Oh, you might think that, but you’d be wrong.
This whole thing about trans women being unfairly competitive compared to cis-gender women is definitely there with all of the other exclusionary tactics.
Additionally, LGBTQ people often suffer from depression and/or gender dysphoria, meaning they benefit from practicing a sport, as exercise (in the wider meaning of the word) is a powerful tool for supporting and boosting mental health.
One might be tempted to argue that they don’t necessarily need to compete, to reap the benefits from practicing a sport, and that’s - strictly speaking - true but misses the point.
Competition is innate within people and is a natural outlet for those who are passionate about a sport.
Moreover, building walls to separate transgender athletes from cis-gender ones create ghettos that ultimately discourage participation in the sport in the first place.
I very much doubt a trans woman would want to be put in a pen with all the other “men-who-are-pretending-to-be-women” because that’s where the whole thing ultimately is headed for. They want to be women among other women. In sport as in life.
@crystal_gaiden, I’m going to sit on that last post of yours for the time being, so to go back to a previous point:
Men and women of comparable size and weight (all else being equal, in other words) have comparable strength. The whole “women are inferior to men” stems from women generally being lighter than similarly sized men, and the reason for this is cultural factors that push women to keep their weight low (because muscle is seen as not-feminine) and avoid activities that can improve their physical performance, outside of metrics that are perceived as ‘feminine’, such as flexibility, gracefulness and/or quickness of motions, precision, etc.
So every sport, fighting or otherwise, which employs weight classes can sort the matter out.
(One interesting consequence is that in the last decades a ton of sports have seen the women side of things break record after record – this is because now more than ever women have begun participating seriously in sports. Previously, there was so just little participation, that many sports simply did not have the numbers to drive the same degree of serious competition as had been the case for men for a long time now.)
For sports where there are no weight classes, so called ‘freaks’ will always outperform everybody else, by definition, because they are freaks. To clarify, ‘freak’ is a term that is often used to indicate people who have traits that enable a massive performance advantage over their peers. For the sake of this particular discussion, a freak is now defined as someone who is bigger than everybody else and hence has better performance than anybody else (note that in your average sport it’s usually NOT true that bigger automatically makes one better at it)
If a person’s aim in partaking in a sport is to be competitive, then they have to put up with nature being an unfair mother. Just because someone was good at cycling and has put in a ton of time, effort and money in getting better, none of this saves them from Eddy Merckx. (Merckx wins everything and there’s not much anybody can do about it, in case anybody’s not familiar with the name.)
These dynamics are easy to see at the pinnacle of a sport, but the same pattern is reproduced fractally at the lower levels, too. There are always a few athletes who dominate and that’s the end of the story.
Let’s now postulate that there is a classless sport where having ‘masculine features’ (however those are defined, it’s just a thought experiment) gives a substantial competitive edge. In that case, a cis woman that is born with those features will enjoy a sizable advantage over the more feminine competitors.
In this thought experiment, it follows that, if it’s unfair for trans women to compete in that sport, it is also unfair for the androgynous cis women to compete, too: only non-androgynous women should be allowed to compete, meaning it is now necessary to have another different pen to put androgynous women into.
At which point some smart cookie in the audience will object “but that’s not true because a cis woman is born a woman, and is not a man pretending to be a w–OH WAIT!” which was why Rowling was being a horrible human being to begin with.