FAIR PLAY – Katie Barnes – Unlock Sports Debate!

Essential reading for anyone discussing gender and sports, with an emphasis on understanding and compassion.

By Katie Barnes ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 19, 2023

A sports journalist’s in-depth exploration of both women’s sports and the exclusionary practices faced by transgender athletes is the focus of Barnes’ debut book. They explain that sports have become a “primary battleground” for a number of debates and policy proposals impacting the transgender community, particularly transgender youth. Drawing on their experience as a nonbinary former athlete and years of reporting for ESPN, Barnes provides a comprehensive look at the history of Title IX and women’s sports programs, the science of hormones, the divisions among women’s sports advocates, and the personal stories of transgender athletes competing at various levels. The book is an invaluable resource for those seeking to understand or discuss the headlines and legislation surrounding the issue, offering detailed explanations of topics such as the difference between using testosterone for medical transition and competitive advantage, endogenous puberty, and the distinctions and restrictions imposed by governing bodies like the NCAA and the IOC. At the core of the narrative are questions Barnes raises about the concept of sex-segregated sports, what qualities are valued in athletic competition, and their own thoughtful ideas for a possible way forward. The author is clear in their desire to investigate all the complexities of the issue and reject ill-informed arguments. Their effort to uncover the truth and provide comfort beyond traditional gender definitions results in a powerful examination of what the current outrage, particularly about transgender girls and women athletes, says about how we view sports as a whole.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023
ISBN: 9781250276629

Page Count: 304
Publisher: St. Martin’s

Review Posted Online: today
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023