Pablo S. Torre and David Epstein have delivered possibly the most comprehensive article on trans athletes we've ever seen in the media. Simply titled The Transgender Athlete, the Sports Illustrated story revisits athletes like Key Allums and Keelin Godsey, whom we've written about on Outsports, in addition to some fascinating new figures.
Lindsey Walker, a 7'1" trans female from Cleveland, was known as Drew when she played basketball at Central Michigan from 2004--05 to '06--07. Walker did not publicly come out until after college, but she suffered all the same. "I didn't expect to lose all my friends," says Walker, who still has a tattoo bearing the initials of several former teammates on her back. "There were times I thought about suicide."
But what if she'd transitioned at Central Michigan and become the starting center on the Chippewas' women's team? What if Walker, who has had five years of hormone treatments and is saving up for surgery, decides to try out for the 2016 Olympic team—something she says she's "definitely considered"? Her size, almost unheard of in women's hoops, would test the delicate balance between inclusion and competitive equity.
The article takes an in depth look at competitive advantage. It examines the quantitative and qualitative effects of hormone therapy and the policies of various sports institutions like the International Olympic Committee and the NCAA.
Godsey also talks about his lifelong dream of making the U.S. women's Olympic track & field team, which he'll attempt in Oregon on June 21. We're cheering for you, Keelin!