Instagram | @rachelvmckinnon

Transgender Athlete Defends Gold Medal Win After Donald Trump Jr. Calls It 'BS'

Canadian transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon has spoken out to defend her world-title win after Donald Trump Jr. criticized her participation in the competition and dubbed her victory "BS," Business Insider reported.

McKinnon's controversial performance has also reignited the debate surrounding transgender athletes' eligibility to compete in women's sports, a debate which she says finds its roots in transphobia.

On Saturday, McKinnon competed in the 2019 Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester, England.

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The 37-year-old athlete raced in the women's 35-39 age division, where she not only won gold in the sprint category for the second year in a row, but also set a new world women's cycling record.

McKinnon's victory was overshadowed by criticism, particularly from her fellow athletes.

Instagram | @rachelvmckinnon

In an Instagram post, she wrote that the bronze medal winner refused to put her arms around McKinnon for the picture, which she said was just the first example of a gold medal win tarnished by transphobia.

Shortly after news broke about her victory, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted his two-cents on the matter.

Retweeting an article titled, "Biological Male Wins Women's Cycling World Championship," the son of President Trump wrote, "Anyone want to guess why???"

"This BS will destroy women's sports and everything so many amazing female athletes have worked their entire lives to achieve," he continued.

"I couldn't care less how you identify, but this isn't right."

In a later tweet he personally apologized to "all female athletes who spent their lives mastering their games."

It wasn't just Don Jr. who took issue with McKinnon's participation in women's athletics.


Former Masters champion Victoria Hood told Sky News, "It's not complicated, the science is there and it says that it is unfair."

Her argument is that you can't remove the physical advantage.

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"The male body, which has been through male puberty, still retains its advantage, that doesn't go away," she said. "I have sympathy with them. They have a right to do sport but not a right to go into any category they want."

McKinnon released an official statement in response to Hood's comments against her in which she said the former athlete has an "irrational fear of trans women."

"Transphobia has no place in sport," McKinnon wrote. "Fairness in sport means inclusion and respect of every athlete's rights and identity."

She concluded the tweet with the hashtag #SportIsAHumanRight.

McKinnon also publicly responded to Donald Trump Jr.'s remarks against her and said it explains all her recent hate messages.

In her follow-up tweets, McKinnon defended her right to compete in athletics as a woman, something which she's been doing for years:

"Y'all don't have a problem with testosterone levels, you have a problem with trans women period."

A separate tweet from the athlete revealed her body no longer produces testosterone, debunking many of her critics' most common complaints.

In an interview with Sky News, McKinnon said she is legally and medically recognized as a female, but her critics still think of her as male.

It all comes down to stereotypes and assumptions.

Instagram | @rachelvmckinnon

"There's a stereotype that men are always stronger than women, so people think there is an unfair advantage," she said.

"By preventing trans women from competing or requiring them to take medication, you're denying their human rights."

McKinnon published an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in which she placed the spotlight on the Trump administration's LGBTQ history.

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“My victory comes at a time when the Trump administration is going out of its way to make life for trans people as hard as possible," she wrote.

"Let that one sink in: We can be evicted for being trans. We can be fired for being trans. We can be denied health care for being trans."

Instagram | @rachelvmckinnon

"Do you think that’s fair? Do you think that’s what America is about?

"I don’t know what to say to you if you disagree with basic tenets of human decency. We will not be erased."

h/t: Business Insider, Sky News, The Washington Post

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