Steph's Place

26th September. Dr Richard Budgett; Sex is a continuum

I have a dream

Last Monday, 20th September, an article appeared in the Guardian US (not, of course, followed by the censoring and transphobic Guardian UK) that signified an important change in the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) policy regarding future transgender participants.

The article was written by Sean Ingle and centred on an interview with Dr Richard Budgett, a former gold medal winner at Los Angeles Olympics and now the IOC's Science & Medical Director. Dr Budgett is a very highly qualified man; he is not just part of the IOC, he is a member of "The Prohibited List Expert Group" of WADA (World Anti-doping Agency) - so not exactly your "everyday" biologist.

Now I profess that I know little about biology, but I am not silly enough to deny sex.

Sex is indeed real.

But equally, I have always believed that sex is a spectrum that straddles "male" and "female" - it is a bit more complex than having the ability to be able to give birth.

I am sure everyone agrees that the template for life is female (if not, why do men have nipples?) - but that is not the crux of this blog.

The crux is what Budgett said.

Firstly, he said, and I quote precisely - “We’re very aware that sex, of course, is not binary. It’s a continuum. The sectors overlap. Transgender women are women".

These are powerful words to which I agree. A few months back, I started to take singing lessons with a new singing teacher, who immediately noticed that I dont have an Adam's Apple. "Did you have surgery?" she asked - "no", I replied.

So do I have DSD?

And what about those female legs of mine, female feet, female voice, but male hands, and, of course, originally male genitalia?

I guess I am a mongrel, a Heinz 57, but hell, I am quite simply me!

We are all different, and we know who we are.

Budgett continued explaining what the IOC's policy will be regarding trans athletes, and I am afraid the gender-crits are not going to be happy.

Trans athletes will participate in all future Olympics, but each event will have its own thresholds in the future. No one can deny that xy women have some advantages over xx women, and as a trans woman, I certainly dont want one of my siblings to have any benefit over natal xx females.

Ingle's article also said this; "international sports federations would prioritise inclusion and avoidance of harm."

What does that mean?

In short, xy women wishing to participate currently have to lower testosterone levels, but the latest science reveals that in so doing, trans women are causing significant long term damage to their health.

Called "Testosterone Deprivation", it is something that I also suffer from, having a T level of just 0.4.

My limited understanding is that there are different ways of measuring T levels; it's a bit like weighing yourself in kilos, pounds or stones - but take it from me, 0.4 is well below the female range, which is 1.0 to 1.6 according to Health & Wellness website. 

Now a quick note here: If you really want to know about trans folk in sport - please follow on Twitter Kirtsi Miller @KirstiMiller30

Am I happy an expert scientist says that sex is a continuum?

Damn right.

And that trans women will continue to participate in sport?

Yes, of course, sport is a human right!

In my lifetime, I want to see trans women win Olympic medal's, be MP's and be accepted in society as a woman by everyone.

Sadly, given my age, I suspect my dream will remain a dream, but progress is being made, and one day, on one wonderful day, my dream, like that of Martin Luther King's dream, will become a reality.

Justice will prevail. 

Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph

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