Transgender athletes eligible to compete


Nicole Barlik, Views Editor

It’s no news that the transgender community has been a largely discussed subject all over the world and are now getting more rights in life; such as being in the Olympics. The transgender community has only been allowed in the Olympics since 2004, but with very strict rules and regulations.

The International Olympic Committee, (IOC), came up with these rules to allow transgender people; they must have sex reassignment surgery, classifies himself/herself legally as their preferred gender, and has gone to hormone therapy for at least two years, to minimize any gender-related advantages. Also, genital reconstruction surgery was needed to also even out any advantages from certain gender. Telling from these rules the IOC was very lenient on including transgender Olympians.

Later on, it was until 2006 when IOC decided to check hormone levels to make sure that if transgender women had no high level of androgen, which is the hormone name in the male body, to make sure that she was equal as all the other female Olympians. As well as transgender men were checked for testosterone levels, a hormone in the female body, to also confirm that he was equal with all the other male Olympians.

Having this go on for years, 2016 approached with the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The IOC decided that transgender competitors do not have to have surgery in order to compete in the Olympics; meaning, transgender athletes are no longer required to have reconstructive surgery to enter the Olympics. Clearly, this has made a huge difference in the transgender community due to not needing people to change to specifically clarify themselves as a certain gender.

Having this new rule out of transgender minds can definitely release some pressure on the athletes head. For example, the cost for a reconstructive surgery is very expensive, even after the long surgery, the recovery afterward is extensive. Then the training would be harder, but thankfully now they do not have that burden anymore. Now all they need to focus on is their training and getting ready for the Summer Olympics.

This is only the beginning to the transgender community and hopefully later on they will get more rights not only in Olympics but in everyday life as well.