Well, "loser" should be in quotations. Because if the race was really just with girls, Fairbanks Hutchinson junior Saskia Harrison might have placed third. But instead, Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot, who was born male but identifies as female, took the bronze. The Blaze shares Wangyot just became the first transgender athlete to compete individually for a high school state championship.
Obviously, not everyone thinks this is fair. Harrison, the girl he beat out, was very honest: “I’m glad that this person is comfortable with who they are and they’re able to be happy with who they are. But competitively I don’t think it’s completely 100 percent fair.”
Another student was even more bold. “I don’t know what’s politically correct to say, but in my opinion your gender is what you’re born with,” said Eagle River junior Peyton Young, who competed in a different race. “It’s the DNA. Genetically a guy has more muscle mass than a girl, and if he’s racing against a girl, he may have an advantage.”
However, Wangyot feels these critics don't understand his plight.In a somewhat confusing statement, he said, “The people who are going to think, ‘It’s not fair to play with the boys’ — well, you don’t know that. It’s not easy. It’s not like I wake up and ‘OK, I’m a girl right now.’”
Alaska Family Action president Jim Minnery and others protested outside the race and said: “We are here today as a voice from the community to ensure that female athletes are not denied the playing opportunities and scholarships otherwise available to them and to make the playing field even again."
"Allowing students to play on teams of the opposite sex disproportionately impacts female students who will lose spots on track, soccer and volleyball teams to male students who identify as female.”
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