Fact Check: It's NOT True That No Athletes Assigned Female At Birth Transitioned, Tried To Compete In Men's Sports

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: It's NOT True That No Athletes Assigned Female At Birth Transitioned, Tried To Compete In Men's Sports Many Athletes

Is it true that there are no athletes who were assigned female at birth, transitioned and tried to compete in men's sports? No, that's not true: Although transgender female athletes such as swimmer Lia Thomas have received attention for their participation in events that align with their affirmed gender, there are also transgender male athletes who have tried to compete in men's events.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post on June 11, 2022. The post featured a meme that reads:

I wonder why there are no women transitioning to men and trying to compete in men's sports.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

transitioning to men FB post.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jun 14 15:25:18 2022 UTC)

One example of a transgender male athlete who received media coverage is Chris Mosier, a triathlete and duathlete who was the first out transgender person to represent the United States in international competition. Mosier has been vocal about his experiences as a transgender athlete at the professional level.

Other transgender male athletes include swimmer Schuyler Bailar, the first transgender athlete to compete in an NCAA Division I men's event, and boxer Patricio Manuel, the first transgender man to box professionally in the United States.

There are also barriers in place for transgender athletes -- particularly transgender girls and women -- who would like to compete in divisions that match their affirmed gender. In the case of transgender boys and men, a notable example is wrestler Mack Beggs, a two-time Texas high school state champion in the girls' division. Beggs wanted to compete in the boys' division but was barred by a state rule that required him to compete in the division that corresponded with the gender he was assigned at birth.

Since the controversy, Beggs has spoken out against bills that present further obstacles for transgender athletes. A list of such bills -- some of which propose that athletes should only be eligible for the division that supposedly matches their anatomy -- can be found at this resource from transathlete.com, a website founded by Mosier, and here.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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