A huge step for transgender rights has been announced: transgender athletes can now compete in their sports without having to undergo gender affirmation surgery. That is to say: trans women can now compete against other women, trans men can now compete against other men -- what's between someone's legs doesn't really affect their athleticism.
“To require surgical anatomical changes as a pre-condition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights,” the International Olympic Committee now says after resisting social and political changes pertaining to transgender rights for a while now.
The new decision doesn't come without caveats, however, especially for trans women. According to TIME: "[Trans women] must declare they are transitioning from male to female at least four years before competing in the new category ... These athletes must also have low levels of testosterone in their system."
More specifically, the guidelines read: “The athlete’s total testosterone level in serum must remain below 10 nmol/L throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category." Those who can not meet these requirements will be allowed to compete in the male category. There are no similar restrictions for trans men.
This is cool, for sure. But what's with all these scientific qualifications around gender? Y'all know gender is like totally made up, right?
And as nice as this is, let's not forget that the Olympics are crazy corrupt in almost every way, so there's that.