Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson stands up for trans women in sport: ‘Rise to the occasion’

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Astrophysicist and science educator Neil deGrasse Tyson boldly stood up for transgender women in sport in a recent debate, warning that one day this issue “will look completely ridiculous.”

The scientist appeared on the divisive “free speech” YouTube channel TRIGGERnometry to challenge political commentator Konstantin Kisin.

During the back-and-forth, Kisin criticised a recent TikTok of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s in which he suggested that gender exists on a spectrum and that “the XX, XY chromosomes are insufficient” in revealing someone’s gender to the perceiver.

“What business is it of yours to require that I fulfill your inability to think of gender on a spectrum?” he asked in the TikTok.

Standing by the sentiments in his TikTok, Tyson said that the issue of transgender women in sports was a “solvable problem” and those who took issue with it and wanted to exclude them have an “older view of the world.”

Tyson mused: “What the trans conversation is foisting upon us is the need to find ways to slice the athletic universe such that we still have interesting, fair matches. 

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“And is it a combination of did you go through puberty as a male and then transition? Did you have puberty blockers? What is your hormone level now… if you want to compete?

“So it requires more creative thought rather than saying no to at all. It’s an unsolved problem, yes, but it’s not unsolvable given what we know about human physiology.”

He continued: “So why not rise to that occasion and solve it rather than take your older view of the world and force modern emergent conduct of people to fit that?”

Tyson went on to predict that, in a few year’s time, people will look back on this debate and wonder why it was so divisive.

“It is possible to look back on whatever you were doing and say, my gosh, that was really shortsighted and look at the solution that was proposed and implemented. That was a good idea. We moved on from that.”

When asked for specifics and details on how it should be decided who gets included in respective sports teams, Tyson gave thoughtful answers and suggestions.

But Kisin continued to fire back, telling Neil deGrasse Tyson that there was simply no way that sports could be made fair for cis women and trans women to play alongside each other.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson appears on the TRIGGERnometry YouTube channel.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson has stood up for transgender women in sport. (YouTube/TRIGGERnometry)

The astrophysicist replied: “We’re in a transitional period. So we have to figure that out. But the way to figure out things that require solutions to progressive change is not to regress it to how things once were. If that were the case, I would still be drinking from a segregated water fountain.”

Kisin warned Tyson: “I think a lot of people would have an issue with what you’re saying now because they see women being denied opportunities, they see an unfair playing field, metaphorically and literally speaking.”

Tyson then passionately fired back: “So fix the playing field, damn it!

“Well, don’t say it’s an unfair playing field so all of a sudden, the big issue is trans women taking the slot of a woman in an unfair playing field. Fix the playing field!

“And you know something? The day you fix that playing field, this conversation will look completely ridiculous. That’s what I’m trying to tell you.”

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