While so much of the recent debate over gender identity rights has centered around what might happen inside the restroom, a recent case out of Alaska is raising questions about what happens on school athletic fields as well.
It happened after Alaskan high school senior Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot — who was born male but self-identifies as a girl — was allowed to compete in the the girls’ track state championships, reportedly the first time that’s happened in Alaska’s history.
When Wangyot — who, as Fox & Friends points out, still has a male physiology — edged out other high school girls to take home two medals from the championships, it sparked a debate about exactly whose rights are being violated.
Outrage as transgender pupil Nattaphon Wangyot wins female track race | Daily Star: https://t.co/S9HoT1XPKa
— pops (@pops131) June 7, 2016
This has been especially true for both the students competing against Wangyot and their parents, who have said that they “don’t think it’s competitively completely 100-percent fair” for the transgender athlete to take part in the all-female competition.
“…A male DNA athlete was on the podium today taking the place of a naturally born female!
He bumped Aurora Waclowski off the award stand. She has been top three since freshman. As a parent I would have been livid!”
That statement, in turn, prompted one of the athlete’s parents, Jennifer VanPelt, to come forward and say:Image Credit: Screenshot/Facebook
To which Wangyot, the transgender athlete who sparked the debate in the first place, responded:Image Credit: Screenshot/Facebook
It was an opinion that VanPelt clearly didn’t appreciate:Image Credit: Screenshot/Facebook
After noticing the Facebook exchange, media organization Rare reached out to VanPelt, who doubled down on her opinions:
“At our state track and field meet they award medals and a spot on the podium to the top 4. Allison placed 5th. We had no idea she was running against a male until after the race was over.
She was upset. How do you explain to her that not only does she need to train to beat her fellow female athletes now she should also train to beat the males?”
“Well yes, that person does have a man’s body…
In other words physiology. It’s true, male athletes can often perform much more substantially than female athletes…”
Meanwhile, VanPelt says she’s not certain how schools should handle transgender students, but thinks that this is clearly an example of one student being given an “unfair advantage” over another.
While some have suggested that VanPelt’s daughter should boycott future competitions, the mother has pointed out that such a move could cost her daughter valuable college scholarships, causing her to ask: “…who is that really hurting?”