Another biological male identifying as female has taken accolades in women's sports. But this time, it wasn't even acknowledged that the runner was a transgender female, not a biological female.
The Big Sky Conference named cross-country runner June, formerly known as Jonathan, Eastwood as the conference's Female Athlete of the Week, when Eastwood "finished second in a field of 204 runners at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational" and helped the University of Montana finish seventh as a team, the conference said in a press release. Just last year, June was running as Jonathan at the University of Montana, according to The College Fix.
Eastwood's win is just one of the latest where biological males are shaking up – and some would say destroying – women's sports.
The Blaze reports transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon, a biological male, placed first in a female cycling world championship competition last fall beating a woman from The Netherlands and another from the United States.
New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard won gold medals this summer at the Pacific Games in Samoa. Hubbard, who is a biological male, and was previously know as Gavin Hubbard, also won two silver medals in a women's world championship two years ago.
Attorney Anita Y. Milanovich wrote in an opinion piece in USA Today that women's sports are in chaos. In addition, the legal definition of "sex" which insured greater opportunity for women athletes is now being questioned and threatens the advances made for women in sports over the years.
She cites the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference as an example. The CIAC has a policy that "allows high school students born male to compete in women's athletic competitions if they identify as female, regardless of whether they have taken steps to alter their physiology."
As a result, since 2017, Milanovich writes, "two biological males have collectively won 15 women's track championship titles that previously were held by 10 Connecticut females." They won against biologically female track athletes.
That's having a direct effect on Selina Soule, a female-born Connecticut sprinter. According to The Blaze, Soule told Fox News' Laura Ingraham that the situation is "very frustrating. Because I know I have put in — some of my friends and fellow competitors have put in — so much time and effort to take down our times and compete ourselves better, but we are not physically able to be competitive against someone who is biologically a male."
"Speak Up For Women" is a New Zealand-based group that advocates for sports to be categorized by sex rather than gender identity. When New Zealand transgender weightlifter Lauren Hubbard won competing against biological women, Ani O'Brien spoke for the group, telling Reuters, "Kiwis (New Zealanders) know that males competing in women's sport is blatantly unfair."
Other women athletes are fighting back as well. But not without repercussions. Tennis great and lesbian Martina Navratilova was thrown off an LGBTQ advocacy committee for saying transgenders competing against biological females was "insane and cheating."
But the leftist American Civil Liberties Union says that's "pure discrimination," and that "girls that are transgender are girls. Period." The ACLU is launching a campaign to make sure transgenders can continue to compete, according to The Blaze.
That's ignoring a new peer-reviewed study, reported by CBN News in August that showed reduced testosterone levels in transitioning males don't make males the same as females.
The study from the University of Otago in New Zealand entitled "Transwomen in elite sport: scientific and ethical considerations," concluded that the reduced male hormone levels deemed acceptable by the International Olympic Committee for trans athletes is not enough to make it fair for women athletes. Reuters quotes the study as stating those reduced levels are still "significantly higher" than those of women.
The study's authors say, as well, that reduced testosterone doesn't make up for other male characteristics, like bone structure, and greater lung and heart size and capacity, all of which give the trans athlete the biological edge. To make it fair, the study's authors suggest that a whole new category be created for transgender athletes to compete against each other.
A case currently before the Supreme Court – R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – could have an impact on the transgender sports debate. The court could determine whether the definition of sex in employment law will also include gender identity. The case has to do with a man – dressed as a man – who was hired by the funeral home to help grieving families. When he showed up for work dressed as a woman, the funeral home felt it had no choice but to fire him.
Though it's not directly related to women's sports, Anita Milanovich says if the high court decided to take it upon itself to reinvent the meaning of "sex," it "would fundamentally redefine what it means to be a "girl" or a "woman" by judicial fiat and inject confusion, if not chaos, onto the track and the field, into the pool and the locker room."
Milanovich says that's Congress' job, not the Supreme Court's, and she's filed a friend-of-the-court brief for the funeral home, on behalf of the Independent Women's Forum and 1,013 individual athletes and parents from around the country.
Many people see the gender identity debate as a battle over what is real and what is not. A male born a male doesn't change into a female just because he wants to. To many people, that's a denial of reality and a sign of mental illness.
Evangelist Franklin Graham says it's a debate resulting from society forsaking the teachings of the Bible, and it goes well beyond sports.
"Women's groups are rightly urging sports authorities to 'wake up' to the unfairness. I agree, but I think the waking up needs to go a lot farther," Graham says. "Parents, teachers, local officials…everyone needs to wake up about the dangers of the transgender lie. God created male and female. We are made different, down to our DNA."