Hot dog eating contests are apparently a new frontline in the war on trans people in sport

Michelle Lesco during Nathan's Famous 2021 July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest.

A hot dog eating content is the latest sport that could potentially have been undermined by trans inclusion, according to a ‘gender-critical’ group – even though the winner is a cisgender woman.

The self-described “data analysis” group, She Won, listed the sausage-swallowing contest among 921 entries of events it claims have been “displaced by males in women’s sporting events”.

In its section on non-athletic competitions, it lists three athletes who were beaten by competitive eater Michelle Lesco, during the 2021 Nathan’s Famous International Hot-Dog-Eating Contest.

But, as the archive itself even make reference to, Lesco is not actually transgender. Instead, she has just been the focus of baseless speculation around her gender identity.

According to LGBTQ Nation, rumours first began circulating after Australian Rules footballer Sam Newman mocked Lesco for being trans, despite the fact she’s cisgender.

Michelle Lesco after winning a hot dog eating contest.
Dogged Michelle Lesco, a cisgender woman, was accused of being transgender by an anti-trans sporting group. (Getty)

Lesco responded in a post on X/Twitter confirming that she is a cisgender woman, saying that “some Australian shock jock was spreading [rumours] that one year.”

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The guzzling gladiator won first place in the 2021 contest after gulping down 30.75 hot dogs in the space of 10 minutes.

Despite Lesco’s own clarification, the archive claims Sarah Rodriguez, Larell Marie Mele and Kathryn Prettyman, who came second, third and fourth respectively, all had their chance for glory stolen, with asterisks next to the entries saying there is “controversy over whether the winner is male or not”.

Other events in the predominantly sporting-related archive include a video game tournament, wrestling, the TV game show Jeopardy!, a political position on the State Democratic Committee of New York, and a Financial Times post celebrating women in business – with all but one of the entrants being cisgender women.

SheWon also have a list of trans athletes – who they misgender – that they accuse of stealing spots from cisgender women.

Among the list is eSports player Emma Rose, who recently made a name for herself competing for Team GB’s Pro Evolution Soccer crew at the European Games.

Speaking to PinkNews in last year, Rose said: “Gaming is for everyone. It was never made to have barriers and yet, somewhere along the line, they were put up. I do my damndest to break them down.”

Despite her fellow competitors have always been welcoming of her gender identity, she said.

Responding to an advert for a group of female-only gamers in Northern Ireland, she initially asked if her identity would be an issue. They responded by saying: “No, you’re a woman and that’s all that matters to us.”