When it comes to sports and human sexuality, lines tend to get blurred. While men and women are familiar in some ways, it’s hard to deny the physical and mental attributes between the two. It’s an issue none technically knows how to navigate in this progress-moving world. In politics, laws are currently being debated on whether transgender people should be viewed as their chosen gender in terms of sports and using the bathroom. It’s a topic that will never go away and never fade from the minds of the American public. The topic, once again, made headlines this past Friday in the MMA world.
Transgender fighter Alana McLaughlin made her MMA debut in Miami over the weekend. Since Fallon Fox in 2014, Alana McLaughlin became the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the world of mixed martial arts.
The match between Celine Provost started with Provost gaining the upper hand early in the first round. Celine Provost was able to land major strikes on McLaughlin, showing fiery rage and a close finish during the close of the first round. In the second round, Alana McLaughlin turned the tide of the fight. Landing a few punches, McLaughlin managed to clinch the win via submission with a rear-naked choke.
As a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, Alana McLaughlin passed all her credentials and physicals to meet her match requirements. McLaughlin has since been training at the MMA Masters in the Miami area. Despite making strides as a transgender athlete, Alana McLaughlin has been dealing with the backlash in the sports world.
McLaughlin addressed the backlash on her social media.
“I’m getting a lot of variations of the same nasty messages calling me a cheater like I didn’t just get beat on for a round and a half. Y’all need to show Céline Provost some respect and take your concern trolling elsewhere. She almost finished me more than once, and on scorecards, she definitely won that first round. This is the only post I’ll make about this,” McLaughlin said, before concluding: “Transphobes are just making my block hand stronger.”
Whether people believe it or not, there are differences between men and women in sports. While transgender people are to be respected just as any other human in sports, it’s hard to ignore the science and differences. But, as members of the human race, we owe it to each other to continue to understand. Alana McLaughlin is 1-0 in her professional MMA career.