I am really starting to get the itch to run some trails but, alas, they are either snow- or ice-covered or insanely muddy. In a few weeks...…
The Western States Endurance Run has announced a new Transgender Entrant Policy. As expected, there are (disturbing) elements of the ultra world, which is supposed to be an inclusive community or so I thought, going bananas over the new policy. The comments on WSER's Facebook feed made me really sad. As with several things in life, I really question how many of the naysayers actually read the policy and thought about it--you know, using critical thinking skills--before rendering reactive judgment.
First, the numbers: According to what I could find, about .06% of the population identifies as transgender. That percentage is going up. If you carry that percentage into your average starting field for Western States (370 runners, give or take), we are talking about 2 runners who may identify as transgender and run in the gender division with which they identify.
The naysayers are mostly naysayers because they have a world view steeped in dogma and, as per usual, lack critical thinking skills. When they see something they don't agree with, they immediately get reactive and spout off their world view without really thinking through the issue, turning it over in their brains, and actually considering viewpoints other than their own.
Plus, do they pray over these issues? I do and what I hear from God is to be inclusive and welcoming of all who live in good faith. It is not my place to exclude; it is my place as a human to love, include and support others who are seeking to bring their best selves.
All that to say, the naysayers are a reactive bunch and what is being spewed on WSER's Facebook feed on this issue is just more of the same as far as what's going on in America.
In closing, it is a thoughtful policy. The essentials of the policy:
- "A male-to-female transgender entrant can register for the race as a female provided the runner has been undergoing continuous, medically supervised hormone treatment for gender transition for at least one year prior to the race."
- "A female-to-male transgender entrant can register and compete as a male with no restrictions. The only exception is female-to-male transgender runners can no longer register to compete as a female if they have begun hormone treatment related to their gender transition that includes testosterone or any other banned substance."