A biological male who identifies as a transgender woman won a women’s world championship cycling event on Sunday.
Rachel McKinnon, a professor at the College of Charleston, won the women’s 35-39 age bracket at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles, California.
McKinnon, representing Canada, bested Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen of the Netherlands and American cyclist Jennifer Wagner to take home the gold.
McKinnon celebrated the victory on Twitter, writing: “First transgender woman world champion…ever.”
Allowing biological males who identify as transgender women to compete in women’s athletic events has been a controversial subject, as critics have argued that it puts the female competitors at an inherent disadvantage.
McKinnon did not immediately return an email seeking comment for this article.
McKinnon in January was quoted in USA Today arguing against requiring biological males to suppress testosterone as a requirement for competing against women.
“We cannot have a woman legally recognized as a trans woman in society, and not be recognized that way in sports,” McKinnon told USA Today.
“Focusing on performance advantage is largely irrelevant because this is a rights issue. We shouldn’t be worried about trans people taking over the Olympics. We should be worried about their fairness and human rights instead.”
McKinnon also compared restrictions on biological males competing in women’s events to racial segregation.
“This is bigger than sports and it’s about human rights,” McKinnon said to USA Today.
“By catering to cisgender people’s views, that furthers transgender people’s oppression. When it comes to extending rights to a minority population, why would we ask the majority?”
“I bet a lot of white people were pissed off when we desegregated sports racially and allowed black people. But they had to deal with it,” McKinnon concluded.
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