Across the nation, the transgender community is under attack in state legislatures.
Countless human rights advocates are imploring politicians to stop listening to hate groups and let people live their lives without discrimination.
Newly hired Fox News contributor Caitlyn Jenner, one of the most famous trans women in the world, is doing the opposite.
Instead of using her platform for good or even just remaining silent, she is calling for sports to be segregated between cisgender and transgender athletes.
Every election cycle, there is some sort of manufactured panic to galvanize bigoted voters. This cycle, it’s trans people merely existing.
Caitlyn Jenner is trans herself, but as she wrote in the New York Post, she’s not here to promote equality for the trans community.
After highlighting her lengthy career of sports, she sets her crosshairs on NCAA swimmer Lia Thomas, a fellow trans athlete.
"I have always said that Lia should live her life as authentically as possible," Caitlyn wrote.
"But my hope is that everyone — Lia, yes, but also biologically-born female athletes around the world — can feel that way every single day," she continued ominously.
(She doesn’t explain what "biologically-born female athletes" means, since everyone is born "biologically.")
Presumably she’s using this as a dogwhistle to imply that trans women are "less" female than cis women, which is … deeply gross of her.
"We must protect women’s sports," Caitlyn announced, as if they were in peril. "At all costs."
Cait then claimed: "What Lia has done, beating biological women to win a Division I national championship, is anathema to what sports represents and the spirit of competition."
"Watching Lia completely dominate the competition was heartbreaking and maddening at the same time," Cait wrote.
She went on: "My heart broke for the female athletes who worked their entire lives to reach the pinnacle of the sport just to have it overshadowed by this controversy."
Super weird to express that instead of her heart pounding with joy for the female athlete who won. That’s how every match goes.
"The NCAA should have done the honorable thing to protect these women," Caitlyn claimed. It is their obligation to do so."
She accused: "Yet, the NCAA caved to the woke mob and refused to protect women, on all levels."
No one who says "woke mob" unironically is a good person, but Caitlyn’s not really trying to hide her malice, here.
Caitlyn went on to threaten to continue to attempt to sabotage any steps for trans progress that don’t benefit her personally, in essence.
She’s happy to use her voice as loudly as she can to echo numerous transphobic claims, volunteering as a mouthpiece for bigoted politicians.
Cait is also using classic transphobic language, referring to "biological boys" to discuss trans women and girls. An odd choice for a trans woman.
This whole piece, and Fox News’ intended role for Caitlyn, is very familiar.
"Straight from the horse’s mouth" arguments crop up in almost any human rights conversation.
Essentially, you look at a group of millions of people, cherrypick the few who will speak against the crowd, and give them a platform.
We all witnessed this happen in recent decades during the push for marriage equality.
Sure, thousands of couples lined up at courthouses, but a gay man saying that he didn’t believe in same-sex marriage or didn’t "need" marriage was given equal attention.
This is always a tactic used by people to push against human rights — out of sincere bigoted beliefs, to fuel their political ambitions, or both.
Now, Caitlyn is being trotted out because she’s one of a small handful of famous trans individuals who are happy to throw the rest of the community under the bus.
It’s harder to say why she is so eager to be used to harm countless members of a vulnerable minority.
Maybe she’s desperate from approval that she will never receive. Maybe she just doesn’t know how to care about other people. (Or both?)
One of the major arguments made by proponents of segregating trans athletes and cis athletes is a claim of "biological" differences.
After all, it’s unfair to let one athlete compete if they have a major physical advantage over others, right?
Well, no. That’s actually kind of the whole idea behind a lot of sports. Anyone know of many famous short basketball players?
Everyone has biological differences that may or may not give them an advantage in sports or a host of other activities.
These aptitudes can be honed, from lung capacity for tuba players to endurance for cross country runners, through dedication.
But attempts to portray transgender people as superhuman juggernauts and kinesthetic savants also blow alleged differences out of proportion.
Caitlyn Jenner, alongside countless other trans people, was not able to live as herself until she was well into adulthood.
It is never too late to come out or to be yourself, but adulthood is generally "too late" to avoid going through an unwanted, wrong puberty process.
For many trans people, that is no longer the case, as puberty blockers can allow them to stave off hormonal changes until years later, when they’re ready for the right puberty.
What does this have to do with athletics?
Well, it means that a trans woman who received personal and medical support from an early age may have never had testosterone restructuring her body.
If she doesn’t have a puberty-borne height advantage or leg length or muscle tone or whatever other imagined superpowers … what advantage does she have, exactly?
It’s true that some women might be taking estrogen.
(Yes, we’re focusing upon women who are athletes, because transphobes are in general and because Caitlyn is)
But estrogen is not a performance-enhancing drug.
Anyone can point to a trans athlete’s victory and claim that it’s due to their trans-ness (as opposed to pointing to a cis athlete to say the same, apparently).
But even if trans athletes really were all superhumans, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, segregating sports would not be the answer.
Why? Because segregation is wrong, separate but equal is inherently unequal, and demonizing a vulnerable minority for political gain is abhorrent.