A Change.org petition was posted to stop a transgender athlete from becoming the first-ever to compete in the Olympics.
Over 21,000 people have signed the call to stop New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard from being the first transgender woman to participate in the Olympics.
Hubbard was born male, but she fully transitioned to female in 2012. For the past ten years, she has competed as a weightlifter in multiple New Zealand competitions.
The Change.org petition contends that because Hubbard was born a man, she is at a physical advantage over the female-born competitors.
The official Olympics rules state that to compete as a female, a person must have a maximum of ten nanomoles per litre of testosterone. A biological female has five times less than that.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in full support of Hubbard going to the Olympics.
“Parties here have simply followed the rules. That’s the case for Laurel but also the team in New Zealand – they have followed the rules. The alternative is to have someone who followed the rules but then is denied the ability to participate,” Ardern said.
The International Olympic Committee developed rules that state women assigned female at birth can compete as a transgender athlete as long as they have not been taking testosterone.
This ignited a heated discussion in the transgender community that claimed the regulation is transphobic, referring to the IOC’s own rules that “the practice of sport is a human right.”
Some argue that biologically male-to-female transgender athletes are at an advantage when competing in female competitions because they have higher testosterone levels — and some public figures agree.
Caitlynn Jenner, a former Olympic athlete and now a transgender woman, said she’s against transgender women competing in female competitions.
The Olympics are set to kick off in Tokyo on July 24.