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Former WWE Wrestler Gabbi Tuft Weighs In On Trans Women in Sports

gabbi tuft

Gabbi Tuft (image courtesy Gabbi Tuft)

Gabbi Tuft was once a heavyweight champ, weighing 246 pounds of solid muscle. Now, she weighs in on the sports debate surrounding trans athletes, hoping to shine a light on possible solutions. 

Tuft was previously a Heavyweight Championship and World Wrestling Entertainment competitor under a different name. She spent years building muscle tone and using steroids to supplement testosterone levels before beginning her transition. 

 She is now a TikToker who gained a following from creating content on her transition and body transformation. 

 When she began her transition three years ago, she took a simple body weight test that measured the amount of muscle she had. 

“It showed that I had 50 pounds more muscle in my body than an ‘average’ female,” said Tuft. “If I were to go compete at a bodybuilding competition, or powerlifting, competition or motorcycle racing, I can’t find that being fair to the other [biological females].” 

This is a position that is often held by athletes who claim that transgender women have an unfair advantage based on hormone levels or other physical characteristics. 

“So when we talk about my viewpoint on trans people in sports, the first thing I have to make clear, is that I support every single trans person that wants to come in our gender category, but I think we do need some better standards,” said Tuft. 

In April, the House passed an anti-trans sports bill that would ban transgender women from participating in women’s sports titled the ‘Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023.’ This particular bill only looks at banning transgender women from participating in women’s sports and does not consider banning transgender men from competing in men’s competitions. HB-734 states that only “trans women hold an unfair advantage in sports competitions.”

Tuft does believe some trans women do hold an unfair advantage. However, she also says that there has to be a better way to factor in all of the variables that are part of the issue. 

She suggests that trans women who do not fall within that deviation should not be banned. Tuft believes they should be able to compete once they lose muscle tone and fall into that range, such as weight categories that consider athletes once they lose certain weight. 

Tuft suggests using Dual-Energy Xray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scans, which measure body weight, muscle density, and bone strength. 

“We find the muscle mass from a range of [people assigned] female [at birth] and we create a standard deviation,” said Tuft. “If a trans woman wants to compete in a sport, they are able to as long as they fall within that [standard deviation].” 

She does not believe she has the solution, but rather that her perspective as a trans athlete who previously competed in heavyweight competitions, could help start the conversation on finding a solution. 

“If we pick up the sword and start swinging it around, we’ll start a war,” said Tuft. “But if we walk in as a mediator trying to create a bridge between the two sides of the chasm, it’s going to be a lot more effective.”



Gisselle Palomera
Gisselle Palomera
Gisselle Palomera is a QTBIPOC multimedia journalist, whose mission it is to highlight and uplift other QTBIPOC voices in the media. They are currently a project intern for The Queer 26, a non-profit media platform for creatives. Gisselle mostly focuses on photojournalism, but also does wedding photography, music photography, commercial, nature, wildlife photography and portraits.