Dale Shepherd, a powerlifter, and New Zealand’s “Strongest Man,” has made a bold statement in protest of gender self-identification in sports. Shepherd, who has been weightlifting for over 40 years, has applied to compete in the women’s category of the Global Powerlifting New Zealand Day of the Deadlifts competition.
JUST IN: New Zealand's 'strongest man' will be competing in the women’s division to protest the trans agenda.
He’s going to blow the competition out of the water 😂https://t.co/IXhSEzzuUn
— Proud Elephant 🇺🇸🦅 (@ProudElephantUS) April 17, 2023
Shepherd believes that biological men who self-identify as women will take over women’s sports, which would be a huge slap in the face to all of the hardworking female athletes. He goes on to explain that hormone treatments, such as taking estrogen, do not cancel out all of the years the male athlete has trained, ultimately resulting in greater bone density, tendon, and muscle strength.
A male powerlifting coach self-identified as a woman and broke a women's benchpress record in protest of gender self-identification in sport.
Avi Silverberg performed the defiant act while the current record holder, a transgender male, watched.
— REDUXX (@ReduxxMag) March 28, 2023
Day of the Deadlifts only comp. Dale holds numerous NZ male records & has also broken world records. Dale knows he'll easily break the female record & is doing this to highlight the absurdity of allowing self ID in sport & to help force a rule change.
We hope he is successful.💪
— Save Women’s Sports Australasia (@SWS_australasia) April 14, 2023
The Global Powerlifting Committee of New Zealand recognizes self-declared gender identity in their rules, but Shepherd’s application to compete in the women’s category was denied because he did not meet the one-year hormone treatment requirement. However, Shepherd argues that this requirement is discriminatory, and he is waiting for a reply from the committee.
Shepherd’s move has garnered support from conservative groups like Save Women’s Sports, which advocates for keeping biological men out of women’s sports. They believe that allowing self-identification in sports would be absurd and a disservice to biological female athletes who have worked hard to compete.
If Shepherd is allowed to compete in June, he plans to proceed with his intention to compete as a female powerlifter. His efforts echo another male powerlifter who has used his strength to advocate for equity in sports.
In conclusion, Shepherd’s protest is a valiant effort to protect women’s sports from exploitation by biological men who want to assert their gender identity at any cost. The stakes are high, and the fight for fairness and equality in sports is far from over.