"THEY" are already here.  A man "without gender prejudice" qualified for the Olympics


A few days ago, it became known that a couple of figure skaters, Timothy Leduc and Ashley Kane-Gribble, were traveling from the United States to the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. The couple is unusual. And it’s not that they started skating together not so long ago (Timothy’s former partner fell ill with covid and dropped out of the training process for a long time) – Timothy Leduc will be the first non-binary athlete to qualify for the Games.

In January of this year, the couple became the champion of the United States, as a result of which they qualified for the Games.

Leduc came out last year. However, this is not the kind of coming out when people report that they are gay or adherents of lesbian love. Here it is completely different: the skater announced his non-binary gender identity. It is clear that we may not yet catch all the leading world trends, so let us explain to the biased reader: we are talking about the fact that an athlete does not consider himself to be a “man” or “woman”. “Without gender bias,” they usually explain in such cases.


The English language seems to have been created for a tolerant world. There is no need to invent complicated feminitives, and there have been words to denote “sexlessness” for a long time. Here’s a simple example: most non-binary people in the UK choose to call themselves “they / them”, which means “they”. And in English, these pronouns are known to be easily used in relation to all people. Here you are informed at the school that tomorrow a new teacher will come, but who it is – a man or a woman – is not yet known. In English they would say: “We have a new teacher. They will come tomorrow. ” Translated, it sounds something like this: “We have a new teacher. They will come tomorrow. ” This does not mean that the teacher is a non-binary person, but only that it is not yet known what gender he is. And for the English language, this is completely organic. We, in Russian, have to come up with rules about the common gender, etc.


The athlete is 31 years old and began using the pronouns they / them in relation to himself in 2021. At the 2011 US Championships, he took bronze with his past partner. The duo’s preparations for the Olympic season last year were thwarted by the fact that Kane-Gribble contracted covid.

The gender issue at the Games was first raised in Tokyo – a transgender athlete from New Zealand performed there. This is a very different case, to be precise. The man felt (and became!) A woman. Recall that then Laurel Hubbard was eliminated from wrestling in the women’s weightlifting competition in the weight category over 87 kg. Here is a person who does not feel himself either a man or a woman. For such countries, a number of countries have introduced a tolerant choice in their passports in the column “gender” – “I’m at a loss to answer”.


How to relate to this, everyone will choose for himself. In the end, this is a human right, as well as the choice of his own gender. Or how unwillingness to make this choice – well, a person does not want to hear “You are a boy!” But now it is clear exactly what the television propaganda will tell us about in the days when it is already necessary to talk about the Games, and there are still not enough victories.

There is no shortage of comments today. Sometimes they are too ironic. So, the coach of figure skaters Alexander Zhulin noted that since Timothy performs in tandem with a woman, then he is a man: “He performs with a woman, and was originally a man. How do I feel about this? Oh, I don’t want to comment on these freaks, I don’t want to. ”

Journalist Elena Vaytsekhovskaya dug deep into her telegram channel:

– We scold the IOC for opening the way to OI for transgender people, and the IOC, perhaps, in this way simply decided to get rid of unnecessary ballast. Such a conditional Leduc stood up in a pair, either a man or a woman (“The queen gave birth to a son, or a daughter, not a mouse, not a frog, but an unknown animal at night”) – what is not a reason to throw pair skating out of the Olympic Games altogether? It is clearly stated in the rules: «The USI states that a pairs team must consist of one Lady and one Man». Point!

As always, Natalya Bestemyanova turned out to be impeccable in her assessments:

– As for the orientation of the athlete, he has every right not to classify himself as one of the sexes. But this does not affect the programs and skating: in the role of a greenhouse, he performs all the functions that are supposed to be a man in this form. “

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