Trans woman wins fencing tournament, anti-trans campaigners are inevitably raging 

USA Fencing

A transgender woman has won a world fencing tournament in Florida, US, and anti-trans campaigners are predictably butt-hurt.

Liz Kocab, 71, took home the gold at Sunday’s (15 October) 2023 FIE Veteran Fencing World Championships, marking her eighth women’s fencing title and her fourth in a row.

Having already won world championships in the 50’s and 60’s categories, this is Kocab’s second win in the 70+ category.

This weekend’s latest win also saw Kocab beat out Finland competitor and 14-time champion Marja-Liisa Someroja. 

USA Fencing
This is Kocab’s second win in the 70+ category. (Getty Images)

The success has, naturally, seen some intense backlash from frequent anti-trans campaigners who take issue with trans women’s participation in women’s sport, but Kocab has managed to drown out the naysayers.

In a brief post-win interview with USA Fencing, Kocab spoke about her dedication to the sport and to America.

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Asked what kept her coming back to fencing, she laughed: “Well, I’m not quite sure to be honest with you! This year it was in the USA, and I want to support USA Fencing.

“I really did. Otherwise, I was actually thinking of stepping away. But the fact that it was in America, I thought that was important to support the USA. This is my way of saying thanks to USA Fencing.”

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Fans cheered Kocab on from the comments, praising her for her years-long legacy.

“So incredible how your legacy keeps growing Liz,” wrote one viewer.

“Let’s go, Liz! Congratulations,” commented a second.

USA Fencing failed to win the gold medal in the 70+ team event but did set a new record by taking home a total of 24 medals, including 13 gold medals, from the overall event.

That record was overlooked by anti-trans trolls who were more concerned with Kocab’s gender identity and took to social media to share predictably disgusting opinions on her win.

USA Fencing has endured transphobic criticism since it implemented its transgender and nonbinary athlete policy last year. 

USA Fencing
USA Fencing introduced a transgender and nonbinary policy last year. (Getty Images)

The policy ensures that its athletes have the opportunity to partake in USA Fencing events “on a fair, inclusive, and safe basis without discrimination.”

It reads: “USA Fencing will not discriminate on the basis of gender identity, regardless of sex assigned at birth, or any other form of gender expression for participation in any division. As such, athletes will be permitted to participate in USA-Fencing-sanctioned events in a manner consistent with their gender identity/ expression, regardless of the gender associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.”

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USA Fencing CEO Phil Andrews has made it abundantly clear that the governing body for fencing had no intention of bending to the will of bigots.

Introducing the policy last year, he said it was “critical that we protect the rights of nonbinary and transgender athletes in fencing” and assured USA Fencing would “remain unanimously and steadfastly supportive of transgender athletes having their place in fencing.”

He added: “To be clear, even as this issue evolves, our support of transgender athletes will not waver.”

Has everyone got that?

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