Sir Mitch Says: This is a very special guest article from our good friend, Nekora Koibito. Read, learn and enjoy.
AEW is a company that seems to be making history in so many ways every time they have a press conference or big announcement. Equal pay for men and women stars? Check. Placing equal emphasis across the board on the product? Check. Now, they have signed what may be there most historic signing yet. No, I’m not talking about Kenny Omega, but Nyla Rose.
Nyla Rose is the first openly transgender woman to be signed to any major wrestling promotion. While this fact should be celebrated in the wrestling community, most places I look have had comments and dog whistle arguments on her status and transition. Today, I’d like to give you, the readers, a bit of an education on why her wrestling in the women’s division is not only perfectly fine but the only correct call.
To preface this for those that may not know me, I am Nekora Koibito, I have been in active transition for three years, two of which I have been on HRT. I have significant ties throughout the trans community as a support group leader and community activist. If anyone is qualified to write on this, it would be me.
First things first, let’s talk about the physical aspects. Nyla is a woman in active transition. That means she is undergoing HRT, Hormone Replacement Therapy. Typically, this involves using Estrodiol and Spironolactone. Estradiol is a synthetic estrogen, and Spironolactone is a testosterone blocker. Ideally, once you have been on them for about a year, your levels will be comparable with a cisgender woman. That means under 28 micrograms of testosterone in the bloodstream compared to 200-400 of estrogen.
With that, within the first year, the body undergoes significant changes as the hormone levels balance out and are adjusted by the doctors. Trans women go through what is considered reverse menopause. We get the hot flashes, cramps, muscle atrophy, and all of the other symptoms of it, which then gives way to the fat redistribution, slowing of our metabolism, and breast tissue growth.
But the thing to focus on here is the muscle atrophy, which is a form of Sarcopenia. This atrophy results in a trans woman having comparable strength levels and, in older trans women, bone density, of a cisgender woman. Yes, we are subject to osteoporosis. With all of that, you would think, “Well, she can hit the gym, she’d have an advantage there!” Nope! As a trans woman, you have to work harder to get the same gains as a cis woman because your body actively fights against it. One of the key building blocks for muscle mass is… Testosterone! And you take pills to shut it down. “Well, she could just come off of them and work out, right?” That’s the thing… if you’ve been on Spironolactone for a significant period of time, your natural T production could shut down permanently. And if you had an orchiectomy, which is the removal of the testicles, you no longer produce testosterone PERIOD.
But the physical aspects that would affect her in the ring aside let’s have a real talk here. Nyla is a woman – not as some would say a “guy pretending” or any nonsense like that. She is a woman. She has fought to make her way to her authentic self. And that’s not to count that they other factors that may be involved with her that we are not privy to, such as latent genetic markers and brain chemistry.
Yes folks, gender and biological sexuality are spectrums. Take for example my own. Because I have XY chromosomes, I have almost every genetic marker on those two that indicate I should have been born a woman, and due to my chromosome breaking, I was not. Nyla undergoes more hardships than most not just as a trans woman, but being one of color. Trans women of color are more disproportionately discriminated against and murdered than any other segment of the LGBT+ community.
Her signing in of itself, then, is not only historic, but inspirational. WWE would never hire a trans woman because both Estrodiol and Spironolactone are on their Wellness Policy banned substance lists because of their use by people that wish to also use steroids, such as Brock Lesnar. (And before anyone flies off at me for that shade, Brock’s positive test after Mark Hunt was for Spiro. It’s relevant.) So I’m going to ask this. Don’t judge her by her journey or her transition status. Judge her by the body of work she puts into AEW. It’s the only fair thing we can do, treating her like any other women’s worker. Because that’s all she should be to everyone.