Cyclist Rachel McKinnon, a biological male who presents as a woman, won the women’s world championship on Saturday, and set a women’s world record in the qualifying event.
McKinnon, a Canadian philosophy professor at the College of Charleston, won the same event in 2018. In a Friday interview with Sky News, McKinnon said that attempts to level the playing field for women’s sports by discriminating against transgender athletes was the equivalent of “denying their human rights.”
“All my medical records say female,” McKinnon said. “My doctor treats me as a female person, my racing license says female, but people who oppose my existence still want to think of me as male . . . So, if we want to say, that I believe you’re a woman for all of society, except for this massive central part that is sport, then that’s not fair.”
Victoria Hood, a former cycling champion and manager of a British all-female cycling team, challenged McKinnon, telling Sky that “it is not complicated, the science is there and it says that it is unfair. The male body, which has been through male puberty, still retains its advantage, that doesn’t go away. I have sympathy with them. They have a right to do sport but not a right to go into any category they want.”
On Saturday, McKinnon issued a press release denouncing Hood for having “an irrational fear of trans women.”
After the victory, McKinnon took to Twitter to challenge critics.
Many people claim to support trans women
But often they only support us until our lives impact them in any meaningful way
In my case, people literally say they support trans women…but not in sport
There can be no 'but'
We are either full and equal women, or not
— Her Thighness (@SportIsARight) October 20, 2019
On Sunday, McKinnon tweeted “I have yet to meet a real champion who has a problem with trans women. Real champions want stronger competition. If you win because bigotry got your competition banned… you’re a loser.”’