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January 30, 2023
Watch: Finland debuts world's first beautiful and brave trans figure skater, except they can't skate.
Last week, the European Figure Skating Championships kicked off in Espoo, Finland. During the opening ceremony, female skaters skated around with their respective country's flags. But one beautiful, brave woman stuck out amongst a sea of biological women.
Meet Minna-Maaria Antikainen, a 59-year-old transperson, and former farmer-turned-figure skater. For the women, of course.
\u201cCongratulations to Minna-Maaria Antikainen who just became Finland\u2019s first out Trans figure skater! \u26f8\ufe0f\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\u26a7\ufe0f\u201d— Lucy (@Lucy) 1674992602
Anitkainen skated out for a solo while her competitors watched in awe. Or maybe shock?
Within the first forty-five seconds, Anitkainen stumbled and fell, unable to get back up until another skater assisted her.
So brave. So beautiful.
\u201cBREAKING: Finland has introduced the world's first transgender national figure skater \n\nThey fall down in the first 45 seconds and no one is allowed to act like anything at all happened \nhttps://t.co/12n8ubKZ1c\u201d— Jack Posobiec \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Jack Posobiec \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1674968176
Anitkainen previously said they had a "childhood dream" of being a professional figure skater. Anitkainen presents as a female but uses both male and female pronouns and self-identifies as a "gender-neutral woman."
Back in 2020, Anitkainen competed in a performance called "Geisha," and did "Geisha-face," if that's a thing. They painted their face white and dressed in kimono while traditional Japanese music played.
\u201c(Continued)\nAntikainen previously competed in the 2020 Juna Cup in a performance titled "Geisha," during which he painted his face white, dressed in kimono, and skated to traditional Japanese music.\u201d— REDUXX (@REDUXX) 1675008213
Outi Wuorenheimo, Executive Director of the Finnish Figure Skating Association, praised Anitkainen's stunning and brave performance for the women's team, saying, "Figure skating is a very conservative sport with various strict rules. In international competitions, same-sex skating pairs are not allowed, and there is no category for non-binary skaters. I hope that every country will start working for equality and diversity in the field."
This is quite a change of pace for transpeople in women's sports. Typically, they dominate the field. Take UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, who become the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national championship and was even nominated for Woman of the Year. Or MMA Fighter Fallon Fox, who successfully crushed a female competitor's orbital bone.
These performances of course have absolutely nothing to do with anything like, I don't know, elevated testosterone or increased bone density. That's just right-wing transphobic rhetoric.
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