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27 November 2020

Te Tuhi Kelly: An even playing field

Wednesday 16 September 2020 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Editorials


OPINION: There are valid points on both sides in regards to transgender participation at this year’s Cook Islands Games says Te Tuhi Kelly of the Progressive Party of the Cook Islands.

I have been asked to comment on the fact that a majority have rejected the participation of transgender participation in those events that are earmarked for women at the upcoming Cook Islands Games.

I have read the comments from Valery Wichman and also comments from others either rainbow or non-rainbow.

I understand where the rainbow community are coming from given the historical prejudice over the decades and I also understand the concerns from the non-rainbow participants.

We are in a no-win situation, we either accept the gender differences or we don’t and herein lies the question because it has implications going forward.

I believe it is one of those situations where emotion has to take a step back and I know this can be a difficult thing to accept from both sides.

We have a particular sense from and I have to say this, from fundamentalist Christians that god made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve - I get this and so do many people.

But Christians have to accept that humans are not just male and female despite what the Bible says and despite what their belief systems say.

Rainbow people also have to realise that we are born with particular physical biology that determines whether we are male or female.

It is hardwired into our DNA and our genes, you can’t get away from this no matter what you wish and what surgical intervention you have had.

A transgender male to female who is now surgically changed or wishes to have the procedure, to all intents and purposes is biologically a male.

She has male muscles, a skeletal frame that was DNA engineered biologically to bear a male persona, physically and biologically.

Now you enter that person into a sports event with someone, born a female and there you have created a distinct advantage against that female competitor. A male body with a female persona is the issue I believe; it is not the fact that the person is a transgender female.

As a biological male, your historical and newly awakened consciousness as a female is aided and abetted by your male body.

With this emotional and psychological transformation, you have in effect transcended your original biological programme and are now more than the sum of your original DNA and have a huge advantage because of this.

I know this is not what the rainbow community want to hear, but I am quite dispassionate in terms of my opinions and I do not take sides in this debate, what I do is take an unemotional look at the evidence and make my opinion based on that assessment.

I hate injustice in whatever form and I speak from historical fact.

You give someone an advantage over another on a playing field that should be level, that is an injustice.

Despite history and despite what has gone before and what continues now, you cannot in all seriousness allow that to be the determinant of what makes us a fair and equitable society.