This is a collection of real stories told by athletes, coaches, parents, and citizens that are concerned about the future of women's sports.
They come from various backgrounds and from from all over the world.
I am a hurdler. I am a quarter-miler. Despite the fact that my days of competition have long since passed, I will always hold these distinctions; because I earned them.
I was a State Champion, I was an NCAA Division III National Champion, I trained for the Olympic Trials. Despite the fact that all I have to show for it are the photos and awards on my shelf, I will always hold these distinctions; because I earned them.
My sport, my races were the center of my world, they were my identity. I was always the last one out of the weight room, I was the last one off the track, I was the one doing one extra 400 at the end of a grueling workout that you never thought you would survive. I was the one who was always in Coach’s office riddled with fear that I wasn’t doing enough and I was the one calling him the day after a meet to break down my performance in each race. All I wanted was to prove to myself, and others I suppose, that I was the best and that no one loved the 400 meter hurdles more than I did…that would simply be impossible. I feel confident in saying you can ask anyone who knows me and any of my former teammates who the toughest, most dedicated, committed and passionate athlete was that they trained and competed with and my name would be at the top of the list.
The most gratifying, rewarding, heart-breaking, life-defining moments of my life happened on that track. The most sacred friendships I have were made on that track. The entire trajectory of my life was determined on that track.
I could easily be describing the story belonging to thousands of other young girls and women. THIS is why I am now so passionate about saving the integrity of girl’s and women’s sports that I get goosebumps talking about it. I get angry. I think, how dare you try to take this story away from any young girl in Junior High or High School. How dare you try and take this story away from a woman in college. How dare you try and take this story away from a women vying for a place on the world stage. Do you know what we have sacrificed? Do you know that our sport pulses through our veins? Do you know that this story could be ripped away from us by thousandths of a second? We earned our spot on that track. We succeed because there is a level playing field. That needs to be protected. That needs to be honored. In my opinion, any woman who doesn’t agree isn’t and never was serious about her sport.
Angela is a Founding Member of Save Women's Sports. She currently resides in Minnesota and has been a middle school track coach for five years. She is passionate about preserving athletic opportunities for females, especially young girls.
I’m Beth, the founder of Save Women’s Sports.
I started this alliance after experiencing harassment from gender extremists.
I consider myself an average woman. I wear many hats in life; mom, housewife, entrepreneur, health coach, amateur powerlifter, and now unscripted women’s rights activist.
After training for a couple of years to gain the confidence to compete in a powerlifting meet at the state level, my chance to shine was dimmed by gender rights protesters because a male was not allowed to compete in the women's championships. After the meet they bullied me and other competitors on social media for defending biology.
At that point I realized the need for a platform to speak up in defense of athletic opportunities for women and girls. I am so grateful for everyone who is raising their voice from everyday people to world class athletes. I hope we will empower you to find your voice too.
Join us in standing behind USA Powerlifting (USAPL) and other organizations in their decision to preserve women’s right to fair sports by not allowing male to female transgender athletes to compete with females.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller
"All my life I’ve loved sports. My two favorite sports have been skiing and sailing. In sailing, I actively raced for thirty years and now spend my time in this sport organizing races and regattas.
Over the years I found the most wonderful aspect of sailing is that men and women can sail side by side. It took a long time for others to respect our sailing ability enough to allow us to compete alongside each other. Competing with all women teams was the only way for us to attain the chance to prove ourselves capable on our own without the dominant male taking over the major positions...."
I started playing girl’s lacrosse in 6th grade. Two years ago, I was playing 13U girl’s lacrosse. We traveled to Boulder for two games. One team clearly had two boys on their team – they wore boy’s shorts, had hairy legs, were taller and more muscular than all of us and had much deeper voices. One boy was a defender and one was the goalie. The goalie was twice as big as any of the girls. They didn’t wear the same uniform as the girls. Most girl’s lacrosse players wear skirts – these two had on boy’s shorts – like what the boys wear for boys’ lacrosse.
