I must confess when saw the title of this piece at ESPN I misread it:

NWHL player Harrison Browne comes out as a transgender man

I presumed that the NWHL had discovered that one of their players was in fact born a man meaning that the women playing against him.

I was interested to see how teammates where dealing with a person of the biologically different sex sharing a locker room, if opponents were publicly saying it was no big deal while off the record complaining that it was unfair.

But most all I was interested in seeing how the league was dealing with a person with greater upper body strength checking and knocking over the weaker women, after all this wasn’t a 50 year old Gabrielle Ludwig competing with women 30 years “her” junior, it a guy in the prime of his life competing with women.

Alas once I read the story I realized why there was no reason to fuss.

Browne has decided to postpone a medical transition until he’s done playing in the NWHL, and he’s not changing his legal name right now for visa reasons. Browne says he is “not closing the door” to transitioning to the men’s side of the sport one day depending on how his body changes.

In other words Harrison Brown is in fact a woman, who “identifies” as a man, and thus none of the problems that I mentioned above apply.

“At the end of the day, Harrison is the same player he was last year,” Rylan said. “We’re here to support him. It’s really not a big deal when you look at it, we’re respecting his name, the pronouns and his request to be his authentic self.”

“Support has been a major thread of our team unity and success,” Beauts GM Ric Seiling said. “And that goes beyond the rink.”

Of course Harrison is the same player as last year, Harrison is a woman. That’s why nobody cares if “he” is in the locker room, or worries about being cross checked by “him” or thinks the Beauts have an unfair advantage with “him” on their roster. Because all the players know that “Harrison” is no more a man that the character of “Teddy” in Arsenic and old lace was the 26th president of the United States.

In other words, it’s just as unreal as if one of “his” teammates declared she was Harry Truman, as long as her self delusion doesn’t affect play, it’s no big deal. Of course the headline “Woman plays on WNHL team” isn’t really going to draw the clicks is it.

Two final thoughts

I really laughed at this paragraph

NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan said the league is now working on a policy that will include transgender athletes, and that the women’s league is accepting of a transgender man on a team roster.

In other words the NWHL commissioner is showing how open minded she is by allowing women to play in the woman’s hockey league. Big deal. When she allows “transgender women” (ie actual men) to play on the teams, share the locker rooms, and check players at full speed, then give me a call.

I presume that like other professional leagues the WNHL has rules concerning steroids and drug enhanced performances. If transgender men are allowed, who are being given testosterone as part of their medical transition, are allowed to play will the WNHL penalize a woman who took a testosterone supplements for the sole purpose of build muscle mass for an advantage and if so, is that fair?


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