Megan Rapinoe is wrong about the ‘anti-trans sports ban’

Women’s sports must not be compromised by including males who can no longer cut it in our own sex category.

The footballer fails to understand that sex matters in sport

Sense seems to be returning to the debate over transgender inclusion in sports. World Rugby, World Swimming and now World Athletics have all stepped in to protect elite women’s competition. Meanwhile, in the United States, Republican congressman Greg Steube recently reintroduced the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act to Congress.

Steube’s bill would prevent male athletes from participating in federally funded athletics programmes or activities designated for women or girls. For the avoidance of doubt, the bill specified that “sex is based on an individual’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”

At a time when the United States is being torn apart by conflict over transgender rights, clear policy is needed. Not everyone is happy with this development, however. Reports have emerged about a petition to try and stop Steube’s bill in its tracks. Signed by 40 professional, Olympic and Paralympic athletes, the petition claims that the bill would have the effect of “banning transgender and intersex girls and women from participating in sports”.

That is simply not true. Sport is for all. Nobody is being prevented from competing; the issue is the class in which they should compete. But this is a petition that appeals to emotion. It continues:

If this bill passes, transgender and intersex girls and women throughout the country will be forced to sit on the sidelines, away from their peers and their communities. Furthermore, the policing of who can and cannot play school sports will very likely lead to the policing of the bodies of all girls, including cisgender girls.

Open Letter Against HR734

The truth is that sex matters in sport. Separate men’s and women’s categories are needed because male bodies are different to female bodies. Transgender people like me might lose competitive edge when we transition, but we retain many advantages of our male biology. In short, women’s sports must not be compromised by including males who can no longer cut it in our own sex category.

Some notable women athletes are among the signatories: Megan Rapinoe, former captain of the US Women’s National Soccer Team; Becky Sauerbrunn, who is the current team captain; and ex-basketball player Sue Bird, a winner of four WNBA Championships. These stars might be acting with the best of intentions, but they are very wrong if they think that women will not be disadvantaged if they get their way.

One of their co-signatories is a case in point. Transgender powerlifter JayCee Cooper took USA Powerlifting to court — and won — after being prevented by the organisation from competing in the women’s division. If Cooper competes, women lose out. It stands to reason.

One athlete who does get it is swimmer Riley Gaines, who experienced this unfairness first hand when she competed in the pool against Lia Thomas, a biological male. Gaines has become increasingly vocal on the issue — but not without terrible personal cost. Last week, she attempted to talk about her experience to students at San Francisco State University. As events unfolded, she claims that she was assaulted and ended up barricaded in a room for three hours after she was ambushed by a group of activists.

Footage shows a baying mob screaming the usual refrains: “trans rights are human rights” and “transwomen are women”. Their antics are tedious and juvenile, but they are also terrifying for anyone who opposes them. It is foolish beyond belief to appease them. 

Emotions are running riot. Not that it seems to trouble Joe Biden. Last week his administration proposed a rule change that would expand the meaning of sexual discrimination to include gender identity. As a consequence, schools receiving federal funding would not be allowed to operate blanket policies that prevent transgender students from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity.

America needs clear policy, not wishful thinking, and a president who is able to discern the truth, ignore naive petitions, and stand up to the mob. Sadly, that seems a bridge too far for Biden.

Debbie Hayton

* This article was first published by Unherd on 12 April 2023: Megan Rapinoe is wrong about the ‘anti-trans sports ban’.

By Debbie Hayton

Physics teacher and trade unionist.

6 replies on “Megan Rapinoe is wrong about the ‘anti-trans sports ban’”

You are right about Biden. On this issue, he is a stupid man. I may not vote for him in the next election, although the thought of having Trump as president again terrifies me. Biden is probably taking the avenue of least resistance. Taking a stand against trans women in women’s sports would make him a target of activists, and he wants to avoid that. Even though trans activists are very badly behaved group, having them out to get him would make him look bad to liberals.

As for Rapinoe, she reminds me of another female coach I contacted a few years ago. That coach was thrilled to have trans women on her team because it meant that her team was winning more often. In other words, she well understood the advantage that trans women had; she just wanted to make sure the advantage accrued to her benefit as a coach.

Because of how easily people — liberals in particular — are confused and/or brainwashed on this issue, it is going to take years for sanity to prevail.


Absolutely agree, Caleb and DH. One of the aspects that few who support ‘trans women’ in female teams and in other areas of life, and even many who do not support the ‘trans’ invasion of female rights, fail to appreciate is that if one is allowed in, many will follow. Most of us have been appalled at the numbers of so-called ‘trans’ now.

Gay men are sick to the back teeth of ‘trans men’ invading their spaces, ‘trans men’ who do not get it that gay men are attracted to other men, not females. ‘Trans woman’ hound lesbians to include them when lesbians are attracted only to other females, and women are truly at the end of their patience with ‘trans women’ who will not leave their spaces, etc. alone.

Sports can easily be played by ‘trans’ of both sexes, and by intersex people, too. The disabled sports field is a wide and varied one, and huge strides have been made in recent years by disabled athletes in all disciplines. The same could be the case for ‘trans’ – a wide and varied field based on factors that would be set by both the domestic and the international bodies for all sports.

