Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

First Advisor

Stephanie Y. Evans

Second Advisor

Megan Sinnott

Third Advisor

Julie Kubala


“Stories of Exile: The Construction of Trans Athletes as a Political Category,” asks: What is the relationship between gendered sports policy since 1936 and anti-trans sports laws in 2021? Utilizing a transfeminist sports studies’ methodology, I explore three significant points in Olympic sports where the discourse of the gender binary shifts: the introduction of sex verification in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the 1972 passage of Title IX, which shaped the classification of “female athletes,” and the 2021 Tokyo Olympics which featured the first out transgender and non-binary athletes. Aiming to bring attention to the connection between sports and the construction and continued (de)stabilization of the hierarchical gender binary, this project looks for explicit attempts to regulate gender non-normativity in sports in order to identify specific characteristics about how trans athletes are discussed to formulate a historically grounded conception of today’s attacks on trans athletes.


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