Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympic champion and reality TV personality now running for California governor, has said she opposes transgender girls competing in girls’ sports at school.
The 1976 decathlon Olympic gold medalist, who came out as a transgender woman in 2015, told a TMZ reporter it was “a question of fairness”.
“That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school,” Jenner said on Saturday in a brief interview conducted in a Malibu parking lot. “It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
It was Jenner’s first comment on the controversial issue since announcing her candidacy to replace Governor Gavin Newsom in a recall election.
Dozens of US states propose to ban transgender women and girls from competing in women’s sports, moves at odds with President Joe Biden’s push for greater LGBTQ inclusion.
In March, the International Federation of Sports Medicine (IFSM), which represents 125,000 physicians in 117 countries, said data is scant on the advantages or otherwise of trans athletes, but that each sport needed rules to meet its own physical demands.
Trans men have sparked less controversy, as the extra strength that comes from testosterone taken for transitioning is widely seen as no barrier to safe and fair competition.
The global debate has united social conservatives and some top sportswomen against trans activists and supportive athletes. Opponents say trans women have advantages gained in male puberty that are not sufficiently reduced by hormone treatment.
Jenner was married to Kris Kardashian, creating the setting for the Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality TV show. A Republican, she supported Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election but criticized his administration for discriminatory actions against transgender people.
Many transgender-rights advocates have criticized Jenner, saying she has failed to convince them that she is a major asset to their cause.