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Friday, March 15, 2013

No Holds Barred: Donna Rose on Transsexual Athletes 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with transsexual athlete, author, and speaker Donna Rose.

Donna Rose is also a wrestler. In her youth as a man, she wrestled in college. Now as a woman, and in her 50s, she is continuing to compete, finishing sixth at the 2010 U.S. Open Wrestling Championships at 72 kg/158.75 lbs. in senior women's freestyle wrestling.

We spoke with Donna Rose by phone Thursday as the controversy over female transsexual MMA fighter Fallon Fox continued. Fox, who last fought March 2 in Florida, is awaiting reviews of her fighter license applications from the athletic commissions in Florida and California. These commissions thus far have not adopted a policy regarding licensing of transsexual athletes, even though the International Olympic Committee did so almost a decade ago, and the Association of Boxing Commission's Medical Committee advised them to do so as recently as their annual meeting in July 2012.

"It's unfortunate that sports keeps falling back into outdated stereotypes of transsexual people," Donna Rose said in this interview. "All any of us wants to do is to be judged on our abilities."

Our discussion with Donna Rose touched on her own positive experiences in dealing with USA Wrestling as an openly transsexual woman, the many years of transition that a transsexual woman has to go through, why they do not have any unfair advantage over other female athletes, how the decision by the IOC Executive Board to drop wrestling from the Olympic program starting in 2020 "broke my heart", her plans to continue wrestling, and much more.

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