International cycling champion Lance Armstrong — who received a lifetime ban from his sport of choice after it was discovered that he spent his career using performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids, testosterone, and other hormones — would like to know that he has questions about the fairness of allowing trans youth to participate in school-sanctioned sporting activities:
The tweets in question for part of a thread promoting an upcoming episode of Armstrong's podcast, The Forward. Armstrong claims to be "bringing all sides to the table and inviting rational and open dialogue" about a "conversation that almost nobody dares touch."
Naturally, the promotional video for the episode focuses on a conversation with Caitlyn Jenner. And hey, I'm sure she has an interesting perspective that by all means should be included in the conversation!
But there's no information available about any of Armstrong's other guests on this topic. Which makes it hard to believe that he is indeed, " to be "bringing all sides to the table and inviting rational and open dialogue."
What's even more absurd is Armstrong's assertion that people aren't talking about the "fairness" of trans athletes. There is more coverage of the "debate" around trans youth athletes than there are trans teens who are both on hormone replacement therapy, and interested in sports. And of course, none of those so-called "debates" ever actually speak to or focus on the specific teens impacted by the debate. Because these "debates" are not about answers, or solutions. None of these people who are "just asking questions" are actually interested or concerned about exploring the nuances involved in the conversation, because they don't actually care about the living, breathing human beings affected by this "debate." The entire purpose of "just asking questions" to "debate" this issue that "no one's talking about" is to further muddy the waters and use a language and media as weapons to eradicate trans people from existence; or, barring that, to terrify them so that they hide too deep in the closet to ever escape, to ensure they never actually get to live and thrive.
Do you how many trans teen athletes there are to begin with? Let's be generous and say that 2% of American teenagers are openly trans. How many American teenagers are also interested in sports? How many of them were born with unfair biological advantages such as height, or increased muscle mass, that enables them to be extraordinary athletes? And how many of those athletes — trans or not! — have the unique athletic prowess to qualify as regional or state-wide champions? Do you see how this funnel just keeps getting narrower and narrower? We're filling up TV broadcast time and opinion news columns and senate floor debates over an "issue" that affect probably 150 American teenagers at best. Out of roughly 22 million.
For the sake of argument — since that's the only sake these people actually care about — let's expand it into the realm of adult athletics, too. Here's Parker Molloy writing in the Present Age back in March 2022:
Trans athletes have been allowed to compete in the Olympics since 2004. During that span, there have been 24,158 female competitors in the Summer Olympics, with just 1 of them being trans (0.004%). Just for the sake of argument, let's say that 0.5% of the population is trans. That means that you would expect more than 120 of those competitors to be trans, rather than just 1. I point this out not to argue that there should have been 120 trans competitors (or any set number) in the Olympics during that span, but to highlight the point that there is no standard by which trans athletes are "dominating."
Since trans athletes were first allowed to participate in the Olympics in 2004, a total of 24,158 women have competed. Of those 24,158 women, 1 was trans. That means that trans women made up just 0.00414% of the total. And while it's hard to say for certain what percentage of the population is transgender, the Williams Institute estimated that 0.7% of people in the US between the ages of 18-24 identify as such. If that number is anywhere even close to accurate, you'd expect around 170 trans women competing over that span. Trans women make up a disproportionately small fraction of female athletes, not disproportionately large. There is no possible calculation to suggest that women's sports are in any way of being at risk of being overrun by trans people.
Even if — big IF here — even if these people are genuinely interested in a good faith "debate" around trans athletes, they're still arguing about such a small number of issues that it would impossible to establish any basic rules about it that wouldn't also negatively impact an even larger number of cisgender teenage athletes, just by the basic randomness of human biology. What they're "debating" about is essentially a rounding error.
Except it's not a rounding error, is it? It's actual human lives. And by all means, people — even celebrities — are allowed to have "debates" around podcasts or bar tables or wherever else about whether a handful of teenagers deserve to exist. Just know that, when you're doing that, you're not actually contributing anything to society. Nor are you actually learning anything, or challenging yourself, or expanding your mind, or whatever other masturbatory justification you might've come up on the fly to make yourself feel big and special. You're just being a god damn ghoul.