Everything that ‘trans’ say they cannot do or have is perfectly feasible out-with females areas of interest, in third spaces. The ‘trans’ lobby needs to understand that females will not stand back and allow them a free hand or a compelled one either. The message has to be shouted out loud and clear: NO. You are not getting to take over every aspect of female life, you weak, fetish-driven men; and you delusional young women are not men, gay or otherwise. Wise up, grow up and leave the rest of us alone. If you want to play sports, campaign for your own. Women had to, and they are not about to let you destroy them. Pick up the baton and jog on or they will kick your ball(s) right out of the park.


Lorncal, let’s hope that you are right that everybody is getting sick of the power grabs of trans people. My experience is that most liberals are still entranced by the bad ideas found in transgender ideology, and they are happy to roll over and let trans people dictate to society.

If only truly trans people (meaning people with gender dysphoria) were transitioning, then the trans “problem” would be much smaller. What should be 1/2 of 1% of the population stirring things up, is now about 3% because of the number of imitators. Many of those imitators will eventually detransition, but until they do, many of them are behaving like extremists and will attack you if they think you are against them.

I am 72 and no longer go to gay bars, although I might if there were one near me. What I understand from what I’ve read, however, is that gay bars are now full of drag queens and trans women and trans men. When I was young and going to bars in Greenwich Village in NYC, I NEVER saw any of those. There was nothing but gay men in gay bars, with perhaps an occasional “fag hag” (a women who likes the company of gay men). When I was young, I liked small cute men. But if I were young today, I’d be worried about getting close to any small cute man, lest he turn out to have a vagina in his pants.

For me, the issue isn’t just trans people, but drag queens. Someone in one of these comments referred to drag shows as “misogynistic” minstrel shows, and I agree with that. What difference is there between white people dressing up in black face to mock black people, and men dressing up as female prostitutes to mock women? I don’t see any difference at all, and yet drag queens are now being celebrated.


So-called ‘gender dysphoria’ is a made-up name for feeling unsure about one’s sexual orientation, and is believed by many psychologists to be ‘body dysmorphia’ where the person affected does not see what everyone else sees in relation to his (usually his) body – and they believe that it is a condition in the mental ill-health range much like anorexia (mainly females). What is more or less certain now is that the vast majority, if not all, MtF ‘trans’ have a paraphilia/fetish(es)/autogynephilia. They always try to deny that vehemently, but, when offered alternative spaces, etc., they kick and scream because, simply put, their sex-driven behaviours need the impetus of being in women’s spaces and in women’s faces.

The ‘trans’ men are almost as bad, hassling gay men to sleep with them. These people have invested their whole being, existence, in their ‘gender’ so that they are trapped in an insane world from which they can escape only through detransitioning. I listened to a very interesting podcast about the lies that transitioners tell the world (and, often, themselves) about their ‘transition to paradise’ when their whole body language tells a very different story. The very sad fact is that young people listen to them online and are persuaded that they, too, can find utopia under the surgeon’s knife and from a syringe full of cross-sex or puberty blocking hormones.

It will all fall down as these social madnesses always do, but not before a helluva lot of people are damaged for life. Most will die early deaths from needless cancers and other complications, most will have no genuine, loving relationship, the females will not be able to bear children if they have rendered themselves infertile, as will many of the very young males. It is a very high price for our youth to pay for what is little more than normal confusion about sexual orientation at a very young age and becoming camouflage for adult men, most of who know their entire motivation is sexual.

Drag queens are now simply old-fashioned transvestites with a kink for kids. If they were not, they would stay in their clubs instead of telling vulnerable toddlers stories about ‘trans’, in public libraries, and older children, in schools. Instead of ‘trans rights are human rights’, it should be ‘trans rights and everyone else’s, too, we’ll take ’em all!’


I agree Caleb about drag queens and find my self confused as to where they fit in to the LGBTQI alphabet. Are they a gender now? I thought it was a way of making money and most of them were gay, although why they want to dress up as cartoonish, slutty women is beyond me. I’ve always found it offensive and insulting. But the really puzzling thing is that biological women seem to find them very entertaining in the same way that women athletes who have struggled to get where they are and are extremely competitive are just waving trans athletes through to the podiums? It’s almost as if they’ve been hypnotised. Biden doesn’t care, his agenda is to keep us all hating each other while he gets on with protecting his money and power.
What do you think of Robert Kennedy Jr standing? I hear he is quite popular. Would he be any better?


Socially speaking, I think drag queens are being given a pass because of society’s ingrained misogyny. Even among liberals, women’s rights are unimportant, the logic being that women are free enough in our society — and if they still experience glass ceilings, that is their own fault. That kind of attitude makes it okay for men to mock women. Also, women are not a “minority”, given that they are about 51% of the human population. One other possible reason is that so many people grew up hating their mothers, and this gives them permission to hate all women. The number of people in our society who honor and rhapsodize about their fathers seems to be larger, in my experience, than those who honor their mothers. In my family, they were both pretty awful people, but my mother was more responsible than my father was.

If adult women find drag queens entertaining, I think that is attributable to internalized misogyny. It isn’t just men who hate their mothers. Also, of the two sexes, women are arguably the most compassionate and sympathetic, so accepting drag queens may be a function of that.

I’m not as cynical as you are when it comes to Biden. I think he has just swallowed the standard trans bullshit: “Being a trans child is such horrible torture that children must be allowed to transition immediately.” I don’t think that is borne out by the suicide rates. Children understand that they are new humans and must wait until adulthood to make the most serious decisions about their lives. Transitioning (to whatever extent it is possible) is just another thing they must be made to wait for.

Robert Kennedy is certainly a weird one.


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