Starting A Conversation
Fairlady|May 2020
When it comes to certain topics, the generation gap seems insurmountable – finding a 20-something and a 50-something with the same taste in music is like finding a unicorn. But how about a contentious topic like transgender athletes, for example? We tested it out – can you tell the age of these women based on the opinions they hold on this controversial issue?
Ashleigh Roman

THE TOPIC

When transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon won a gold medal at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships for the 200-metre sprint in the women’s 35-44 age bracket, it sparked outrage and debate among both competitors and spectators about her ‘unfair advantage’ as a ‘biological male’ competitor.

The Canadian athlete fought back, stating that all her medical records indicate that she’s female and that the idea that all men are stronger than women is ‘nothing more than a stereotype’. ‘By preventing transwomen from competing or requiring them to take medication, you are denying them their human rights,’ she said.

Former British Masters Champion Victoria Hood holds a different view. ‘The science is clear: it tells us that transwomen have an advantage,’ the cyclist told the BBC. In effect, she says, ‘it is excluding women and girls from their own category… it is a human right to participate in sport. I don’t think it’s a human right to identify into whichever category you choose’.

We asked women of different generations to weigh in on the subject, focusing on some of the potential differences (and similarities) in the way they might view social issues. And we kept it all anonymous so they could speak freely. Can you pick out the 20-somethings from their 50-something counterparts?

Sarah*

‘I believe people get to determine their own gender; we’re incredibly lucky to live in a time when options are available and people aren’t forced to live with gender dysphoria and the awful psychological impact of that. People are freaked out by this because they imagine that there are going to be a whole lot of men pretending that they want to be women in order to become champions in women’s sport.

‘Rachel is just one example of a transgender person competing in women’s sports and winning. If there were only transgender people winning in women’s sports, I might have a different take on it.

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