The topic of gender testing in sports has become a headline again. South African sprinter Caster Semenya became a news story when she went to Berlin and claimed the world championship in the 800, crossing the line at 1:55.45, two seconds faster than her nearest rival. She announced herself to the global press only a few weeks earlier at the African junior championships with what had been (until her race in Berlin) the fastest time in the world this year (1:56.72).
A number of athletes and commentators have cried “foul” and demanded that Semenya prove her sex for the IAAF. Rising above the phobic and cruel rhetoric of the press, her competitors and the track authorities, her family and supporters speak frankly of her boyish body and express anger at the way questions about Semenya’s gender have been handled. In this interview posted on The Guardian’s website, her father quite proudly defies the narrow minded to assert that his daughter looks “just like me” and “is a woman.” She grew up playing football with the boys, being teased for being a “tomboy,” etc. And, her family and friends chime in together, she is a woman. She is, quite clearly, a gender warrior. I’ve re-posted my previous article as a sign of support for her and other athletes like her.