Looking at this from a three-pointer perspective, the basketball star Brittney Griner is at the receiving end of conspiracy theories. The traditional conforms of femininity have always been a hot debate. Anything that deviates from the spectrum becomes a question of gender identity.
The 32-year-old two-time Olympic medalist stands tall at 6 ft 9 in (2.06m), over 200 pounds in weight, with an arm span of 222 cm, and wears US men’s size-17 shoes. Her physical stature is not only ideal but highly sought-after for basketball, regardless of gender.
After her 10-month-long detainment in Russia for drug-related charges, Brittney speaks at the ‘Bring Your Family Home’ press conference at the FootPrint Centre, Arizona, on 27th April. Her sentimental responses to her release and gratitude can be heard in her voice.
And that’s exactly what netizens heard for the first time— her voice! The comment section blew up with myriads of opinions. Brittney’s deep baritone took center stage rather than the bigger issue of detained Americans overseas.
Thus begins the unofficial trials of misgendering Brittney Griner…
Did Brittney Griner Expose Herself as Transgender?
Brittney Yevette Griner, born on 18th October 1990 in Houston, was officially assigned female at birth.
She played for Baylor University in Waco, Texas, setting an all-time single-season record for being the greatest shot blocker in Women’s Basketball history. And by 2013, she was drafted into the WNBA as the first overall pick.
At no point in her career has she ever come out as transgender. And she always identifies by the She/Her pronouns. She was vocal about her sexual orientation soon after her debut when she married her fellow member Glory Johnson in 2015; after her divorce, she is now married to Cherelle Griner. In fact, Griner has always advocated for trans women to participate in women’s sports.
Her transparent life in public eyes should be enough evidence of her gender. Then why is she subjected to not just speculations but people calling her a “man,” as a matter of fact?
Gender Identity Policing in Women Sports
Trans visibility movement has brought forth the right exposure to their rights. The main purpose was to integrate them into society without prejudices.
As the movement gained traction, sports federations faced a huge dilemma of identifying the significance of gender and sex in competition.
The debate centers around biological vs. hormonal advantages for transgender women. Although both sides have compelling arguments, the verdict was in favor of the exclusion of transgender competitors– World Athletics bans transgender women from entering elite female competitions if they have gone through male puberty.
Why Is the Exclusion of Transgender Women Harmful to All Women?
As per the Science.org report— there is not enough supporting evidence to claim that transgender women have an advantage over cis women. Athletes’ lab results on muscle mass and hemoglobin levels do not determine who would perform well in what area of sports.
A scientific consensus with eight women infers that they have no advantage over cisgender women as transitioning slows down their race time.
Testosterone levels are an important indicator since it increases muscle mass, hemoglobin levels, and strength. Excluding transgender women from elite competitions will hinder the studies further. The armchair experts will overpower the false narratives.
Why Is Misgendering Brittney Griner Highly Problematic?
The anti-trans side is adamant in proving that genetic makeup is the absolute marker of an athlete’s performance. Which implies that physiological appearance accounts for gender identification.
Such myths reinforce the right to invasive tests on athletes, especially women. Dutee Chand, Stella Walsh, Santhi Soundarajan, Caster Semenya, Ewa Klobukowska, and many more were banned from sports competitions on accounts of— being “not female enough.”
Brittney Griner, whose career is surmounted by greatest feats, is the latest target of the vicious assumptions. This will only further the external agency to control women in sports.
What do you think about Griner being suspected as trans? Do you think gender stereotypes have a place in this decade?
What do you think about trans inclusion in sports? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.
She is a biological female. I she wants to eventually pee standing up is irrelevant.
What is relevant is she might be taking a performance enhancing drug. Steroids or estrogen blockers ( still just steroids).
That is not a level playing field. No drugs at all in sports
Britney is obviously taking hormones and has her breasts removed. Taking testosterone is ILLEGAL in all sports, even for males. Why is she allowed to have an unfair advantage?
She is obviously a trans man, but we all know why she is not identifying as a man, so she can play womens basketball.
I do believe she is transitioning. If so and she is on male hormones just say so. I for one don’t believe in this transitioning stuff. You are what you are. Either male or female. Accept what you and deal with it. I guess I am just too old to accept this foolishness.
I believe she was assigned F at birth. That alone indicates she is of the female sex. Athletes should be required to submit to genetic tests. Anyone with XX chromosomes is female; anyone with XY chromosomes is male. Those with XY chromosomes should not be allowed to compete on a women’s team, no matter what “transitioning” they have done or when. It’s really quite simple. Without such rules, there eventually will not be any title IX at all.
I’m sorry but if she is transitioning she should not be allowed to play on a female team. She’s getting male hormones and has obviously changed her body and voice she should not be allowed to compete on a female team even if she was born female she is transitioning to male hello
I fully agree with the comment above. As for the article, it definitely seems that Brittney Griner was born female but is transitioning. If you compare the clip above to an earlier clip of her speaking at a GLAAD awards ceremony, it’s obvious her voice has deepened. It was also obvious at the GLAAD ceremony that she does not have breasts. Her chest actually looked concave. It appears she’s had them removed and I believe she’s on male hormones, which is why her voice is even deeper now than it used to be.
The whole point of having males compete with males and females compete with females is so that it will be fair for all athletes. Biological males are naturally going to have a physical advantage over biological females. That’s just biology, and science. If I were a female athlete, I certainly wouldn’t want to compete with a biological male, because I know I wouldn’t have a chance at winning. Now if a trans woman wants to dress and be identified as female, and be referred to with female pronouns, that’s totally fine. As a biological female myself, I have issues when biological males start invading our sports and safe spaces meant only for females. Just because you declare yourself “female” doesn’t mean you can just compete in women’s athletic competitions or use women’s showers and other private spaces. Trans women deserve to be respected snd not mocked, jeered at or despised. All human beings should be treated with dignity. But trans women athletes should compete with other biological males because that is what they are: a male. That’s not being transphobic, that’s reality. That’s biology. Perhaps in the future, a third category should be added that will include “all other athletes” so that trans women trans men can participate in competitions without controversy. This is my opinion.