Exploring Gender: Gabrielle Ludwig and Trans* Athletes
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Exploring Gender: Gabrielle Ludwig and Trans* Athletes




Being trans* and trying to pursue any career in sports is incredibly hard. Most associations consider hormones to be performance enhancers, so when you try to transition and be an athlete, the road can be rough or even impossible. One woman at Mission College in Santa Clara is breaking those barriers.

Gabrielle Ludwig walked on midseason for the Mission College Saints women’s basketball team. A Navy veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Ludwig has been subjected to threats, calls, and the ignorance of ESPN radio hosts, even offering to quit the team since she felt like such a distraction to her teammates with the attention she garnered. Her team, though, stood by her (Associated Press).

To play in the NCAA as a trans* person, as stated in a release by the association, there are different requirements:

  • A trans male (female to male) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for gender transition may compete on a men’s team but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing the team status to a mixed team.   A mixed team is eligible only for men’s championships.
  • A trans female (male to female) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for gender transition may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of documented testosterone-suppression treatment.

Hopefully more athletes will be able to come forward under these rules and play, but so much ground is left to make up in the arena of trans* people in athletics. What other stories have you heard, or what changes would you like to see? Let me know in the comments, message me here or on tumblr, or email me your answers.

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