We were very upset that their team clearly had two boys. There was almost a fight on the sidelines between the parents of our two teams. The goalie made a save and one of our dads said, “Great save by a boy!”. The parents of the other team yelled at him, “You’re insensitive. That’s a girl and her name is Betty”. They squared off, but it did not get physical as one of our moms pulled the angry dad away from the crowd. The Boulder parents were shouting at our dad about how “rude” he was being.
Our team lost to the team with the boys by a narrow margin. Although, considered unsportsmanlike, we girls refused to “tap sticks” with the boys after the game.
In the parking lot after the game, I was crying – we were all crying - not because we lost, but because we were mad that we had to play a team with two boys on it and that made the game unfair and that we felt powerless to do anything about it. As a team, together and united, through angry tears, we all vowed we would not play that team again – if we had to face them in the playoffs, we would forfeit the game in a team unity of protest against the CGLA (Colorado Girls Lacrosse Association) allowing an unfair advantage of “transgender girls” to play girls lacrosse.
We didn’t face them in the playoffs, so we didn’t get a chance to protest – but this team won the championship that year - with the two boys on defense.
This is why I, my parents and my brothers, stand with #savewomenssports.
My name is Lyndsey, and I ran Track and Field and Cross Country for the University of Illinois from 1999-2002. I was a middle of the pack runner in college. It was all I could do to stay on the varsity team and make the traveling squad. Even though I wasn’t first in many races, I was extremely proud of the fact that I earned a varsity letter. In fact, after earning 2 varsity letters I received the coveted “letter jacket” that so many athletes wore around campus. Having that jacket gave me such a sense of accomplishment!
During my sophomore year I was informed that I had been randomly selected for a NCAA drug test. I had never been drug tested before and the athletic trainers told me that the NCAA test would be very strict. The morning arrived and I reported to the facility. I checked in and soon after I was called to submit a urine sample. They gave me a small cup and sent me to the restroom. Inside the rest room there was a female official from the NCAA. She told me that I had to pull my pants down below my knees and lift my shirt to prove that I wasn’t hiding anything. Then I was to urinate into the cup while she stood there watching. The whole thing made me very uncomfortable to say the least, but if I didn’t do this I wouldn’t be allowed to compete. After all, I told myself, the NCAA really wants to make sure there is a level playing field and that no one has an advantage by taking performance enhancing drugs. I did as I was told and exposed the naked lower half of my body to a total stranger, and then urinated into a cup in front of her. I took my cup of urine with me back out to the holding room with all the other athletes. We were all sitting there waiting with our cups of pee trying to make jokes to lighten the situation. Finally, I was called up to a table, an official tested my urine, and I was free to go.
I was willing to do anything in order to compete, and complying with a humiliating drug test is just one example. I’ve stood in garbage cans full of ice water after a tough workout. I’ve limited my food to the point that I had disordered eating. I developed secondary amenorrhea, which is an absence of a period, because of my disordered eating. I was put on birth control pills so that I could get my period back and prevent bone loss. I ran to the point that I got a stress fracture in my tibia. I did all of these things, either willingly or not, in order to be the best runner that I could be.
After all of the hard work and all of the sacrifices I made I was still only a middle of the pack runner who barely made the varsity team. If a June Eastwood had showed up one year I would have lost my varsity spot. I would have lost my varsity spot because the NCAA now thinks that it is a fair and level playing field to allow biological men to compete as women after 12 months of hormone treatments. The NCAA, who required me to strip down half naked in front of a stranger in the name of fairness, now allows men to compete with women. That is just something that I cannot understand.
I no longer argue with transactivists about whether transwomen are real women because you cant argue with someone whose thinking is not based in reality. I do, however, argue that they are not real athletes. A true athlete always wants to compete with people who are better so he or she can keep striving to beat his or her personal best. A real woman who could compete with men would compete with men.
We did not spend countless years fighting for for gender rights in athletic competition, only to have it undone by the hypocritical rantings of the biologically confused transgender community.
