Rachel McKinnon, transgender cyclist, calls out 'bigots' after winning female world championship


McKinnon (centre) with her competitors.

Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen of the Netherlands and Jennifer Wagner of the U.S.

McKinnon's achievement was lauded by some on social media as even more spectacular because she is forced to suppress her testosterone levels to what she deems "unhealthily low" levels as a pre-requisite for competing. "It's definitely NOT fair", Wagner wrote in response to a controversial tweet by commentator Katie Hopkins, who also spoke against the transgender athlete's participation in female events. He didn't manage to win so the story sort of dropped off the radar, but it was already clear that men were going to be taking advantage of their natural physical attributes in athletic competition in this fashion and bicycling was one of the sports where they would have a serious leg up.

"I think there is absolutely no evidence that I have an unfair advantage", McKinnon said. It's the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. I bet a lot of white people were pissed off when we desegregated sports racially and allowed black people.

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The same can't be said for bronze medallist Wagner - or many other users on Twitter. "People will never attribute my winning to hard work which is what I think I deserve".

McKinnon, an assistant professor at the College of Charleston Department of Philosophy who studies transgender issues, posted a lecture she presented entitled, "Including Trans Women Athletes in Sport", in rebuttal to those citing the ethics and fairness of her being allowed to compete.

She recently told USA Today that policing the testosterone levels of transgender athletes violates their human rights - declaring that should override all debates surrounding potential unfair playing fields for transgender athletes.

"We can not have a woman legally recognised as a trans woman in society, and not be recognised that way in sports", McKinnon was quoted as saying. In a January interview, McKinnon was quoted as saying, "Focusing on performance advantage is largely irrelevant because this is a rights issue. We should be anxious about their fairness and human rights instead". We shouldn't be anxious about trans people taking over the Olympics.