Hailey Davidson, the first transgender golfer

Winning a professional tournament is always a cause for excitement, as it represents a triumph in sport, and whoever wins instantly becomes the hero of the day

by Andrea Gussoni
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Hailey Davidson, the first transgender golfer
© Getty Images Sport - Angel Martinez / Stringer

Winning a professional tournament is always a cause for excitement, as it represents a triumph in sport, and whoever wins instantly becomes the hero of the day. However, recently, Hailey Davidson's victory in the Women's Classic, an NWXT Tour tournament in Florida, sparked different reactions.

Hailey is a transgender athlete who began her transition journey in 2015, with hormone treatments and surgery. Over the next eight years, her body underwent significant changes, including loss of muscle, strength and testosterone, as well as the ability to hit the ball as hard as she once did.

Hailey Davidson, results

This led to a discussion about the rules governing the participation of transgender athletes in women's tournaments. The USGA and the LPGA circuit have determined that a transgender athlete may compete in the women's category if she has undergone gender-affirming surgery and has testosterone levels that do not confer a competitive advantage.

Hailey Davidson complied with these guidelines and was allowed to participate in the women's competitions. However, despite the factual scientific evidence supporting this decision, Hailey has suffered a wave of online hate, including death threats.

The situation raises an important question: when genetics are overcome by the effect of medical treatments, how should these situations be addressed? It is a complex issue involving several aspects, including education and public understanding.

Hailey Davidson said that despite online hate and misinformation, she will never allow hate to prevail. It's an important message that highlights the importance of basing decisions on scientific facts and promoting tolerance and understanding in a sport that should be open to all.

The term "transgender" (or "transgender" in Italian) is a broad concept that refers to people whose gender identity does not coincide with the gender or sex assigned to them at birth. This term includes diverse gender experiences and identities.

Transgender people may experience (or have experienced) a sense of gender incongruence, meaning that their sense of self and gender expression combine characteristics of male and female gender, without fully identifying with either (these people are often referred to as "non-binary").

At the same time, there are transgender people who persistently or temporarily identify with a gender different from the one assigned to them at birth (these people are often referred to as "binary transgenders"). Some transgender people may undertake a transition process that may include medical or surgical interventions to modify their physical characteristics to conform to their gender identity.

These people are sometimes called "transsexuals." It is important to note that being transgender is not linked to sexual orientation. Transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or may choose not to label their sexual orientation.

Additionally, the term "transgender" should not be confused with intersexuality, which refers to people born with anatomical characteristics that do not fit into typical binary notions of male or female bodies. A related term is "cisgender," which applies to all people whose gender identity matches the gender and sex assigned to them at birth.

Ultimately, the term “transgender” is an umbrella term that encompasses a broad range of gender experiences that do not conform to traditional gender norms assigned at birth.

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