Courage on transgenders in women's sports, from a courageous surfer

After years of silence over transgender athletes competing in women's sports and winning every prize, a female athlete has come forward to say she won't take it.

Surf champ Bethany Hamilton, in a series of Instagram posts and a video, declared (in the kindest possible way) that she won't compete in surf competitions with transgender (male) athletes.

According to Beach Grit, a popular surfing online e-zine:

The world's most inspirational surfer Bethany Hamilton opened a Pandora's Box yesterday when she recorded a piece to camera damning the WSL's new policy on trans-women [sic] competing in the gal's div at the highest level.

The World Surf League has tentatively opened the door to trans-women competing so long as they've been a gal [sic] for at least twelve months and their hormone levels are real low, although the WSL said it wouldn't be doing the testing, each athlete suppling [sic] their own supporting documents.

"The WSL is working hard to balance equity and fairness and it's important for a policy to be in place," the WSL's newly anointed Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer told adult learner surfer website The Inertia. "We recognize that the policy may need to evolve over time as we get feedback and see new research in the field."

Hamilton, who was thirteen when a tiger shark took off her arm in a bite "so clean and painless she noticed the sea had turned red before she realised her arm was gone at the shoulder", said she was speaking for tour surfers who felt muzzled, agreed with Kelly Slater who called for a trans-only div and said she'd boycott events if it went ahead.

If you weren't aware, Slater is widely hailed as the greatest surfer of all time, winning 11 WSL championships in the men's league.  He's surf royalty.

Hamilton put it in her own words in the kindest possible way:

"I personally think that the best solution would be to create a different division so that all can have a fair opportunity to showcase their passion and talent — and I think it's really hard to imagine what the future of women's surfing will be like in 15–20 years down the road if we move forward allowing this major change," she said.

In other words, she wasn't against male athletes who call themselves female competing — she even supported their competing — but she wanted the contests to be fair.

She also was quite humble:

"I was messaging with a friend who is a part of the (LGBTQ) community and I really don't think at this point there is a solution that will please everyone," she wrote. "There are different world views and that is part of life. I may not have the perfect answer. But I do feel the way I do and will continue to stand firm in what I shared here.

"I mentioned Testosterone because that is how the Olympics and World Surf League decide if you can compete as a women [sic]."

She's obviously right, because right now there is a transgender athlete in Australia who is scarfing up every competitive surfing award in the same way that a University of Pennsylvania male swimmer, "Lia" Thomas, took virtually every swim championship award in the women's league in college competitions

According to Debra Heine, writing at American Greatness in May 2022:

A transgender surfer in Western Australia has become the first person in history to win both the men's and women's divisions of the sport.

This month, 43-year-old Sasha Jane Lowerson crushed the competition in the Open Women's and Open Logger divisions at the West Coast Suspensions Longboard and Logger State Championships, as well as a number of state titles.

Lowerson, whose birth name is reportedly Ryan Egan, won the open women's competitions easily. The results weren't even close.

And Lowerson will keep on winning, making a mockery of women's sports.  The photos within Heine's piece pretty well tell the story.

Who would want to compete in a rigged contest like that?  Hamilton, who is handicapped and through grit and hard work overcame the impact of her handicap, but still has a handicap, can compete against other women and win despite that handicap, but she can't win in a rigged system premised on the fiction that a person with XY chromosomes and XY physical development is an equal competitor to a woman.  It's just reality — nothing personal, nothing transphobic about it, and many trans people do understand this.

I met Bethany in 2004 in Santa Monica at a signing for her book, Soul Surfer, about her life story after the shark mauling, and thought she was a frightened, traumatized young person.  She wore a two-armed puffer jacket over her shoulders to conceal her injury.  Her handlers asked the audience not to ask questions about what it felt like to be chewed up by a shark.  Obviously, some ass had done that, and it was hard on her, and cripes, she was such a young girl.  It was actually too soon after her mishap for her to be book-writing and touring, I thought.  But she was a sweet young woman and a delight to hear for her story of overcoming tragedy — she was, after all, a surf champ before the attack, and losing an arm for surfers, who use their arms to balance on their boards, is like Beethoven losing his hearing.  There was talk at the time of her becoming a surf photographer.

But she had grit, she had a good support network in her Christian family and community in Hawaii, and she came back, a champ, as if nothing had ever happened.  She even had a teen jewelry product line, building her brand as well as financial independence, which enabled her to keep surfing.  She was and is hailed as an overcome-the-odds heroic role model.  She certainly had something.  Many of the write-ups in the news suggest it was easy for her, but based on what I saw, I am convinced it was not.

Nevertheless, she overcame that, and today, she stands as a confident young woman at peak athletic prowess, with many earned championships won despite the odds against her.

Here's a photo from her Instagram. 

Would someone like that, who has achieved all that she has with one hand tied behind her back, as it were, really be one to give in to politically correct rigging — and lose every championship, just so the surf association can claim "a first"?  It seems absurd.  She's got a lot of self-respect and sense of self now, overcoming a lot of odds.  Courage is natural for her.

Hamilton is going to be a tough one for the trans lobby to abuse, as they did to J.K. Rowling and Martina Navratilova, given that people feel naturally protective of her.  Her demeanor was kind and non-combative —inclusive, if you will — her street cred among surfers is tops, and her courage is already well known.  Now she's taken a courageous stance again, one that the girls on the U Penn swim team didn't dare take.  Big huge names in professional surfing, such as Kelly Slater and several other names cited in the Beach Grit piece, are supporting her now, and guaranteed, other professional surfers will follow.

It may well be that the only way for athletes to defeat the wokester onslaught of men competing as physical equals in sports is not to participate in the events.  One way or another, trans athletes will get a league of their own, but there won't be any women in them.  That's bound to have an impact on professional sports — and may well get the wokesters running these tournaments to listen.  It's very interesting that it took humble young Bethany, a surfer who overcame tremendous odds, to lead the way.

Image: Instagram.

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