Caitlyn Jenner calls for rule change in Washington state after trans athlete tops girls’ rankings
Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner has called for a change to Washington state’s “wake-up” rules that allowed a transgender runner to climb to the top of the girls’ rankings after she transitioned.
The athlete, who was born male and has since become female, finished in 72nd place in the league final last year while competing as a boy.
Now, a sophomore at the Seattle Academy competing as a girl, she’s beaten her school’s women’s 5,000-meter cross-country class and ranks first in her league — and clocked a time that would have been ranked 48th had she competed in the boys’ division.
“We have to keep it fair,” Jenner — a Fox News contributor — told the network.
“This problem is not going away, but I really think Washington State needs to make it a little harder. [Transgender students] can’t just identify [as transgender] then compete with women.
Jenner said she blames Washington’s “woke” policies for allowing the situation, which she says is unfair to other girls attending the Emerald Sound conference, which features student athletes from the Seattle Academy.
Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner (pictured) has called for a change to Washington state’s ‘wake-up’ rules that allowed a transgender runner to climb to the top of the girls’ rankings after she transitioned
In 2007, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) adopted the Olympic Committee’s position that transgender athletes can compete in the category of their reassigned sex – provided they have undergone surgery and a minimum of two years of hormonal treatments.
Eleven years later, the WIAA softened its stance, stating that a male student who switches to a female “must have completed one calendar year of medically documented testosterone suppression treatment in order to compete on a female team.”
The requirement for surgery has been waived.
Then, in 2021, the association eliminated all requirements for a medical evaluation and hormone therapy. Its position has changed, allowing athletes to compete in categories “compatible with their gender identity”, according to the association’s guidelines.
“Athletes will participate in programs consistent with their gender identity or most consistently expressed gender,” the WIAA guidelines state.
“School staff responsible for student eligibility will work with the student-athlete to determine eligibility.”
That, Jenner told Fox News, means “you just identify as trans and you can compete on the women’s team.”
She says ‘[the WIAA] made this rule because they felt it was more in line with Washington State non-discrimination laws than they had there.
“I’ve been all along…for this, like this fourth-place woman trying to qualify for the state championships. But there’s a trans athlete in the top three who isn’t allowing her to do that, to fulfill her dreams, maybe get a scholarship. We have to keep it fair,” Jenner said.
The Olympic champion, who is transgender herself, called on the WIAA to change the rules, citing swimming as an example of a sport that has changed its stance on the issue.
According to the ‘Libs of TikTok’ blog which brought to light the story of the second at the Seattle Academy, the parents of other students participating in the Emerald Sound Conference are angry that the athlete was allowed to compete in the category.
A father told the blog that the student was “taller than any of the girls”. He said his daughter was competing for a scholarship, but felt he couldn’t speak out “without being called a bigoted hate”.
The blog also quoted a coach, who said “allowing [the athlete] competing against biological daughters robs other female teams of the chance to compete at State. Whether [the sophomore] competed in the boys division, [they] would rank 56′.
Jenner has spoken out on the issue of transgender women who have not undergone biological transition competing in women’s swimming, including in the case of Lia Thomas, a trans woman who wants to compete in women’s swimming at the 2024 Olympics.
Thomas sparked an outcry over injustice after breaking multiple college swimming records, prompting a crackdown on transgender women participating in the sport.
Jenner has spoken out on the issue of transgender women who have not biologically transitioned competing in women’s sport, including the case of Lia Thomas (pictured), a trans woman who wants to compete in women’s swimming at the Olympics in 2024
Earlier this year, world swimming governing body FINA banned trans athletes from competing in women’s elite races if they have gone through any part of the process of male puberty.
Athletes competing in elite female races if they have gone through any part of the process of male puberty.
He added that he would aim to establish an “open” category, so that swimmers whose gender identity is different from their birth sex could compete.
Jenner thinks FINA has come to the conclusion that it’s not just about current hormone levels, and she shared her experience of how going through male puberty has given her benefits.
Jenner believes that despite identifying as female, it matters whether a transgender woman has gone through male puberty or is still biologically male, both in competitive sports and for how it may make women feel.
Critics of male-to-female transgender athletes say they have an unfair advantage over women after going through male puberty, even if they undergo subsequent hormone treatment during their transition.
They also warn of potential safety issues that arise from having someone with male private parts in a female locker room.
Transgender rights advocates say trans students are vulnerable and should be allowed to fully participate in school or university life as the gender they identify with.
Jenner has come under fire from some trans activists for her stance on the issue, but said she doesn’t mind being labeled transphobic.
WIAA’s “Gender Identity Participation Philosophy”
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) was brought into the limelight by Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, who spoke out against the association’s policy on transgender athletes participating in sports.
After aligning its policy with that of the Olympic Committee in 2007, the WIAA has since relaxed its policy twice.
Most recently, in 2021, the association eliminated all requirements for a medical evaluation and hormone therapy, and allowed athletes to compete in categories “compatible with their gender identity”.
The orientation of the association says:
All students should have the opportunity to participate in sports and/or WIAA activities in a way that is consistent with their gender identity.
Athletes will participate in programs consistent with their gender identity or the most consistently expressed gender. School staff responsible for student eligibility will work with the student-athlete to determine eligibility.
If questions arise as to whether a student’s request to participate in a gender-segregated activity consistent with their gender identity is in good faith, a student may request a review of their eligibility for participation by following the procedure described below.
“Once the student has gained eligibility to participate in the sport in accordance with their gender identity, eligibility is granted for the duration of the student’s participation and does not need to be renewed each sports season or school year.
All discussions and documentation will remain confidential and proceedings will be sealed unless the student and family make a specific request.
The guidelines then outline the process to follow if a student’s participation in an activity under the WIAA is disputed. In the event of a dispute, a notice is sent both to the student and his family, as well as to the WIAA.
The guidelines state that there are then two levels of appeal to a gender identity eligibility panel, consisting of at least three of the following:
- A. Physician with experience in gender identity health care and World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care.
- B. Psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed mental health professional familiar with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care.
- C. School administrator of an unattractive school
- D. WIAA Staff Member
- E. Advocate familiar with issues of gender identity and expression
Eligibility documents must also be provided.