Last week, news broke that the “first openly transgender athlete” is set to compete in the 2020 U.S. Olympic marathon trials; Megan Youngren, a biologically male 28-year-old runner who identifies as female, will compete at the women’s trials on February 29.
“I’m open to talking about it to people because that’s the only way you make progress on stuff like this,” Youngren said, as reported by Sports Illustrated magazine.
Youngren started taking hormones in 2011, came out as trans the next year, and finalized transition paperwork just last year, the magazine noted.
The athlete’s impressive marathon times in the women’s division are not easier for Youngren because he’s trans, the runner insisted.
“People will try to put it down by saying, ‘That’s too easy because you’re trans,’” said Youngren. “But what about the 500 other women who will qualify? There’s probably someone with the exact same story. I trained hard. I got lucky. I dodged injuries. I raced a lot, and it worked out for me. That’s the story for a lot of other people, too.”
In order to compete in women’s Olympic events, male-to-female transgender athletes must have their testosterone level below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months before competition, per the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules, noted Sports Illustrated.
The controversial rules do not account for other general physical advantages male bodies have over female bodies, such as greater lung volume, skeletal size and bone mass. Moreover, the IOC is “planning to implement stricter guidelines that could lower the testosterone levels in serum to 5 nanomoles per liter,” Sports Illustrated reports.
“I have done everything by the book, and I can show that,” said Youngren.
Biological males competing in female sports at the high school level triggered a lawsuit earlier this month. As reported by The Daily Wire on Wednesday, three high school girls and their mothers filed suit in federal court against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), which began allowing biologically male athletes to compete in girls’ events and win awards since 2017.
“Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), were denied opportunities to compete at higher levels as boys took home the prizes,” The Daily Wire outlined. “CIAC’s policy allowed two males to compete in girls’ athletic competitions beginning in the 2017 track season. Those boys have taken 15 women’s state championship titles (titles held in 2016 by nine different Connecticut girls) and have taken more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone.”
“It’s very frustrating and heartbreaking when us girls are at the start of the race and we already know that these [male] athletes are going to come out and win no matter how hard you try,” said Soule. “They took away the spots of deserving girls, athletes … me being included.”
“Soule missed qualifying for the state championship 55m final and an opportunity to qualify for the New England championship by one spot in the 2018-19 season as two spots were taken by boys,” The Daily Wire noted.