Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 1, 2009 - explaining the rules

here's a note i shared with some friends. i felt it would be good to share the policy which i essentially wrote for the World Out Games' creation of a 3rd gender category....

it is to my understanding that this 3rd category will be deemed a
'participation' and not a competitive category. all marathonners will depart
the starting line at the same time..

the first three males to cross the finish will get medals; the first three
females to cross will get medals. there won't be medals handed out to 3rd
gender participants as it is not fair for me to directly compete against another
transperson who could be further or less further along into transition.

if i do happen to finish the marathon with the best time, or within the top 6
overall finishers, i still won't get any award, and from that stand point, it
seems unfair.

but i'm entering this event knowing darn well that i won't likely even finish in
the top 20, so the award issue is a non issue..

if i thought there was a reasonable chance that i could finish in the top 3
overall, and if i really wanted to win one a medal, i could have certainly
registered as a male.. but for me, this is more of a moral issue than anything
else. i just don't feel right running under the 'male' label anymore.. nor do i
feel i should have to sit out 2 years until i meet the IOC's criteria to be
accepted as female.

overall, in the record books, if there is in fact one, my name and finishing
time will appear along side everyone else. i notice has the
2006 world out games marathon results listed, so i would assume that my name and
time would find its place in their archives in 2009 as well.

for the swimming, same thing. it's 'participation' with no direct competition
against males, females, or other 3rd genders.. and no opportunities to
win medals. if i happen to be the only 3rd gendered person swimming, rather
than have me swim all by myself, they will apparently schedule me to swim along
side other people.

i totally agree that being labeled 3rd gender is not ideal. but i think this is
a chance to let people know that the first 2 years of transition are probably
the most socially challenging, and any opportunity to reduce the burden of the
'male' label will prove emotionally helpful for the athlete. better to have at
least some recognition than none at all.


anyway, it is not ideal, but it is a step in the right direction, and it will hopefully get people talking about the issue. just getting it on the radar and on the agenda is what we need...

anyway, massive snow storm early this morning made it difficult to run. i managed 7.3k today as well as a very exhausting 4k swim. the swim started strong but i really faded toward the end. after 3k, i was just about out of gas.. i really struggled to get the last k in there, but wanted to keep going until i was on the brink of collapsing. hard to believe that i used to be able to do over 6k in one shot. i'm gonna keep working on my fitness and see if i can get back to that level, even if i have to go slower.


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