Years ago, like, 34 years ago I was in High School. Yup, I’m old as dirt. I went to HS in suburban Minneapolis in Brooklyn Park called Park Center. We were the Pirates and while I just made sure they hadn’t changed their mascot for fear of offending Pirates, I found on the wiki page that the motto of my former High School is, “Once a Pirate, Always a Pirate.” I’ve literally never heard that but to be fair I didn’t pay attention much in H.S.
During the three years of time served at Park Center, we remained in the same homeroom with the same homeroom teacher. I have no idea if this is normal, once I was released I stopped thinking anything about my days incarcerated. (Can you tell yet that I wasn’t a fan of High School?) Our homeroom teacher was Mr. Sturges. He was one of the football coaches and kinda bad ass so I was fine with the situation. I remember two or three of my fellow inmates, one named Tom (super nice guy I would talk to here and there) and one named Bill (super nice guy I didn’t talk to much at all.)
Today’s story is about Bill. See, since we were stuck together for three years on a school day daily basis there were times we’d visit with each other. I was probably more of a listener but again, don’t remember. I DO remember that from one of the first weeks of the 10th grade when we started our sentence, Bill shared that he was going to go into the Air Force and be a fighter pilot. Geez, that’s cool. I had an idea that I wanted to be a flight attendant and though I kept it to myself, felt a bit of a kinship with Bill over our mutual interest in flying while recognizing my path was very different.
Fast forward three years into the mid-winter of our senior year and I came into homeroom with the usual desire to be anywhere else than school and noticed a dark atmosphere in the classroom. Has that ever happened to you? You walk into a room completely oblivious to others in the world and suddenly you know you’ve stepped into somber energy without knowing why? Well, in homeroom, that day was somber.
I looked over at Mr. Sturges and he kind of shook his head in a “don’t ask” way and then I noticed that nice guy Bill was very sad. Like, death in the family sad. He wasn’t crying but you could tell he’d been crying. Whatever was happening, it was a bad day. Finally, the bell rang, Mr. Sturges went to close our door (something that happened rarely) and looked over at Bill one last time who slightly nodded his head and gave Mr. S that he could share what was happening.
Seriously, as someone who goes to worst case scenario in a flash, it was terrifying. Mr. Sturges seriously and solemnly (so basically super serious) announced that Bill had just found out that he was ineligible for entrance into the Air Force because of a physical limitation (I believe it was his eyesight but I can’t remember exactly so am going to be vague and say physical limitation.) That as a homeroom where we’ve been together for two and a half years, can we give him some support and do our best to quash rumors if we hear them. Bascially, get Bill’s back.
Well, ya, sure. That’s easy. But I let that somberness stay with me a bit that day. See, I knew how it felt to have dreams crushed. I took it seriously. It’s a huge bummer. Bill had been talking for over two years that this was his dream and plan and suddenly it’s over. That. Sucks.
So, Bill couldn’t join the Air Force in a function he had planned on because he was physically unable to fit the parameters the Air Force had set for their pilots. He couldn’t play. Again, that totally sucks.
And now here we are, with a “Bill” situation in women’s athletics. See, men who no longer want to live as men and wish to change their identity to women AND wish to continue to compete in sports that have meant so much to them in their male past without the somber ‘Mr. Sturges’ conversation that this can’t be because the physical parameters are not compatible. SO, what do we do? We say, ‘well okay, have at it.’ We don’t say, “WHoaaaaaa there partner, we better look at this with thought and foresight as to what that means for the girls and women who have already filled these athletic classes to make sure your desire to live as a woman and compete in a women’s class even though you have spent time as a boy who’s gone through puberty or outright as a man in sport is the right thing to do!” Nope, that didn’t happen.
The IOC opened Pandora’s box by saying, “Well, ya, ok go ahead.” Instead of playing the big bad role of Bill’s U.S. Air Force and reminding these men that they are men and inserting them into a women’s class would be HUGELY unfair and we better make sure we’re on the right side of things here, the IOC just said, “fuck women’s athletics. We don’t really care anyway and really just want to avoid the bad publicity of a lawsuit or the impression that we are intolerant or transphobic. All we’re doing is sacrificing women, carry on!”
So for the last 10 years we have been hearing about boys and men taking girls and women’s state high school titles; world titles; accolades that belong to women now going to men, and even college scholarships to women’s teams even though other than hair and makeup and possibly a breast implant surgery, they live biologically as a man.
Oh well, it’s just women’s sports. We’re supposed to be good little girls and just move aside because people who choose to live outside their biological setting don’t want to sacrifice their desire to compete. In fact, quite the opposite. They (those doing it, not the general transgender population) have no problem expecting girls and women to sacrifice OUR hopes and dreams tied up in sport. Nope. Fall in line or beware of the Transsport lobby that will quickly go after you in the press, social media, and anywhere else they can.
Now you’re the enemy and if you DARE speak out against men competing in women’s classes. You will be called names; you will be attacked on social media as not being smart enough to understand that there is actually no advantage for men competing in women’s classes, along with other various amounts of fun.
Well, some of you have actually met me and understand how I roll. That being, I give no shits. Men competing in women’s sports classes is wrong. It is unfair. It is cheating. It demolishes a fair playing field that is the Olympic spirit:
The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
Fair play. It is one of the foundations of the Olympic movement. Fair play. We can go back over 8 years with modern day advanced drug testing to see if someone cheated in a former Olympics to ensure fair play was achieved and yet we allow boys and men who’s testosterone levels ENSURE that fair play is not allowed to compete in Women’s classes. We recognize World Records and even, god help me, award Top Female Athlete accolades to a male.
**as an aside, I creeped on my former high school classmate’s social media and saw that he DID serve 24 years in the Air Force so whatever physical limitation he initially had to deal with was fixed. It’s too bad it’s not that easy in the transgender world of sports. We can’t Lasikvision the physical advances of puberty out of a male. Sorry.
So congratulations to the nice guy in my homeroom named Bill who got to live out his dream after all and serve our country in the process. Unfortunately, there are girls and women around our country who don’t get to live their dream. But that’s okay right? It’s only women’s sport.
I don’t see any point in playing the game if you don’t win, do you?
Babe Didrikson Zaharias