Canadian Professor and Cyclist

After taking a breakthrough win at the 2018 Master’s World Championships last year, 37-year-old master Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon set a new world record becoming the first transgender woman to win a female world title on the track. McKinnon defended her title just a little over a week ago in Manchester, UK as a transgender female, placing first celebrating her second consecutive world title and world record in the 200-meter match sprint.

Her most recent win would once again raise debate over whether trans athletes should be allowed to compete in the women’s category. Over a long period of time, McKinnon has been a fierce defender, in defending her rights to compete in sport. A number of athlete have been expressing their concerns about the inclusion of trans women athletes, arguing it is unfair to other competitors in the sport.

The debate over this controversial topic, whether McKinnon has the right to keep the title of World Champion, still continues. The most recurring argument is that McKinnon lived unambiguously as a man until the age of 29. Researchers that have followed McKinnon stated that she has experienced male puberty and developed her enthusiasm for philosophy and gender studies as she transitioned from male to female.

She is now a professor at the College of Charleston in the Philosophy Department: “I also work on a variety of issues in feminism and feminist philosophy issues relating to gender and queer identities…. I also work on issues arising from stereotype threat and how distributional ambiguity for trans-identified women.” (McKinnon, 2015). Journalists who have been targeting her in their articles tend to mention that she is a professor in her ‘field of experience’ so people believe her and what she has to say. She studies gender studies ad issues related to queer identities. Individuals that do not agree with her success in sport are trying to bring her down by diminishing her professional career.

Rachel McKinnon won the UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championship in the women’s 35-44 age bracket in Los Angeles last week. (Rachel Mckinnon/Twitter)

The sociological issue that is being discussed throughout multiple articles demonstrates negative trans phobic behaviour and discrimination towards McKinnon as she was born as a male and that trans athletes dominate some women’s sport. One training document produced by Gendered Intelligence, and seen by The Mail, urges sporting bodies to ‘challenge’ the idea that trans-women who were born male have an ‘unfair advantage’ when they compete against biological women. However, at present, trans women must undergo multiple tests to prove that they have been taking hormone-blocking drugs to reduce their testosterone levels before competing in women’s sport competitions.

McKinnon has consistently fought for her rights in the women’s category. She is asking to be accepted and she continues to defend her rights in participating in the women’s category. Nobody seems to want to listen to her as she declares her rights. It is stated that all of her medical records say “female”, that her doctors treat her as a female person, and her racing license says “female,” but people who expose her existence will ignore her and consider her as male.

Emma White

Featured image: Rachel Mckinnon as she received her gold medal and her second world title as Canadian cyclist, in Manchester.

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