Gaysi recently came up with this wonderfully relevant article called the ‘The Gaysi Guide to Addressing Trans Folx’ which spoke of the need to respect a trans person’s identity as well as make spaces more trans-inclusive. What struck me more than the article itself however was a comment right below their Instagram post, which posed the question ‘Should trans women be allowed to participate in cis women’s sports? Because their physique and higher levels of testosterone gives them an unjust winning edge’. The question didn’t surprise me at all, in fact, it was relatively harmless and almost cordial compared to the toxic bile one often finds below, say a YouTube video related to trans issues. The question, despite being seemingly unremarkable in every respect, did reveal a fundamental problem among cis people in their general attitudes towards trans acceptance.
In a country where a good majority of trans people are living in abject poverty, are rejected by their families, are subjected to conversion therapy or even honor killing, are deprived access to essential facilities for not possessing the right kaagaz, and are constantly treated as an alien within their own community – cis folks are actually worried the possibility of us – and the ‘us’ here usually refers to trans women – entering competitive sports and becoming the next Dutee Chand! Yes there are a few trans women who have competed in sports, and mostly these are in the West, and this piece isn’t intended to engage in a debate on the validity of their participation in the women’s category (thanks to living in a binary-obsessed & unnecessarily competitive world). What amuses me is that a post advocating for trans people’s admittance in gender-segregated spaces for cis people immediately triggered a question on ‘competitive sports’. Priorities, priorities. This is hardly the first time I’m seeing an ignorance being passed by a cis person. Just two months back the famous J K Rowling penned an entire letter that was astoundingly ignorant about trans identities. I don’t usually let these things affect me much, I can’t afford to – I’d be an absolute wreck crumpled somewhere otherwise! But the writer in me itched to pen a little rejoinder to the gentleman (of course, had to be a man) who believes the only thing on our mind right now is becoming PT Usha (this is all in good humor, okay!):