Trans cyclist defends win after Trump Jr. tweet

A Canadian transgender cyclist who won the Masters Track Cycling World Championships on Saturday found herself defending her title against a critic — the president’s son. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted about Rachel McKinnon’s win, calling it “BS.” After receiving a barrage of negative messages, McKinnon pushed back.

The president’s eldest son retweeted a Daily Caller article about McKinnon’s win with the headline: “Biological Male Wins Women’s Cycling Championship.” Trump Jr. wrote: “This BS will destroy women’s sports and everything so many amazing female athletes have worked their entire lives to achieve. I couldn’t care less how you identify, but this isn’t right.”

McKinnon became the first transgender woman ever to take home the gold at the UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championship in 2018, according to CBC.

McKinnon said she was forced to suppress her testosterone levels to compete in the race. She tweeted that her levels were actually at an “unhealthy low” and were “way below the average for women,” yet she still had the stamina to beat the competition.

Following this year’s championship, McKinnon found herself re-educating others on her testosterone levels after Trump Jr.’s tweet went viral. “Oh THIS explains the explosion of hate messages I’m getting!!” she tweeted, sharing Trump’ Jr.’s tweet.

“Y’all don’t have a problem with testosterone levels, you have a problem with trans women period. Lowering the testosterone limit won’t affect me,” she wrote in another tweet.

McKinnon pointed out that she was competing “prior to the IOC’s 2015 update to their trans policy” and that she “met the older, more restrictive 2003 policy.”

The International Olympic Committee’s 2015 transgender athlete guidelines specify that those who transition from male to female, like McKinnon, must “demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition.”

In addition to being a world-class cyclist, McKinnon is an associate professor in the philosophy department at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. She often uses her social media to promote equality and LGBTQ rights.

After the Twitter tiff with the president’s son sparked criticism from others, she urged her followers not to engage. “Babes. Seriously. I get hundreds and thousands of hate tweets a day. STOP ARGUING WITH THEM. You’re wasting your time and just clogging up my notifications. Please,” she wrote.

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