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‘I Was Cheering’: Trans-Identifying Athlete Complains About Lack of ‘Sportsmanship’ from Female Competitors

A trans-identifying male high school athlete complained about the lack of “sportsmanship” from his female competitors after he won an event in the girls’ championship.

Veronica Garcia, 16, is a trans-identifying student who runs on the girls track team at East Valley High School near Spokane.

On Saturday, Garcia was greeted with boos from the crowd when he finished first in the girls’ 400-meter run at the track and field championships in Tacoma, making him the first trans-identifying high school athlete to place first in state.

When he accepted his gold medal at the podium, his female competitors did not applaud or cheer, but instead stood with their hands behind their backs.

Someone in the crowd reportedly shouted, “She’s not a girl!”

Garcia said he was “somewhat hurt” the girls did not congratulate him.

“I guess maybe I expected sportsmanship because I was cheering the rest of them on when they were called. So I guess I expected to get that reciprocated,” Garcia told The Spokesman-Review. “But I didn’t get that.”

“I’m just a teenager. I wish people would remember that,” he said.

Garcia’s first place time for the 400-meter run was 55.75 seconds, a full second faster than the girl who finished second.

Watch:

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), which governs high school sports in the state, allows trans-identifying students to compete on the team of the opposite sex.

“The WIAA encourages participation for all students regardless of their gender identity or expression,” the WIAA handbook reads.

The WIAA also does not require high school athletes to take cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers to play on the team of the opposite sex.

The boos at Saturday’s meet were “a bit more severe” than usual, Garcia told The Spokesman-Review.

Garcia began identifying and presenting as female last year. Since then, he says he has received “discriminatory comments” about his gender identity.

“I’m just a teenager. It’s one thing if you want to advocate for whatever, but your message becomes deflated when you start insulting,” he said. “As soon as you start harassing transgender people, then I think your message starts to fall apart.”

“At the very least, give us respect, because I think the best thing anyone can do is, even if you don’t understand why we’re transgender, the very least is to be nice to us. Kindness goes a long way,” Garcia said.

Garcia admitted there are “not easy answers” to trans-identifying people competing in sports.

READ 49 COMMENTS
  • Susan says:

    I heard many one or two people booing, but the rest were cheering. Why? Why were you cheering? He’s a loser and a poser and those girls deserve BETTER.

  • wk says:

    But I’m a”teenager”. Yes you are CHIT FOR BRAINS A MALE TEENAGER

  • Dorothy says:

    Your not even a man and certainly not a woman. How could you do something like this. You should not be allowed to participate in women;s sports. You are just a loser because you can not win against men.

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