Her name is Fallon Fox, and she’s a man.
At least, she was born a man named Boyd Burton, complete with male genitalia and a Y-chromosome. She says she underwent sex-reassignment surgery and hormone therapy six years ago, and that she was reluctant to “come out” with regard to her sex because she feared the reaction she would face. Those fears were justified; she or he is now the center of a heated debate about whether sexually reassigned men should be permitted to compete with women in organized and professional sports.
Fox spoke with Cyd Zeigler earlier this month about the years she spent hiding her sexual identity from those she worked with and competed against as an MMA fighter. “For years I’ve known at some point it’s very likely the shoe would drop,” she told Zeigler. “Maybe someone would guess that I’m trans. Maybe they would know me from my life before I transitioned. I’ve been waiting for that phone call to happen.” Happen, that phone call did.
What has been lost in the subsequent debate over whether Fox should be allowed to compete with women is that she never intended to tell anyone. She only started addressing the issue after she was found out. The opponents she has been “tearing through,” in Zeigler’s words, were never meant to know. Not surprisingly, Fox doesn’t think she should have had to tell them.
“I don’t believe that a transgendered fighter should have to disclose her personal medical history to other female fighters before they fight,” she says in a video interview at MMA Junkie. She claims that the “medical community and the scientific community has come to the consensus that post-operative transsexual fighters who have been on hormone replacement therapy and testosterone suppression, when they’re going from male to female, don’t have, or haven’t been found to have, any physiological advantages over other women, so why should we have to disclose our personal medical history?”
The problem with Fox’s justification is that this simply isn’t true. In an attempt to advocate for the inclusion of transsexuals in sports, Salon asks, “Why don’t transsexuals dominate women’s sports?” The implication of the headline is that they don’t, and therefore any claims that transsexuals like Fox should not be allowed to compete against women are claims based in ignorance. Salon cites, as “evidence” that there is “no proof” of a physiological advantage among transsexual “female” athletes, a report produced by the former director of the “It Takes a Team! Education Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Sport, Women’s Sports Foundation” and the Sports Project Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The report, in turn, asserts that no available research supports or refutes the assertion that a “transgendered” man competing as a woman has a physical advantage.
In other words, no, the medical and scientific communities have not come to a “consensus” on the physiological advantages, or lack thereof, of having been born a man, then performing as a sexually reassigned woman. There simply is not enough data to go on to make such judgments. In the absence of such research, what are we to do? We might be forced to rely on something as antiquated as common sense.
Miesha Tate, formerly a belt holder in the now defunct Strikeforce Mixed Martial Arts organization, told ESPN that she would not fight an athlete like Fox unless there was “solid research” that Fox is “100 percent like a female.”
“I have nothing against transgender people,” she went on. “You should live your life however you want. It’s about fighter safety. I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting in with someone who is a woman but developed as a man. I just don’t think it would be safe.”
The fact that Tate has to insert that caveat – that she has “nothing against transgender people” – is the larger problem. Rampant political correctness and the intellectual dishonesty of some activists within the “LGBT” (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community has made it impossible to oppose any facet of the LGBT sociopolitical agenda without facing accusations of “hate.” Weight classes and gender divisions exist in sports for a reason: to decrease the likelihood of a gross mismatch in physiological attributes, which better promotes both competition and, yes, safety. Tate and those who agree with her rightly express reservations about the physiological advantages a genetic man has when competing against women, regardless of the effects of hormone therapy or – excuse the terminology – the fact that “she” has had her penis exploded and sewn to her pelvis.
In her interview at MMA Junkie, Fallon Fox was quick to play the “hate” card. “Yes, I do believe [my transgender status] may deter some fighters from fighting me in the future. … I think that’s because they’re scared, number one because I’m pretty good … or they might just have a bias or they just might be a hateful person who doesn’t want to touch me, or whatever. I don’t want to fight those people anyways, because they’re scared, and what kind of fight would that be?”
Fallon Fox believes she is a woman. She has undergone extensive medical treatment in order to live as one. To the degree that she is happy with her life as a woman, this harms no one and is entirely her business. When she began competing against biological women in professional sports, however, she inflicted her opinion of her sexual identity on others without their agreement or their consent. She made her business their business, all while deceiving her opponents and the sporting organizations with which she worked. She would still be carrying on this deceit if she had not been found out – and given that medical science cannot come to consensus on how to test for sex in athletics, her claim that she is “proven” to have no advantage is a lie.
At best, this lie is wishful thinking by Fallon Fox – and this wishful thinking lies at the core of her entire sexual identity.