LGBTQ activists speak out after Mayo doctor gives interview on transgender athletes

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(ABC 6 News) – A Mayo Clinic doctor sat down with the New York Times for an interview that local LGBTQ activists say has harmful rhetoric against the transgender community.

Mayo Clinic Physiologist Dr. Michael Joyner spoke out in a New York Times spoke to reporters about the long-term effects of testosterone on transgender female athletes.

"There are social aspects to sport, but physiology and biology underpin it. Testosterone is the 800-pound gorilla," Joyner said to the New York Times

Local LGBTQ activists say that kind of language is detrimental to ensuring trans people have equal access to healthcare.

"Talking about an 800-pound gorilla. The language was at best, insensitive. At worst, transphobic. Statements like these just further engrain that hesitation and fear that if a trans person seeks medical care, their physician is going to be making assumptions about them based on their gender identity, rather than them as a whole patient and a whole person," said Jennifer Winter, an LGBTQ advocate.

Mayo Clinic released a statement saying: Mayo Clinic is committed to providing care for and supporting LGBTQIA+ staff, patients, and community. Mayo Clinic’s actions demonstrate our commitment to the LGBTQIA community each and every day, and especially during Pride Month.

While our staff have expertise in a broad range of areas that may contribute to the discussion, Mayo Clinic does not have a position on LGBTQIA+ athletic competition policies.

Mayo Clinic declined to speak with ABC 6 News in an interview.