Socially, there is no consequence for women. But on the field of sport, they stand to lose everything.
I do not want my daughters growing up knowing how the game will end before it starts. It takes away the magic that healthy competition poses on our children.
I want my daughter grow up competing at school and college or university in teams that are women’s teams, made of biological women ONLY so that she has a chance of a level playing field. So that she actually wants to take part. So she is interested in women’s team sports and feels she has a legitimate place in them. Without that level playing field she won’t be interested. I don’t blame her. Women’s sports must stay only for women or women will disappear from competitive sport. I strongly recommend some sort of national women’s action. Remove your daughters or yourselves from any team sports that only want to provide you with an un-level playing field for a day together. We have to fight this before it spreads right through into all areas of women’s lives.
I was in high school when Title IX was passed, and I played on the second year of intercollegiate women's field hockey and basketball in college. At 5'4, and (then) about 115 pounds, I could not have competed against males. I would not have made the teams if trans-identified men had been allowed. Those all-women's teams, and athletics in general, saved my life. The bonding among my teammates was an experience too many women never have.
The foundation that all-female teams gave me grounded me in feminism, in the power of women, and a lifetime enjoying sports and the company of women. When men are allowed to compete with women, all of this will be lost. It isn't just unfair. It's going to destroy everything I love about women's sports.
We've only had a level playing field in the U.S. since 1972--we can't allow this insanity to take it from us. Women do not consist of sex-based stereotypes. Putting on a wig and a skirt does not make a man a woman. Sex matters. Women are oppressed on the basis of our sex, not our 'gender identity.'
I had started to get back into sport as a thirty-something, for the sake of my physical and also mental health. Roller derby seemed ideal! I'm a lesbian, and I don't particularly like to be around men (yes, I'm a rape survivor too), so a sport advertised as women-only and "queer-friendly" really appealed. I joined the local league and it went pretty well for about a year. Then one day I pushed open the door to the ladies changing rooms to find a young man in his twenties, with long hair and dressed in "girly" clothes, sitting right at the entrance and grinning at me. There was another young man in "woman-face" in there too, along with the dozen or so actual women. It was creepy as hell, and I wasn't the only woman there to start changing in a toilet cubicle instead of the open changing area where these two guys were. More than once, I came out of the toilet cubicle, one of maybe 20 of them, only for one of the young men to immediately go into the same one. Not a different one- he waited to be able to use the specific one I had just vacated. Creepy as hell. I was thrown out of the league, without any hearing with the grievance committee, basically for wrongthink on Facebook (I had posted a very mild critique of this so-called "feminist" culture which encourages young women to reject their bodies and get mastectomies). Head of grievance is a "non-binary" person- basically a woman who doesn't want to be referred to as such. Even the head of the league was uncomfortable with the lack of proper procedure, but clearly wasn't able to challenge the cult. It's part of the world roller derby association rules that if someone *says* they should be in the women's team, then they should be. In a specifically women's sport, full of lesbians, which is pushed as a "safe space" for survivors of sexual violence, men are now prioritized over women. Injuries are common in derby: it's a full contact sport on wheels! I'm sure there are women suffering much more serious injuries than usual because of men playing on women's teams. But they won't talk about it. No-one is allowed to talk about it.
For the past decade I have been a competitive cyclist. My former girlfriend of five years was top level cyclist. We both live in Northern California.
In 2016 or so Evelyn Hound began racing in the women's fields. Hound started as a track racer but then transitioned to road racing. Hound is very clearly a biological male, with above-average height, narrow hips and broad shoulders. In the men's fields, Hound was mediocre at best. Among women, Hound dominated.
Northern California and the sport of cycling are very progressive. Anyone who even questioned whether Hound should race with women was shouted down as a transphobic bigot or hater.
In 2018, when I emailed USACycling to challenge Hound's place in the women's fields, saying that Hound had probably not gone through the International Olympic Committee's steps for trans-athletes, they summarily changed their posted policy. Rather than requiring all trans athletes to adhere to IOC's standard's, USACycling said they would use the racer's "self-identification."
