Once again a man who wants to be a woman has been allowed to dominate a women’s athletic contest, edging out genuinely female athletes who were not born with men’s bodies.
This time it is a transgender “female” NCAA cross country runner, who in this case has been named the NCAA Female Athlete of the Week.
Not “Transgender Athlete of the Week” or even “Formerly Male Athlete of the Week,” but Female Athlete of the Week.
University of Montana senior June Eastwood, 22, was given the title by the Big Sky Conference on Tuesday after a strong performance in an Oct. 19 race. At the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational in Sunnyvale, Calif., Eastwood finished second in a group of 204 runners, the rest of whom were presumably actual, biological females.
The Big Sky Conference said Eastwood logged a time of 20:86 in the 6km race and played a key role in the team’s seventh-place finish in the overall event.
Eastwood competed on the University of Montana’s men’s team before deciding he should be female and being granted a spot on the women’s team.
As a man, Eastwood was a standout athlete throughout his younger years and won state titles in several men’s races. He competed in his first female division run on Aug. 31.
‘(I’m) nervous and excited. Nervous for what that means and how people will react, but excited because I haven’t competed in 15 months, and excited to get this started,’ Eastwood told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Those who oppose transgender females competing in sports usually cite hormonal factors like higher testosterone levels in trans women and physiological features like height and weight.
In its 2011 handbook, the NCAA sought advice from medical professionals familiar with the “complexities of the transitioning student-athlete.” It subsequently determined that it’s not warranted to assume that “being born with a male body automatically gives a transgender woman an unfair advantage when competing against non-transgender women.”