reluctant and as I stated above I think that at least at this point in history it undermines our cause.


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rmaddy

Re: Backlash as transgender weightlifter qualifies for Commonwealth Games
« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2017, 01:09:01 pm »

Sports are supposed to be a level playing field.


The playing field is never level.  LaBron James certainly has immense talent, but that's not all he has.  He is in the 99.9th percentile for height, without which his talent and effort wouldn't matter.  Elite runners also have an ideal physique that has been thoroughly studied and characterized.  Yes, they work hard, but they were also born with it.

The Commonwealth Games are about more than who wins and loses.  They are an embodiment of British spirit and British values.  They are about doing one's best on the field and off, and reuniting through sport a once mighty Empire.

Propose your solution.  What?  Banning trans athletes from competition?  Why not the military then?

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