Trump Threatens to Ban Trans Women from Competing if Reelected


AP Images

Lia Thomas stands for the pledge of allegiance before a Philadelphia swim meet.

Lindsey Lankford, Staff Writer

Former President Donald Trump has delivered several speeches in his “Save America” tour. Although Trump spoke about several different plans for if he is reelected, one in particular stood out to me. 

During his rally in Conroe, Texas, Trump said “We will ban men from participating in women’s sports.”

The claim many people take when they argue whether transgender women should be allowed to compete as women is that they have a physical advantage over cisgender women.

This is not what Trump said when he called transgender women “men,” however.

If Trump wanted to indicate that he wanted to ban individuals who have XY chromosomes from competing with women, he should have said so.

Instead, he disrespected these athletes by neglecting to acknowledge their gender identity. 

Trump went on to call out Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer at the University of Pennslyvania. 

According to NBC, Thomas gained negative media attention in December of 2021 when she won several races, one by over 30 seconds. 

Critics were quick to attribute Thomas’ success to her biological sex.

Thomas, however, had been on hormone therapy for two-and-a-half years before competing; this is more than double the NCAA requirement for transgender athletes. 

Even after abiding by these rules, transgender athletes such as Thomas are receiving harsh criticism. At this point, these critics are being transphobic.

They point out and attempt to eliminate the supposed advantage transgender athletes have over cisgender athletes in sports. 

They do not, however, acknowledge other biological advantages.

According to Enhance Physiotherapy, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is 76 inches tall with an 80-inch wingspan. Most people’s heights and wingspans are about the same, but Phelp’s long wingspan gives him an advantage for swimming. His large hands and feet also act as flippers in the pool.

No one is arguing that Phelps should be stripped of his medals due to his long arms. 

Simone Biles, on the other hand, has a small stature and a high strength-to-weight ratio, according to ESPN. She is shorter than most of her teammates by several inches, giving her an advantage when performing flips.

No one is arguing that Biles should be stripped of her medals due to her short stature. 

According to the BBC, Bolt is 6-foot 4-inches tall. Although his large frame causes more wind resistance, his long legs allow him to take three to four fewer steps than his competitors in the 100-meter dash. His long stride gives him an advantage over his average-height competitors.

No one is arguing that Bolt should be stripped of his medals due to his height. 

Despite these athletes having certain genetic advantages that benefit them in their sport, hard work and dedication to their craft is what allowed them to become household names. 

Their accomplishments aren’t being diminished due to their genetics, so the same respect should be given to transgender athletes. 

Thomas obeyed NCAA rules by taking hormone therapy for at least one year before competing as a woman. She still faces criticism not because of a genetic advantage, but because of transphobia. 

If Trump runs for office in 2024 and wins, his plan to ban transgender athletes in women’s sports will be a large step back for the trans community and a demonstration of his transphobia as he is unable to accept these women for who they are.