Transgender skateboarder Lillian Gallagher was shown standing at the winner’s podium at last year’s Red Bull Cornerstone skating competition and the second place woman, Taylor Silverman, is now slamming the contest as totally unfair.
The final competition in the series was held in Lincoln, Nebraska, in December and saw Gallagher awarded $5,000 after she took both wins in the main competition and the “Best Trick” contest.
Watch the full recap below.
Silverman, 27, says that she should have gotten the award and not Gallagher and cites her transgender status as the reason.
“I am a female athlete,” Silverman said in a post on Instagram on Tuesday.
“I have been skateboarding for eleven years and competing for several years. I have been in three different contests with trans women, two of which I placed second,” Silverman said. “At the last contest series I did for Redbull, I placed second.”
“The trans competitor who won took $1000 dollars in qualifiers, $3000 in finals, and $1000 in best trick,’ Silverman continued to write. ‘This totaled to $5000 of the prize money meant for the female athletes.”
She discussed her winnings from Red Bull.
“I took $1000 in qualifiers and $1750 for second place, so $2750 in total. The girl who deserved $1000 for best trick took nothing along with whoever would have placed third.”
“I deserved to place first, be acknowledged for my win and get paid. I reached out to Red Bull and was ignored. I am sick of being bullied into silence,” Silverman then said on her Instagram post.
The email to Red Bull was sent to their Senior Sports Marketing Manager Erich Drummer and Silverman asked how to forward her complaint farther, but she did not receive a response.
“I am reaching out in hopes of being directed to the the right person to express my concerns about what occurred at the Redbull Cornerstone contest with the transgender competitor in the women’s division. Perhaps that is you. If not, hopefully you can put me in contact with the correct person,” she wrote.
“A biological man with a clear advantage won the women’s division, best trick, and also won multiple qualifiers. This took away the opportunity that was meant for women to place and earn money.”
“What happened was unfair and at the time I was too uncomfortable to speak up. I understand that in today’s society even some women think this is acceptable, but I believe in doing the right thing even if it’s not the popular thing.”
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“I now realize it’s really important for me to speak up.”
In response to her post, Silverman got some support.
One commenter Corie Kenyon replied back to her: “Good for you for speaking up Taylor! I support you. Please try to keep in mind that the internet is not an accurate snapshot of reality so the abuse you’re getting here is not the voice of those around you.”
Other people responded by accusing her of being anti-trans.
“This argument is transphobic as f*** and shows what type of person you are,” said one user.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently signed into law a banning of transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams in public and private schools. There has been similar legislation in Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.
Proponents of such laws say that trans women have an unfair advantage in these competitions due to their original biology.
Do you think that Silverman is right about being cheated out of the win?