A high school senior who was born a boy competed against girls from across Alaska at the state track and field meet last month, taking home two medals and generating controversy over transgender athletes participating in sports.
Nattaphone “Ice” Wangyot, a senior at Haines High School placed 5th in the 100-meter dash and 3rd in the 200-meter race, the Alaska Dispatch News reported. While Wangyot declined to comment and several other athelets told the paper they wanted to focus on their own events, protesters voiced objections.
“Allowing students to play on teams of the opposite sex disproportionately impacts female students, who will lose spots on a track, soccer and volleyball teams to male students who identify as female,” Jim Minnery, president of Alaska Family Action, told the paper.
Saskia Harrison, a runner for a rival school, just missed the cut in the 100-meter race and expressed some frustration that Wangyot was included in the heats.
“I’m glad that this person is comfortable with who they are and they’re able to be happy in who they are, but I don’t think it’s competitively completely 100-percent fair,” she told KTVA.
Wangyot, who graduated in May, moved from Thailand to Haines in 2014. Though Wangyot played no sports her junior year, she joined the girls volleyball, girls basketball and girls track and field teams her senior year, ADN reported.