High school girls in Alaska are crying foul after a male sprinter took home all-state honors in girls’ track and field. According to local reports, it was the first time in Alaskan history that a male athlete competed in the girls’ state championships.
Haines senior Nattaphon Wangyot–who self-identifies as a girl–advanced to the state finals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events. He won fifth place in the 100-meter dash and third place in the 200-meter. In both events, he competed against girls as young as ninth grade.
One of the girls Wangyot beat out for a slot at the state meet, Hutchison runner Emma Daniels, took issue with allowing a male athlete to compete in girls events.
“I’m glad that this person is comfortable with who they are and they’re able to be happy in who they are, but I don’t think it’s competitively completely 100-percent fair,” she told a local CBS station.
Another runner, Peyton Young (who competed in a different event) took a similar position. “I don’t know what’s politically correct to say, but in my opinion your gender is what you’re born with,” she told the Alaska Dispatch News.
“It’s the DNA. Genetically a guy has more muscle mass than a girl, and if he’s racing against a girl, he may have an advantage.”
Alaska allows each school to decide whether to let boys compete in individual girls’ events. According to the Alaska Dispatch News, Wangyot’s district doesn’t even require boys to undergo hormone therapy before competing in girls’ events.
“For the purposes of gender identification for interscholastic activities, the district will consider the gender identity based on the student’s consistent declaration of gender identity, their actions, attitude, dress and mannerisms,” the policy states.
Wangyot — who immigrated from Thailand in 2014, according to the Alaska Dispatch News — also played on the girls’ volleyball and basketball teams.
Alaska Family Action president Jim Minnery, organized a protest against forcing teenage girls to compete against male athletes.
“We are here today as a voice from the community to ensure that female athletes are not denied the playing opportunities and scholarships otherwise available to them and to make the playing field even again,” he said.
Minnery argued that “Allowing students to play on teams of the opposite sex disproportionately impacts female students, who will lose spots on a track, soccer and volleyball teams to male students who identify as female.”
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