A top female skateboarder has spoken out against the unfair advantage enjoyed by male rivals in women’s contests.
Taylor Silverman complained that male competitors claiming to be women were depriving genuine female athletes of placings and prize money.
Silverman also criticised Red Bull, sponsor of a contest at which she had been relegated to second place by a man, for failing to protect the interests of women in the sport.
Silverman posted on Instagram: “I have been skateboarding for eleven years and competing for several years.
I have been in three different contests with trans women, two of which I placed second.”
I am sick of being bullied into silence
She explained that at a recent Red Bull event a man who identifies as a woman took “$5000 of the prize money meant for the female athletes”.
When she raised the issue with the company she said she was “ignored”, before adding: “I am sick of being bullied into silence.”
In a subsequent interview on American media outlet OutKick, Silverman said: “This isn’t transphobia. This is advocating for fairness in women’s sports.”
Reflecting on her message she explained: “I think that like many other women, I was scared of being blacklisted, of being harassed, for speaking up for myself.
“And I also didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. But when you see something happening that’s wrong, I think you need to speak up.”
Despite having suffered a backlash on social media, Silverman said: “the reality of the situation is the majority of the messages I’m getting are supportive, and it’s from people all over the world”.
‘Transgender thought police’
Writing in The Times earlier this year, Debbie Hayton, who was born male and ‘transitioned’ as an adult but accepts he is not a woman, said: “The future looks bleak for women in sport.”
He argued the “transgender thought police” might not agree with him, but it was wrong for “male bodies” to participate in female sport.
“Trying harder is not an option when your rival has the advantage of male puberty.
“Testosterone leaves a legacy that cannot be erased: larger muscle mass and stronger bones, not to mention a skeleton that never developed to carry children.”