Further, USACycling said that if I wanted to press the issue, I would not be able to do so confidentially. I would have to make a public complaint. But any results of my complaint, including knowledge of whether Hound had gone through the proper steps and hormone therapy, would be kept confidential.
I was nearly as frustrated with USACycling as the female racers were with a biological male in their field.
Ultimately I decided to drop the issue. In the end, my girlfriend and I decided to just not worry about this boy pretending to be a girl. Hound was not a man. Not even close. If nature tried to make a man it failed miserably.
My primary sport in high school was pole vault. Now, my focus is on long-distance running. However, despite devoting so much time to running that it’s almost like a part-time job, I’m a fairly unremarkable athlete. And that’s okay; most people will never be Olympic champions. However, as an “average” runner, I’d like to point out that trans-identified males (TIMs) can have a negative impact beyond the podiums of major races.
A lot of the attention and outrage is rightfully focused on those most visibly affected by males competing as females. The girl who should have been state champion but wasn’t. The girls who stand to lose athletic scholarships. The women who finish lower on the podium at world championships than they should have. But including men in women’s sports doesn’t just hurt women at the tippy-top of their sports. It hurts the girl who knows she will never win a state meet, but dreams of at least qualifying for the competition. It hurts the average runner who knows they will never be an Olympian, but who pushes herself to place in her age group at a small local 5k. All it takes is one TIM to disrupt even these modest goals.
There is a TIM runner in my area. To my knowledge, I haven’t competed directly against him yet, but it’s likely only a matter of time. As someone for whom placing at a local race would be a major accomplishment, I am filled with anger at the thought of this man taking a place on the podium. I feel for all the women whose places he has already stolen away, and I dread the moment that it may happen to me. And when/if it does, there will be no widespread indignation or headlines, because it’s “only” a small race, so who cares, right? This man has not undergone any surgery or hormone treatments; he has simply grown out his hair and changed his name. That anyone could think this makes it fair for him to compete as a woman boggles my mind. Whether they admit it or not, anyone who has spent time in a co-ed athletic environment cannot help but be aware of the differences between male and female. I’ve certainly observed plenty of examples. As a pole vaulter, I watched non-vaulter boys pick up a pole to mess around and clear heights that most girls had to work for a season to achieve – some even coming close to if not breaking the girls’ school record, with no vaulting experience whatsoever. As a cross country runner, I saw that there was only one girl who could keep up with the boys in practice, and even she wouldn’t have had a chance racing against them at a meet. I feel like I’m living in the kingdom of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” – everyone can see how unfair it is for TIMs to compete as women, but nobody wants to say anything.
I’m not a star athlete - never was, never claimed to be but I have had my shining moments. I worked hard for those moments that I have had. It makes me ill to think that those shining moments that make me smile a little bit as I remember them, could have been taken away by someone who is a a male identifying as a female - a transgender It makes me ill to think that someone could take away those future shining moments as I resume racing 5k/10k road races, duathlons and triathlons in my 40’s, after having had 3 children. While those local races may seem insignificant to most people, Competing in those races means a lot to me Not just for placing in my age group, but for setting a healthy example to those 3 nuggets Those 3 nuggets and my husband are my biggest, and loudest, cheerleaders - and to have someone take away those shining moments that leave a huge impression on those children makes me ill I worry most about the impression that a male identifying as a female and beating mom will have on my daughters I want for them to have a healthy lifestyle and compete in whatever sport they want to - ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD - so they can have those shining moments I fear they won’t want to compete in sports if there is a transgender male competing against them, knowing they have an advantage that no amount of training they (my daughters) could do would be helpful in surpassing them This needs to stop and stop now. If you are a male, compete as a male. If you are a female, compete as a female I am not against transgender individuals, I just want to save women’s sports. Growing your hair out, changing your name and identifying as a female should not allow you to compete as a female. You still have the training effects from being male present in your body that women physiologically can not compete with, and this seems to be proven over and over again in multiple different arenas of sport, even if you take medications to suppress testosterone production. Let women have there shining moments and end this now.
