He was born male but identifies as female. Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot, an 18-year old senior at Haines High School, became the first transgender athlete to compete individually for a high school state championship, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.
Wangyot competed in the Class 3A girls’ sprints at the Alaska state meet, grabbing third place in the 200-meter dash (27.3 seconds) and fifth in the 100 (13.36 seconds).
Wangyot’s participation didn’t sit well with many families and athletes, including the Alaska Family Action president Jim Minnery who was part of a protest that took place outside the track event.
Minnery said, “We are here today as a voice from the community to ensure that female athletes are not denied the playing opportunities and scholarships otherwise available to them and to make the playing field even again.” Ho added, “Allowing students to play on teams of the opposite sex disproportionately impacts female students who will lose spots on track, soccer and volleyball teams to male students who identify as female.”
Fairbanks Hutchinson junior Saskia Harrison turned in a time of 14.11 seconds in the 100-meter dash, which wasn’t fast enough to make the cut — and she wasn’t particularly thrilled that Wangyot advanced.
“I’m glad that this person is comfortable with who they are and they’re able to be happy with who they are,” she told KTVA-TV. “But competitively I don’t think it’s completely 100 percent fair.”
Eagle River junior Peyton Young felt similarly, despite not competing in sprints.
“I don’t know what’s politically correct to say, but in my opinion your gender is what you’re born with,” Young, who won the Class 4A girls’ 3,200-meter race, told the Dispatch News. “It’s the DNA. Genetically a guy has more muscle mass than a girl, and if he’s racing against a girl, he may have an advantage.”
Wangyot also played for the girls volleyball and basketball teams this past year, USA Today High School Sports said.
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.
Tour Bus Crossing US Border Carried A New Kind of “Passenger”