Transgender runner's participation in Oregon high school championship sparks outrage

Transgender high school athlete Aayden Gallagher's success in women's events draws criticism from Olympic athletes and public figures.

Transgender runner's participation in Oregon high school championship sparks outrage
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An Oregon high school transgender runner, Aayden Gallagher of McDaniel High School, has caused outrage on social media after competing in several events against girls at the Portland Interscholastic League Championship semifinals on Wednesday.

Gallagher finished first in the 400-meter preliminary event with a time of 56.14, 0.23 seconds better than the second-place finisher, and second in the 200-meter preliminary event with a time of 24.49, about 0.17 seconds slower than the first-place finisher. Gallagher has qualified for the finals in both events, Fox News reported.

Video clips of Gallagher running in the events quickly spread on social media, drawing criticism from various public figures. Two-time Olympic runner Mara Yamauchi expressed her disapproval on X, stating, "He's not even putting in a max effort. Disgusting. On the plus side, this is a clear illustration of male advantage. All females finish close together. He is way ahead. Everyone who allows males in the Female category should hang their heads in shame. Cowards!"

U.S. 24 Hour National Team member Carilyn Johnson also weighed in on the controversy, writing on X, "Aaaaaand here we go again. And DO NOT come on here and say the girls should just refuse to compete. The ADULTS are the problem, and we all know it. Stop telling kids that one boy's 'feelings' matter more than every other girl they compete against."

Piers Morgan, a prominent media personality, added his voice to the debate, stating, "Any woman who supports this crap is a traitor to their sex. It's shameful that the integrity of women's sport is being destroyed like this."

The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) has a policy in place for transgender participation in high school sports, which aims to "allow students to participate for the athletic or activity program of their consistently asserted gender identity while providing a fair and safe environment for all students."

The policy also states that once a transgender student has notified their school of their gender identity, they must consistently be treated as that gender for eligibility purposes and cannot participate on a team of the other gender during the same season if they have already tried out or participated in an activity.

The controversy surrounding Gallagher's participation in women's events has reignited the debate about the fairness and inclusivity of transgender athletes in competitive sports, with critics arguing that biological differences provide an unfair advantage, while supporters maintain that inclusive policies are necessary for the well-being and equal treatment of transgender students.

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