Transgender track star: I’m the one at a ‘disadvantage’ racing against girls
Since Cece Telfer’s victory in an NCAA track and field race last month, many people have questioned the fairness of a trans woman competing against a field of cis gender women.
Telfer agrees it isn’t fair. Although, she claims it’s her that has the disadvantage.
‘If anything, me competing against cis gender females is a disadvantage, because my body is going through so many medical implications,” Telfer told ESPN’s Ryan Smith on “Outside the Lines.” “It’s going through biochemistry changes. … Being on hormone replacement therapy … your muscle is deteriorating, you lose a lot of strength because testosterone is where you get your strength, your agility.
“I have to work twice as hard to keep that strength. If I slack a day, that’s like three days set behind. So, I have to keep up my workouts. … I can’t drink, I can’t eat unhealthy because it’s going to impact me harder.”
"If anything, me competing against cisgender females is a disadvantage.."@FPUathletics track star CeCe Telfer talks about the physical challenges she faces while competing as a transgender woman. pic.twitter.com/9VhlOVA70V
— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) June 13, 2019
Telfer made made history last month as the first publicly out transgender woman to win a NCAA track title. The Franklin Pierce University senior beat out the competition May 25 in the NCAA Division II women’s 400-meter hurdles in Kingsville, Texas. She won by more than a second, with a personal collegiate-best time of 57.53.
“And there are people who say I have the benefit of testosterone,” Telfer told Outsports. “But no: I have no benefit. I’m on hormone suppression, it doesn’t help. It’s another disadvantage. Cis women are producing more testosterone than the average trans female.
“So it’s crazy! I’m the crazy one, to be the weakest female, the weakest link in the chain, to be competing against the top ones. I should be fingered as the stupid one, for wanting to do that in the first place.”
But Telfer isn’t dwelling on the naysayers. Winning the 400 meter race was “powerful moment,” Telfer told WMUR-TV. “It felt pretty powerful and empowering and just free.”
As recently as January 2018, Telfer had been competing as an athlete for Franklin Pierce men’s team as Craig. Telfer finished eighth in a field of nine in the Men’s 400 meters at the Middlebury Winter Classic in Vermont.
Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, [email protected] or via Twitter .