A teen boy, that self-identifies as a girl, was allowed to compete in a girls’ state championships in Alaska. The boy, Nattaphon Wangyot, dominated the competition and will advance to the finals with All-State Honors In Girls Track And Field. The decision to let the student, that is biologically a male, compete in girls’ sports has caused an uproar in the community. An organized protest to prevent teen girls from competing against students that are biologically male has been launched in response.
Nattaphon Wangyot was allowed to participate in the girls’ competition due to a state law that allows each individual high school to determine whether or boys can compete in individual girls’ events. The Alaska Dispatch News reports that boys do not need to go through hormone treatment to be eligible to participate, the only requirement is that the boys self-identify as girls. The policy states that school officials will consider several intangible qualities to determine whether or not the student truly identifies as a female. The official school policy states:
“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,”
Wangyot 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. He beat out several biologically female student athletes to advance to the finals. Wangyot has a history of competing in female sports. According to the Alaska Dispatch News Wangyot also plays on the school’s girls’ basketball and volleyball team. Unfortunately for Wangyot this doesn’t mean much to several of the biological females who believe Wangyot’s biological status as a male gives him a clear advantage. Emma Daniels, a biological female student who lost an all-state roster spot to Wangyot, stated:
“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,”
Daniels isn’t alone is viewing the situation as unfair. A second runner, Peyton Young, also commented on Wangyots advancement to the finals.
“I don’t know what’s politically correct to say, but in my opinion your gender is what you’re born with. 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 Family Action president Jim Minnery has organized a protest to focus on preventing teen girls from being forced to compete against male athletes in the future. He argues that while allowing a male student that identifies as a female to compete in girls’ sporting events empowers that single student it also creates an uneven playing field that puts girls at a severe disadvantage. Girls can lose roster spots, playing time and even scholarships due to the impact of allowing male students to participate. He stated to the Alaskan Dispatch News:
“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. 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.”
As of now there are no plans to remove Wangyot from the girls roster and he will be allowed to continue to participate in the events.