Why is this even allowed? The Russians tried it in the Olympics. It was illegal then, should be illegal now. Only losers cheat, and its cheating. Because some man can't beat other men in a sport, he decides he can't beat women. Not right, not fair.
There is NO way biological males should be completing in biological women's sport in ANY way in ANY sport. End of story. Anyone with any kind of minor intelligence can see the insanity of even considering such a thing. Thank you, Sharon Danley
Women should not have to compete against biological men in sports. Women will miss out in scholarships, opportunities, recognition. They will be injured (& already have been). Biological men should compete against biological men.
Men in women's sports is men cheating.
I think it is bizarre this issue exist, it's very obvious to any functional thinking person---men are biologically stronger and faster than women. This definitely gives men an unfair advantage over women---how sad, and unfair this is to all female athletes all over the world.
XY athletes are male. We all learned that at school. There has to be a boundary to protect women and women's sports. A clear line. No male XY can be included in womens sports. Women's sports are for women and girls. So.
The athletic benefits a transwoman has after male puberty, before transitioning to female, is an unequalled biologically-- to that of a natural born woman. It is an unfair advantage on all grounds and will be the death of true female sports. Should they be able to race and compete? Of course! But they require their own organizations/events/categories. Identifying as a gender, is not enough ground to compete against natural born sexes. Gender identity and sex are two separate things. These trans-athletes, even at the collegiate level, require their own safe space to compete. Natural born women should also have a safe space and equal playing field in their respective sport. Thank you!
Men should not be in women's sports and we need to stop the fictional, sparkly unicorn fantasies that men are anything but males and that males can be women. They can't. These are men with gender dysphoria and many who do not have any diagnosed psychiatric condition. Regardless, they are men and have no place in women's sports, no matter the amount of surgeries or hormones they take. These men need to address their issues with other men, not women. It's really not our problem.
I was there at the beginning of Title IX. I was an athletic kid who grew up around a bunch of guys, but I never wanted to be a guy. I was and always will be happy with my femininity. I was a fast kid and wanted to run on a team. I busted my rear in junior high in the early seventies in tryouts for the school track team. I was competitive even though it was clear at age 12-13 that the boys were stronger, leaner, faster. Still, I was in the middle of the pack and worked my heart out to get on that team. The male coaches consistently ran me into the ground and worked me harder than the guys. I was always cut in the final cuts. I was the only girl at that school doing this. They wanted to see me cry. My pulled muscles may have had me in tears at one point. There were no advocates for those of us who did this. No support from gym teachers, coaches, friends, media,... They wouldn't even let me try. Girls like me put up with a lot trying to participate in school sports. Even with Title IX in place, we had to keep working hard for our right to participate. In high school I ran with the guys cross country team in the Fall and the fledgling girls track team in the Spring. At least by then, girls were allowed to participate in cross country, but on the guys teams. There were not any girls cross country teams.There were two girls on my team, and we were never the last runners to finish. The guys were generally faster and stronger though, no matter how much training we did. The coaches and team members completely respected us by then, but we still had to wear the awful, unflattering, uncomfortable uniform that had been picked out for the girls, and track shoes for girls were pretty much non-existent. We kept pushing forward for well over 40 years to where we are today when girls have their own cross country competitions. Do you realize how much work it took to get to this point? Representation for women in sports was a hard won battle and one that should not be given away. 40 plus years also did not change the differences between male and female bodies.Though there are exceptions, the way the female femur sits in the pelvis is a different angle in a woman than in a man. This is visible when women are observed running, and training does not change that nor the thousands of other genetic anatomic differences between males and females. Now I am a 60 something cyclist, and I participate in just enough races to know that guys are still generally faster than girls. I ride and train with them, but they are just plain faster in competition than I could ever be because they are biologically different. I do not know the answer to the trans sports question, but I know that it is not to give up our hard won, pure women's competitions.
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