Transgender athlete Na Hwa-lin has become the first woman in South Korea to compete in an official sporting event and win.
Na crossed the finish line in first place in the general women’s cycling race at the 58th Gangwon Provincial Games at the Yangyang Cycling Stadium in Yangyang-gun, Gangwon Province, on Wednesday afternoon. She took the lead early in the race and held it for three laps먹튀검증.
“I was very nervous, but my coach told me to do my best, so I did my best, and I’m proud of myself,” she said after the race. Na will compete in the women’s general category 1 scratch event tomorrow at the same venue.
The news of Na’s participation in the event sparked controversy on the first day. At the center of the controversy is the question of whether it’s fair for a naturally female athlete to compete against a transgender athlete with superior physical attributes. More than two dozen human rights and social organizations, including the Rainbow Alliance Against LGBT Discrimination, have expressed their support for Nah’s participation.
Born male, Na underwent gender confirmation surgery at Gangdong Sacred Heart Hospital in Seoul last October and changed her social security number to female on April 7. The rules for the women’s division of the Gangwon Provincial Games do not impose any restrictions other than gender, so Na was able to compete without any restrictions.
Speaking to Hankyoreh before the competition, Na said she decided to compete because she wanted “my participation to become an issue.” She hopes that with her participation, society will begin to discuss the controversy surrounding transgender female athletes’ participation in competitions.
“After my first run today, I think it’s right to create a third event for transgender athletes, not just men and women,” said Na.