A transgender woman has won a world championship in cycling for the first time.
Rachel McKinnon won gold in the sprint at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships on Saturday.
McKinnon has faced backlash for her participation in the Los Angeles-based championships, with many people online accusing her of having an unfair advantage over her opponents.
The Canadian cyclist, who is also an assistant professor in the department of philosophy at South Carolina’s College of Charleston, has defended herself against the claims on Twitter.
In one post, she wrote: “I train 15-20hrs/week, twice/day 5-6 days/week. Yeah…I just jumped off the couch and won. Transphobic bigots, y’all.”
Responding to someone saying the athletes who came second and third were “robbed” and had to “smile and wave and pretend it was a fair sport,” she said: “Or maybe they actually think it’s fair (2nd place is a friend).
“Don’t objectify and use other women for your bigotry.”
Rachel McKinnon has previously said she believes forcing transgender riders to take substances that would keep their testosterone levels down represents a violation to her human rights.
It is a measure devised with the intention of not disadvantaging cisgender women – women born female – are not disadvantaged when competing against transgender women.
“We cannot have a woman legally recognized as a trans woman in society, and not be recognized that way in sports,” McKinnon said recently.
“Focusing on performance advantage is largely irrelevant because this is a rights issue. We shouldn’t be worried about trans people taking over the Olympics.
“We should be worried about their fairness and human rights instead. This is bigger than sports and it’s about human rights.
“By catering to cisgender people’s views, that furthers transgender people’s oppression. When it comes to extending rights to a minority population, why would we ask the majority?
“I bet a lot of white people were pissed off when we desegregated sports racially and allowed black people. But they had to deal with it.”