Transgender MMA fighter Alana McLaughlin criticises Instagram after death threats

Alana McLaughlin

Transgender MMA fighter Alana McLaughlin has criticised Instagram for having double standards, after being subject to thousands of death threats on the social media platform.

McLaughlin was born male, but surgically transitioned in 2016 and now identifies as female.

The fighter beat Celine Provost in her MMA debut recently, but her involvement in women’s MMA has sparked widespread backlash.

Former UFC fighter Michael Bisping stressed that it’s “unfair to women’s MMA” that McLaughlin is allowed to compete.

Speaking on his podcast, Bisping said: “I do believe that if you're a woman that feels trapped in a man's body, there are certain advantages that you should have to give up.

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"If you have the body of a man, competing against girls or women when you're using your body to beat someone unconscious, has to be one of those things you sacrifice."

Similarly, welterweight fighter Jake Shields mocked the former US Army Special Forces soldier, calling her “so brave” for “beating up women.”

McLaughlin passed all necessary medical requirements to compete in women’s MMA – including hormone–testing but has still been subject to online abuse.

The fighter said she’d received thousands of death threats on Instagram, yet according to the social platform’s guidelines, these comments “don’t violate community standards.”

Meanwhile, McLaughlin had a two-year-old picture taken down from her Instagram profile for “inciting violence”, because she used the phrase “come at me bro.”

Speaking on Twitter, the MMA competitor wrote: “To give folks an idea of how trans people are treated on social media: I just had a 2-year-old Instagram pic taken down for ‘inciting violence’ because I captioned it ‘come at me bro’, while I was receiving thousands of death threats that ‘don't violate community standards.’”

Previously, McLaughlin had revealed she wants to normalise trans people competing in sport.

“The fact of the matter is I’m at the beginning and 38,” she told the Guardian. “I want to go as far as I can, but I really want to help normalise trans people in sports. This [fight] will start my contribution.”

For now, though, the fighter is just trying to silence her haters and says “transphobes are just making my block hand stronger.”

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