The world of transgenders is deeply upset about a recent (since deleted) tweet by (lesbian) tennis legend Martina Navratilova. In a twitter spat against transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon, she claimed that ‘having a penis and competing as a woman’ is not exactly fair.
The ‘transgender world’ found recent statements by 62-year-old Martina Navratilova quite upsetting. In response to a question from her Twitter followers, she stated that women born as men should not participate in women's competitions in sport.
The Czech Navratilova, an eighteen-time grand slam winner (including nine times Wimbledon), stated: "clearly that can’t be right. You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard... "
A very surprising comment as Navratilova is herself a champion for LGBT rights (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and came out in 1981 as bisexual.
Seeing the uproar that she caused, she then added: "To all the people on this thread- I am totally and completely pro trans people or any part of the spectrum. I do not wish to define anyone. All I want is fairness on the playing field. That is it. How we get to that is a discussion for the ages. Actually, every case must be viewed individually ... there can not be really one valid rule here."
Related coverage: Canada - Transgender Women’s Race Winner Slammed By Cycling Fans
Navratilova's statement immediately got criticized by many transgender people, not least from Dr. Rachel McKinnon, the Canadian who crowned (him / her) - self world champion in the women’s competition in October on a cycling track in Los Angeles.
As the first transgender, she won a world title in cycling, after which she took on the defense of transgender rights in sports.
She immediately demanded apologies from Navratilova.
McKinnon: "Do you realize that as a transgender athlete I am a world champion? Genitals do not do sports. Which part of the penis does tennis play? And no, you are not at all pro-transgender (which Navratilova had asserted in an earlier explanation) if you say that female transgendered persons with a penis are not allowed to participate in women's sports. That is transphobic. "
Navratilova, seeing the uproar, removed her original tweet, and apologized seeing McKinnon's swipe. "I'm sorry if I said anything that comes close to transphobic. I did not want to hurt anyone. I will inform myself better about the subject and until then I will be silent about it."
And thus McKinnon, who regularly tweets about the subject, remained angry with Navratilova. "It is not because you have won a lot in the past that you can now afford everything. You've said something very wrong."
McKinnon said in an interview with the BBC last month that she received more than 100,000 hate messages on Twitter after her world title, including even death threats.
Ms Jen Wagner-Assali, who picked up the bronze medal during the race that McKinnon won, said her gold medal was unfair and wants the UCI to change the rules.
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