A biological male who identifies as female won a cycling world championship Sunday, sparking controversy over fairness in athletics.
Rachel McKinnon won the 35-44 female age bracket at the UCI Masters track cycling championships in Los Angeles
“First transgender woman world champion…ever*” McKinnon wrote on Twitter.
McKinnon is an assistant professor at the College of Charleston.
In January, McKinnon told USA Today that the debate over fairness misses the mark.
“We cannot have a woman legally recognized as a trans woman in society, and not be recognized that way in sports,” McKinnon said. “Focusing on performance advantage is largely irrelevant because this is a rights issue. We shouldn't be worried about trans people taking over the Olympics. We should be worried about their fairness and human rights instead.”
McKinnon has said the debate over testosterone is irrelevant, although McKinnon says she is under the maximum testosterone levels as required by UCI.
Jillian Bearden, a cyclist and a transgender woman who was born male, said testosterone gives athletes a natural boost.
“I’ve proven how powerful testosterone is from when I competed [as a male],” Bearden told USA Today. “That doesn’t mean specifically that the more testosterone you have the stronger you are, but the hormone provides a certain stamina that continues to charge you. It gives you that edge of pushing power.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Vishal Banik/Unsplash