'Nonbinary' US Olympic Skater Says He Was Socialized to Believe 'There Is a Man and a Woman'

US Olympic Skaters Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, screenshot. Credit: NBC Sports YouTube

U.S. pairs figure skater Timothy LeDuc, who is openly gay, is also the first openly “nonbinary” athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics, meaning he does not identify as male or female. Already confused?


Stay with me.

Washington Post Olympics reporter Les Carpenter on Thursday said it perfectly:

Words matter. Labels matter. Pronouns mean everything. American pairs skater Timothy LeDuc, the first openly nonbinary Winter Olympian, stood in the hallway at the Capital Indoor Stadium this week and talked about the explanations they never had for the way they felt growing up.

LeDuc, who goes by “they/them” pronouns, claims he’s trying to break through gendered stereotypes within figure skating to achieve “authenticity.” As transcribed by WaPo:

We’ve all been socialized in the same way to believe there is a man and a woman [see: “chromosomes,” “xy” and “xx” pairings] and everybody is going to fit neatly into those categories, so I am also learning with everyone else.

I understand there is [a need] to take time out to explain and help everyone understand, but I’m willing to do it and I’m happy to do it because I know it helps push the conversation forward and makes the paths of other queer and nonbinary people coming into sport maybe a little easier.

“From the time I was young,” LeDuc told WaPo, “I understood I didn’t fit very neatly into what was expected of me in terms of masculinity and manhood.” But…

But I also learned very quickly how I had to conform to those things for safety, to be taken seriously to find my success.

LeDuc then ‘splained the difference between “sex” and gender.”

Sex and gender are different things, and also gender expression is different from gender. Gender is more an internal sense of self as a man, woman, both or neither. Gender expression can be an extension of that, but it doesn’t always have to be.

Yes, I have a beard, but in competition, I wear makeup. And for me as my experience with gender, I portray parts of masculinity and manhood, but I also feel a connection to femininity, [and] it’s just the process of letting that out and letting people see that.


LeDuc said people “focus too much on physical characteristics and focus too much on the gender binary and the sex binary.” “But we know from science,” he added, that “people exist out of those binaries both in sex and gender.” Confused? Me, too. On purpose.

Carpenter praised LeDuc and his skating partner Ashley Cain-Gribble, who are not expected to contend for a medal in Beijing, for their efforts to “attack those standards” on the ice.

Together, LeDuc and Cain-Gribble have tried to attack those standards in subtle ways. LeDuc still lifts Cain-Gribble, but they competed this year in matching shirts and long pants, and they both skate almost as much as the other as opposed to LeDuc standing around and hoisting Cain-Gribble in the air.

As reported by NBC Sports in early January, “the team of Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc capitalized on their record-setting short program win to snatch pairs gold with a 145.84-point free skate to claim their second U.S. National Title.”

LeDuc told WaPo he’s happy he has the “title” as the “first nonbinary Winter Olympian,” but added: “I’m here as an athlete first.”

The bottom line:

While I’m (purposely) not an expert on such things as “nonbinary,” “pansexual,” “genderqueer,” “intergender,” and such, it makes zero difference to me — nor is it my business — whatever ridiculous label(s) people choose to attach to themselves; including those that have nothing to do with sexual orientation or anything related.


I do, however, have a problem with non-science nonsense — in all areas, including COVID-related nonsense — being presented as narrative-driven science. As should we all.

As the distinguished Democrat statesman Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously observed, to paraphrase, we are entitled to our own opinions but we are not entitled to our facts.

Not to mention, #ChromosomesMatter.

Related on RedState:

The ‘They’ With the Golden Gun: Future James Bond May Be Nonbinary

Students at a Pro-Transgender Women’s College Decry Its Anti-Nonbinary Attitude

ACLU Attorney Nails the ‘White Supremacy’ of Cisgender Sports, Says an Infant’s Sex is Not ‘Easily Identifiable’


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