Idaho runner speaks out against trans athletes in women’s sports, calls for girls to ‘speak up’

A female American college athlete has described the experience of being beaten by trans athletes as “extremely deflating,” urging women in the state where a transitioned swimmer has broken records not to be afraid to talk.

Idaho track athlete Madison Kenyon went to court when the state’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which bans trans women from competing in women’s sports, faced a legal challenge.

Now 20, Kenyon said she was first beaten by a transgender rival as a 14-year-old, and is imploring fellow athletes in Pennsylvania, where Lia Thomas, formerly a biological male competitor called Will has been breaking records in the pool.

“I just want to say to the female athletes in Pennsylvania, don’t let anyone silence you,” Kenyon told FOX. “Speak up: tell the NCAA, your athletic directors and your coaches that you want fair competition, because speaking up about this is nowhere near as scary as it seems and the amount of support is overwhelming.”

Current NCAA rules state that transgender athletes can compete alongside collegiates born as women once they have completed 12 months of hormonal treatment.

“It’s extremely deflating,” Kenyon said of her defeats against trans participants. “I’ve experienced it five times, and each time I’ve lost to biological males. The fact that that’s still happening, women are still losing to biological males in their own sport and this shows why we need more female athletes to speak up about this.”

Idaho Governor Brad Little signed legislation into law in 2020 based upon the ‘inherent, physiological differences between males and females’.

Lindsay Hecox, a Boise State University athlete, was joined by an unnamed 17-year-old student in challenging the laws on the basis that they were unconstitutional and a violation of rights.

Speaking to the American Civil Liberties Union, which supported her case, 19-year-old Hecox explained at the time: “What I want to do is just run, have a team, have friends on the team just supporting me and all of us running together.

“There’s no vindictiveness there of me trying to take away girls’ scholarships or trophies or places. I just want to be one of them — I am one of them.” Hecox said she had felt “othered” by the idea of a separate category for transgender atheltes.

“When I thought about training only as male or with other trans girls, it really shocked me,” she said. “It would feel so embarrassing. I wasn’t really sure what to do because I thought, ‘oh, it’s just another attempt to take away some rights.’ When I feel this amount of sadness and emotion from a law like this passing, it makes me want to keep wanting to be an activist.”

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