Recent transphobic statements by former tennis star Martina Navratilova have ignited a conversation about transphobia in sports.
The openly lesbian tennis champion said it’s ‘unthinkable’ letting a trans woman compete against a cis woman.
Navratilova, who has always been at the frontline of championing gay rights, is also famous for having slammed homophobic tennis star Margaret Court on several occasions.
The transphobic narrative today
A Twitter thread has highlighted the eerie similarities in the conversation about trans athletes today and those about gay and lesbian athletes in the past.
One Twitter user posted a picture of a homophobic article against Navratilova.
‘If you need any more proof that today’s transphobia is just yesterday’s recycled homophobia…
“…so bad that young girl players were scared to go into tournament changing rooms…”
“…being led into homosexuality…”
Sound familiar???’ she wrote.
She then retweeted the Twitter thread containing ‘examples of how modern transphobia recycles homophobia from years past’.
The thread includes screengrabs of newspapers’ articles from the late 70s to the 90s.
According to the thread, whether to allow gay and lesbian coaches and athletes in the locker room was a recurring conversation at the time.
The thread also shines a light on the vile discrimination faced by LGB athletes, pointing out how many were dismissed from jobs they loved due to their sexuality.
Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) 1993-12-03
Bias against gays on the job often subtle, difficult to thwart pic.twitter.com/6JkIjfq2Ge
— The Implausible Girl 🔻 (@ImplausibleGrrl) February 27, 2019
Does it sound familiar?
The Twitter user who reposed the thread also explained some media have recycled the same tropes used to cover LGB issues when covering trans issues today.
‘Notice the similarities in language between how homosexuality was written about then, compared to transgender people today?’ she wrote.
‘“social contagion is making kids trans” anyone???’ she also said.
‘Transphobes today are pushing the made-up concept that trans kids are ‘suffering’ from “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” (ie: their parents didn’t realise they were trans before they came out)’ another tweet reads.
‘Same argument was used to deny gay people their identity by homophobes in the past…’
The Twitter thread has been liked 1.5k times and retweeted more than 700 times at the moment of writing.