‘South Park’ Mocks Trans Athletes

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the South Park episode “Board Girls”]

South Park used the late Randy Savage for some satire about the awakening culture, mocking transgender athletes in Wednesday’s episode, with creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone engaging in heated debate about transgender women in sports competitions.

Titled “Board Girls”, the seventh episode of the 23rd season revolves around the character Strong Woman (who is also an elementary school vice principal and partner of the PC Principal, with whom she has PC babies) participating in She entered the Strong Female contest, which she previously won.

In top form and ready to compete, she was asked by a sports announcer how she felt about the transgender women in the competition. Strong Woman says she’s happy about the situation.

Enter Heather Swanson, a character who looks and sounds like the late wrestler Randy Savage, but said she started identifying as female “two weeks ago” to compete.

“I’m not here to talk about my transition, I’m here to kick ass assholes,” she said. Savage actually died in 2011 at the age of 58.

Heather, of course, won the contest and then several other female contests, while also choosing to fight Strong Woman and calling the PC Principal a “carrier” because he had issues with Heather’s behavior. It was later learned that Randy Savage’s character was an ex-boyfriend who went out to get revenge on Strong Woman for embarrassing him years ago.

In the end, Heather, who claims to be unstoppable, is defeated by some elementary school girls who have formed a board game club after the boys at the school complained and demanded they are kicked out of their game club.

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Heather says the competition with the girls is unfair because she was born a man, which means she doesn’t read the board game instructions in advance, like she says she’s a woman, so she was at a disadvantage. Cartman then invited Heather to join the boy’s club.

On Thursday, Rachel McKinnon, a transgender world cycling champion, called the episode “lazy” and said that Parker and Stone are in fact transgender.

“I’m not particularly angry about South Park episode,” she said over Twitter. “Yes, it’s crosstalk. Yes, it’s lazy. Yes, it contributes to harm to transgender women and girls. But they are lazy and increasingly irrelevant. Damn, exhibition about the future did the same stupid plot back in 2003. Transphobes has no new jokes.”

She continued, “South Park has been deeply adapted throughout time*. * This is not their first apparent misrepresentation. It won’t be their last. Stone and Parker are carriers. Write them down. Skip their lazy performance”.

November 14, 1pm: Updated with comment from competitive cyclist Rachel McKinnon.

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