Caitlyn Jenner, one of the most famous transgender people, said Saturday that transgender biological boys should not be allowed to compete in women's sports.
Jenner commented on the controversial issues about one week after announcing she was running for governor of California. Jenner is seeking the office as a Republican in a special election that was triggered after activists gathered more than 2 million signatures to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
What did Jenner say?
Speaking with TMZ, Jenner said the issue boils down to fairness and protecting the integrity of women's sports.
"This is a question of fairness," Jenner, who won the gold medal for men's decathlon at the 1976 Olympics, said.
"That's why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls' sports in school. It just isn't fair. And we have to protect girls' sports in our schools," Jenner added.
Jenner declined to answer a follow up question asking whether her perspective was "delegitimizing" of a transgender person's identity.
However, Jenner later said on Twitter that her position is "clear."
"I didn't expect to get asked this on my Saturday morning coffee run, but I'm clear about where I stand. It's an issue of fairness and we need to protect girls' sports in our schools," Jenner tweeted.
In response, Jenner was labeled a "traitor."
- "You are such a traitor @Caitlyn_Jenner So we need to 'protect girls sports' from other girls now? And fairness? Don't you know how testosterone blockers work?" one person said.
- "Can you please stop pretending to speak for anyone but yourself and your financial interests? Thanks," another person said.
- "The only trans girl who shouldnt be allowed to run with everybody else is you lol," another person told Jenner.
- "'Equality for me, inequality for thee' — Caitlyn Jenner," another person mocked.
What are states doing?
Most LGBT activists say that gender identity, rather than biological sex, should be the determining factor for kids who play sports. However, there is widespread disagreement about that — and states are taking action to protect the integrity of women's sports.
This year, numerous states have passed bills prohibiting transgender athletes from competing in sports that correspond with their gender identity, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Florida will become the fifth state enact such a law, while South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) enacted an executive order on the issue.
Dozens of other states are considering similar legislation.
In response, LGBT activists are pressuring corporations to affirm their view of sexuality and gender, denouncing opposition to their perspective as "discrimination." The Human Rights Campaign, for example, is even pressuring the NCAA to not hold events in states that enact legislation that protects women's sports.
However, as the Associated Press noted, there has not been actual backlash against the bills, indicating the bills have won overall approval. Still, LGBT activists promise future repercussions.
"A lot of Americans are still getting to know trans people and they're learning about these issues for the first time," Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, told the AP. "Over time, they get to know their trans neighbors, they get outraged by these bans, and corporations respond ... It's just a matter of time."