Neil deGrasse Tyson is a well-known astrophysicist and science advocate.
He recently found himself at the center of a spirited discussion on the show “TRIGGERnometry,” hosted by British satirist Konstantin Kisin. The debate revolved around the complex issue of gender in sports, particularly the participation of trans women in women’s sports.
The conversation began with Kisin referencing a previous statement by deGrasse Tyson on TikTok in which he discussed the concept of gender as a spectrum.
DeGrasse Tyson had expressed his view that gender is not solely determined by XX or XY chromosomes. He explained, “The XX, XY chromosomes are insufficient because when we wake up in the morning, we exaggerate whatever feature we want to portray the gender of our choice. Suppose no matter my chromosomes today I feel 80% female, 20% male. Now I’m going to put on makeup. Tomorrow, I might feel 80% male; I’ll remove the makeup, and I’ll wear a muscle shirt… What business is it of yours to require that I fulfill your inability to think of gender on a spectrum?” This perspective challenges the conventional binary understanding of gender, emphasizing its fluidity and self-expression.
The debate gained intensity when the hosts probed the fairness of women’s sports if trans women were allowed to participate. In response, deGrasse Tyson passionately declared, “So fix the playing field, da**it! Don’t, 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.”
He emphasized that the focus should shift from questioning the inclusion of trans women in women’s sports to ensuring that the playing field itself is equitable for all athletes.
He concluded, “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.”
While the discussion on “TRIGGERnometry” was spirited and, at times, heated, it underscores the ongoing and broader dialogues surrounding gender, self-identity, and the world of sports.