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Female downhill skateboarder Anna O'Neill deleted her social media page following a post in which she explained that she believes men and women are different, and she claimed that she had been "viciously bullied" and threatened for even discussing the matter.
O'Neill, in a now-deleted post, stated on Instagram that she had been a part of meetings "addressing transgender eligibility criteria at the elite level in downhill skateboarding."
O'Neill has been involved in the sport for more than a decade and has competed with several different teams. One skate shop says she has competed since she was 13 years old.
"Our intentions were to bring all relevant parties to the table and open up communication in a respectful manner and the best way we knew how, with the tools and information we have," O'Neill wrote. “This isn’t about myself, this isn’t about any individual athlete, this is about fairness and safety in sport and how much we are willing to sacrifice for inclusivity.
Though the athlete holds the belief that "transgender women are women" and presents herself as an "ally," that did not seem to prevent any controversy.
"You can be an ally who supports trans rights, women's rights, and fair and meaningful competition simultaneously," she claimed.
"Transgender women are women," she re-emphasized. "I have never said otherwise. But sex and gender are two different things. To say that there are no physiological differences between transgender women and females is false."
The skateboarder explained that "arguments were made for the inclusion of transgender women in the women’s category with zero eligibility criteria. Arguments were also made for trans women only being allowed to race in the women’s category if they have not gone through any stage of male puberty."
However, she admitted that the conversations themselves caused some to have "hurt feelings."
"In many spaces in this world, there doesn't need to be any differentiation between transwomen and females, as they are both women. But in some spaces, these differences matter and should not be ignored," O'Neill explained.
Despite her cordiality, she still noted that she had been "viciously bullied and threatened with violence" for even discussing the issue.
Skateboarder Taylor Silverman, who posted the screenshots of the deleted message, said that she thought "it’s possible that Anna’s decision to delete her post was because of an increase in bullying and threats like she had written about experiencing previously."
“I hope Anna knows that a lot of people support her and is able to keep using her voice," Silverman added.
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