Male high schooler makes girls' finals at Alaska state track championships
By racing against females, Nattaphon "Ice" Wangyot, a biological male, became the first Alaska high school student to qualify for the state finals in an individual track event.
Wangyot, an immigrant from Thailand, qualified for the finals of the 100- and 200-meter races, finishing 3rd and 5th, respectively.
Not surprisingly, there was some opposition from other competitors.
When Wangyot — a senior representing Haines High School — competed in the state’s track and field meet at the Dimond Alumni Field in Anchorage Friday, she qualified for Saturday’s finals in her events. But Wangyot’s historic achievement did not go unnoticed by her fellow competitors.
“I don’t know what’s politically correct to say, but in my opinion your gender is what you’re born with,” junior Peyton Young, winner of the Class 4A girls 3,200-meter race, told Alaska Dispatch News. “It’s the DNA. Genetically a guy has more muscle mass than a girl, and if he’s racing against a girl, he may have an advantage.”
Wangyot’s results, which bumped biologically female competitors out of potential slots for the girls 100- and 200-meter finals, left some of the ousted girls frustrated.
“I’m glad that this person is comfortable with who they are and they’re able to be happy in who they are, but I don’t think it’s competitively, completely, 100-percent fair,” athlete Saskia Harrison, who just missed the cut for one of the categories, told KTVA-TV.
Stephanie Leigh Golmon Williams, a mother of one of the athletes, said Wangyot’s ability to compete in the girls events was “not fair and it is not right for our female athletes.” She added, “We have a responsibility to protect our girls that have worked really hard, that are working towards college scholarships,” as The Washington Times reported.
To make matters worse, the Alaska School Activities Association’s attempt to clarify the controversy over the fair treatment of trans and non-trans athletes only caused further confusion. Instead of making a decision to either allow or disallow trans students from competing in the gender division of their choice, the ASAA voted unanimously in April to accept each individual school’s policy for its athletes. This move forces non-compliant or neutral schools to pit their female athletes against any potential biologically male ones in competitions.
Haines High School’s subsequent policy reads, “For the purposes of gender identification for interscholastic activities, the district will consider the gender identity based on the student’s consistent declaration of gender identity, their actions, attitude, dress, and mannerisms.”
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the bible of psychiatry, has removed transgenderism – when a member of one sex considers himself a member of the other sex – from its list of "disorders" but still maintains that "gender dysphoria" is a "condition."
That's the clinical definition. But we live in the real world, with practical problems needing practical solutions. One of the problems with "transgender" athletes is that the condition is so ill defined that, as a practical matter, any male can claim to be female – no questions asked.
The NCAA and the Olympics require a male to be on hormone therapy to be eligible for competition among females. No such requirement exists in Alaska, which meant that Wangyot was allowed to compete among the females despite having the muscle mass and strength of a male.
If a person rejects hormone therapy and surgery to make himself look like a member of the opposite sex, why shouldn't we ask legitimate questions about his desire to attempt to change his sex? LGBT activists' heads would explode, but if these people want to be called members of the opposite sex, they have to give us some other reason than simply framing the issue as a choice.
I don't fear that males will dominate female high school sports. Elite female athletes consistently beat average male athletes regardless of how they identify. But it's a question of fairness for female athletes who work hard to excel, only to have a male come along and take their spot.