At least five biological males who identify as female are signed up to run in Monday’s Boston Marathon. Some have undergone surgery and lowered their testosterone levels; others have not. But they will all compete as women.
Previous policies required transgender individuals to have undergone medical treatment, but race officials have instead decided to just “take people at their word.”
“We register people as they specify themselves to be,” said Tom Grilk, chief of the Boston Athletic Association, the group behind the race. “Members of the LGBT community have had a lot to deal with over the years, and we’d rather not add to that burden.” The only requirement is that runners qualify and compete using the same gender.
Other major marathons are following suit. Organizers of the Chicago, New York City, London, and Los Angeles marathons have all said they will accept the gender a runner submits during sign-ups.
The transgender runners signing up for races aren’t competitive enough to take the title—yet. But female athletes might be less supportive of the policy if men with testosterone coursing through their veins eventually take both the male and female titles. —K.C.