Caitlyn Jenner, retired Olympic gold-medalist and transgender woman, stated that she opposes “biological boys who are trans competing in girls sports in school” in a recent interview with TMZ. The question was prompted by her announcement made earlier this month that she will be running for California governor.

In her statement, Jenner misgendered trans girls as “biological boys”. Her comment’s have received backlash from trans activists such as Charlotte Clymer who call Jenner a hypocrite for undermining the efforts made by the trans community to secure rights for transgender children.

“It just isn’t fair. We have to protect girls’ sports in our schools,” Jenner said.

Jenner’s argument is similar to those with the belief that men have physical advantages against women because of higher testosterone levels, but most sports programs that allow trans girls to compete in girls sports require evidence of hormone therapy that reduces testosterone levels and prevents the physical changes prompted by male puberty. Additionally, Jenner’s comment about protecting “girls’ sports” excludes trans girls, essentially misgendering trans women (and herself) twice in one interview.

When asked about her position on trans sports in a formal Fox interview with Sean Hannity, Jenner acknowledges that trans youth face significantly more emotional hardships, and poses herself as a role model for them.

“Trans issues, people struggle with big time. Our suicide rate is nine times higher than the general public and for me to be a role model for them, to be out there,” Jenner said.

Despite being aware of the emotional/mental challenges that trans youth face, Jenner supports legislation that bans trans youth from participating in sports. Sports, which research has proven to improve mental health by the UK Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine

There is little to no scientific evidence that concludes trans girls have an advantage over girls in sports and measuring the “fairness” of it is subjective which leaves much room for discussion.

Five states have already begun passing bans restricting trans women from playing on girls sports teams. Republican states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia have already passed bills banning transgender youth from playing sports with the team that matches their gender identity and 34 more states are considering doing the same.

Current California bill AB-1266 allows students in grades K-12 to decide whether they want to play on girls’ or boys’ teams but if Jenner is elected that could change. While the election of California’s first trans woman would be monumental, under the current circumstances, it could bring more harm than good to the LGBTQ+ community.

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