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A transgender activist who won a pioneering legal fight to be identified as neither man nor woman has slammed female athletes as ‘bigots’ if they oppose competing against transgender opponents.
In a unanimous decision, Australia’s highest court allowed the state’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to register a person’s sex as ‘non-specific’.
Now this activist has weighed into the debate about transgender women competing against biological females, saying those who object are bigots.
‘If you’re saying you don’t want to be in a team or compete in a game against a trans person because they are trans, that’s bigoted,’ Norrie told Daily Mail Australia.
Norrie May-Welby, a transgender activist who won a legal fight to be identified as neither man nor woman, claims female athletes are bigots if they are opposed to competing with transgender sporting opponents
‘They are, by far, a minority.
‘Most women involved in community events or sport accept all other kinds of women and don’t say, “I only want to be in a room with white women, or cis women or no trans women or no black women here”.
‘Most people involved in community events have an inclusive approach to things.’
Medical science has found the trans women athletes who went through puberty as a male gained significant advantages in strength, size and speed which were not dissipated or reversed by going on female hormones.
However May-Welby disagreed with that finding.
‘If they’ve had the surgery and they’ve been on female hormones for at least two years, I don’t think they’re going to have a strength advantage anymore,’ the activist said.
‘If they’ve had their testes cut out, they’ve got no testosterone in them.’
Testosterone is produced in women as well as men, but typically more so in males.
Norrie spoke out amid heightened debate on the issue sparked by the candidacy of Katherine Deves for the Liberal Party in the marginal Sydney seat of Warringah after she had made strong comments and campaigned against the involvement of trans athletes in girl’s and women’s sports.
Olympian Emma McKeon agreed with that stance and said it was unfair for biological females to compete against transgender athletes.
‘I personally wouldn’t want to be racing against someone who is biologically a male, so that’s a concern,’ the swimmer told Queensland’s Griffith University’s A Better Future For All seminar on Tuesday.
May-Welby, 60, who was born a man and had a reassignment operation at age 28, won a High Court battle in 2014 to be identified as belonging to neither gender in New South Wales
‘It’s not a new thing, but it’s new in that sport, swimming are going to have to deal with it.’
The issue has also erupted in the U.S. where Lia Thomas in March became the first transgender athlete to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association in women’s swimming, representing the University of Pennsylvania.
Norrie conceded transgender female athletes were more likely to be taller, giving them an advantage in some sports.
‘In a sport like basketball, where height can make a difference, generally people that are assigned male at birth might be taller than most people that are assigned female at birth so you wouldn’t want to have six-foot people competing against four-foot people in a sport where height makes a difference.’
Norrie also mocked Christian fundamentalists opposed to gender reassignment surgery, referencing the story of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis in the Bible.
Norrie has spoken out after Olympian Emma McKeon (pictured at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games) said it was unfair for biological females to compete against transgender athletes
The issue has also erupted in the U.S. where Lia Thomas (pictured) in March became the first transgender athlete to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association in women’s swimming, representing the University of Pennsylvania
‘Real grown-ups don’t believe in a talking snake nor disbelieve in the reality that trans women are women.’
The activist also hit out at Ms Deves after old Twitter posts by the now Liberal candidate had described transgender children as ‘surgically mutilated and sterilised’.
‘That would be like me claiming as a non-Jewish person that all Jews are mutilated because they have circumcision – that’s an outrageous thing to say,’ Norrie said.
‘People are allowed to make their own choices – get their ears pierced, remove their foreskin or have operations on their body to make their gender or sex more appropriate for them without someone else going “you’re mutilated, you’re sterile, you’ve broken God’s law”.’
Norrie said teenagers with gender dysphoria who didn’t take puberty blockers were often at risk of suicide or self harm.
‘More likely when they’re young, probably offered puberty blocking hormones, which is just to stop their body developing in a way that would distress them so much that their likelihood of committing suicide becomes very high.’
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The activist also had a go at the Liberal Party’s controversial candidate for the Sydney Northern Beaches electorate of Warringah, Katherine Deves (pictured), who had last year described transgender children in a social media post as ‘surgically mutilated and sterilised’