She won the Wimbledon women’s singles title a phenomenal nine times. Martina Navratilova’s name, however, appears in the headlines not for her athleticism but for her collision with the LGBTQ revolution. Why is this interesting? Because Navratilova identifies as a gay athlete who championed the cause of gay rights. Now, the LGBTQ mainstream has disavowed Navratilova for her comments that criticized the participation of transgender women in gender specific sports—that is to say, allowing men who identify as women to compete against actual women in athletic contests.
This controversy began in December of last year when Navratilova tweeted, “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women.” She advocated for standards that would disqualify trans women from competing against women in athletic events.
Navratilova faced immediate backlash from the LGBTQ community. Transgender activists lambasted Navratilova and warned her that she was about to be on the wrong side of history. Once a leader and international symbol of the gay rights revolution, Navratilova had been left behind—her views were no longer in step with the sweeping moral upheaval propagated by the sexual revolutionaries. After the backlash, Navratilova deleted her tweet and promised to study the issue in depth.
That was late 2018. Now, in The Sunday Times, one of the most influential newspapers in London, Navratilova expanded her argument in an article with the headline, “The rules on trans athletes reward cheats and punish the innocent.”
Navratilova began her article, writing, “Shortly before Christmas I inadvertently stumbled into the mother and father of a spat about gender and fair play in sport. It began with an instinctive reaction and a tweet that I wrote on a serious forum dealing with the subject… Perhaps I could have phrased it more delicately and less dogmatically, but I was not prepared for the onslaught that followed.”
She described how she did what any rational person should do when presented with a moral quandary: she decided to learn about the subject she addressed in her tweet and allowed herself time for contemplation on this very important issue. After her time of reflection, she came to the same conclusion—when sports organizations capitulate to the trans-agenda and allow transgender women to compete against other women, they foster an environment of cheating.
Navratilova wrote, “If anything, my views have strengthened. To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organization is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires. It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.”
Navratilova based her arguments on the nature of hormones and biology. She writes, “Simply reducing hormone levels—the prescription most sports have adopted—does not solve the problem. A man builds up muscle and bone density, as well as a greater number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, from childhood. Training increases the discrepancy. Indeed, if a male were to change gender in such a way as to eliminate any accumulated advantage, he would have to begin hormone treatment before puberty. For me, that is unthinkable.”
What is unthinkable for Navratilova is exactly the direction of the transgender revolutionaries—they actively advocate the use of puberty blocking hormone treatments and allowing children and teenagers to “transition.” The dizzying speed of the LGBTQ revolution blazed ahead of Navratilova, leaving her behind in its dust of moral chaos and confusion.
Navratilova’s argument is quite simple: a transgender woman, rightly understood, is not a woman. A transgender woman, regardless of feeling and medical treatment, does not possess the biological structure of a female body. This presents an unfair advantage for transgender women who, despite hormone treatments, still possess at least some of the physical qualities and attributes of a male body. A transgender woman athlete benefits from the bone density, muscle mass, skeletal structure, and circulatory system of a man, even if hormones are adjusted. According to Navratilova, hundreds of trans-athletes, specifically transgender women, ride the waves of the moral revolution into the realm of competitive sports and, through their unfair advantage, win sporting contests against women
As Navratilova stood her ground, the backlash from the moral revolutionaries only increased. The LGBTQ elites have unseated Navratilova as a spokesperson for gay rights. This divergence marks a collision between traditional gay rights activists and the new transgender activists. Navratilova finds herself caught in the chaos of the moral revolution as the winds have now turned against her and her outdated, antiquated gay-rights morality. This story is not about the secular worldview colliding with a biblical worldview, but a collision within the secularist mindset itself—the logical outcome of the moral revolution leads to the kind of confusion in which the new activists turn on the old activists because people like Navratilova are not pressing the new agenda far enough.
This collision sparks controversy in every sphere of public life. For example, historic women’s colleges, which hold to a radical feminist ideology, now find themselves on the wrong side of history as the tremors of the sexual revolution reach their campuses. The LGBTQ agenda takes the objective distinctions “male” and “female” and reorients it around subjective, individual choice. This presents an enormous problem even for liberal, feminist, women’s schools who receive applications for admission from transgender women. Make no mistake, you cannot have a historic woman’s college and join the transgender revolution.
This is a complete meltdown of moral order, and this is exactly what the revolutionaries desired. The headlines will continue down this trend—we will not see liberals vs. conservatives but revolutionaries vs. revolutionaries; feminist ideology vs. transgender ideology; gay and lesbian activism against transgender activism. This recent controversy surrounding Navratilova shows the utter inconsistencies inherent in the sexual revolution ideology.
Martina Navratilova once served as an activist and symbol for the gay-rights movement. Now, the moral revolution ran right past her and declared her the problem. That’s the way radical revolutions work. They eventually turn on their own.
This article draws from the February 21st edition of The Briefing. To listen to the full episode, click here. To subscribe to The Briefing–Dr. Mohler’s daily podcast that serves as an analysis of news and events–click here.