For the first time ever, 5 transgender women will be allowed to run in the elite female's Boston Marathon race on April 16th. The Boston Athletic Association says they will allow any runner to compete under whatever their self identified gender is, you just need an ID to show who you are. This decision by the association has sparked some controversy within the community. It's brought up the debate of how fair that may be to other women when you have other racers who used to have higher testosterone levels, compete against them. Testosterone is indeed a steroid and thus promotes strength and endurance.
The chief of the Boston Athletic Association, Tom Grilk made a statement saying, "We take people at their word. We register people as they specify themselves to be...Members of the LGBT community have had a lot to deal with over the years, and we’d rather not add to that burden.”
The real concern truly is those testosterone levels giving an unfair advantage. Doctors have stated that if these transgender woman still have male gonads, that gives them the unfair advantage. The same concern was brought up for Olympic transgender athletes. The Olympic committee made the decision that they can compete in the same category as they identified as long as their testosterone/hormone levels are not above a certain level, therefore making it an equal opportunity race/competition for all. This guideline is thought to be the same case for the marathon here in Boston.
Three elite transgender female runners that are scheduled to run in the elite group here for the 122nd Boston Marathon are Amelia Gapin of Jersey City, New Jersey; Grace Fisher of Hancock, Maryland; and Stevie Romer of Woodstock, Illinois.
You can watch these racers and all the others, this coming Monday on April 16th, Marathon Monday.
If you plan on attending the race as a spectator, you can look up the weather forecast HERE as well.