Whether you have a place

The BBC a couple of weeks ago:

Twelve months into her gender transition, Grace McKenzie was recruited out of the blue to join the Golden Gate Women’s rugby club in San Francisco.

Cue Rebecca Solnit to remind us how awesome and accepting San Francisco is.

McKenzie says playing rugby has given her a platform to “just focus on living and enjoying myself” – but a new proposal to ban trans women from women’s contact rugby could bring that to an end.

Because, oddly enough, women’s safety and right to fair competition is more important than one trans woman’s “platform to enjoy herself.”

“There’s a lot of rhetoric out there about where trans people fit into sports overall, and it really makes you question whether you have a place, especially as a trans woman playing women’s sports,” McKenzie told BBC Sport.

That’s because men are a danger to women in rugby and so should not play on women’s teams. It’s also because letting men play on women’s teams results in unfair competition. Women’s sport is for women, it’s not for giving men the happy. Men can get the happy in other ways.

“I think the fear of losing rugby as a community and supportive space has been weighing on me quite heavily,” said McKenzie. “There isn’t a moment I don’t worry about losing that access.”

Apparently the safety of the women on the team hasn’t been weighing on McKenzie at all. He worries about his access to the women’s team, but not about the women’s access to the women’s team. Let’s not forget that his presence on the team means there’s a woman who missed out. What about her access? Not his problem, apparently.

“I worry that other sporting federations will look at World Rugby and begin to second-guess the existing science that supports trans women’s inclusion in sport, and begin to make policies based out of a place of fear instead of a place of logic and reason,” said McKenzie.

What “existing science” would that be? Anyway the issue isn’t inclusion of trans women in sport, it’s inclusion of trans women in women’s sport. What is the logic and reason that concludes it’s a good idea to add men who identify as women in women’s sports?

“I would ask them to think about what it would be like to have something that you love, cared about and that brought meaning and happiness into your life taken away from you, and you had been told that that you weren’t able to access that based on who you are as a person,” said McKenzie.

Says the guy who is blithely ignoring the woman he is displacing. What if she loved it and cared about it and it brought meaning and happiness into her life? Where is McKenzie’s empathy for her?

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