NZ transgender weightlifter speaks out for the first time about backlash

Lauren Hubbard won two silver medals at the world champs in Anaheim. Source: 1 NEWS



Video: 'I'm not here to change the world, I'm just here to be myself' - NZ transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard on critics

Kiwi transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard believes that it is not her job to change the minds of critics that disagree with her competing in the female class.

Hubbard, 39, made New Zealand history when she won two silver medals at the world championships in Anaheim on Tuesday.

She spoke to 1 NEWS today in Auckland and said she understands that there are a lot of people that disagree with her competing in the female class but believes it isn't up to her to convince them otherwise.

"It's not for me, it's not my role or my goal to change people's minds," said Hubbard.

"People will think, they will feel and will believe what is right for them.

The Kiwi made history claiming two silver medals in her first event at this year's world championships in Anaheim. Source: 1 NEWS

"I'm not here to change the world, I'm just here to be myself. I would hope they would support me but it's not for me to make them do so."

Hubbard said she has received some support from her fellow competitors and wider community.

Hubbard will become the first transgender New Zealander to compete at next year's Gold Coast games. Source: 1 NEWS

"One of the great things about going into this competition is that people have reached out to me and I have been receiving messages of support and encouragement," she said.

"From not just other weightlifters but the broader community as well and I'm really grateful for that."

Hubbard will be the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in Australia next year.

Hubbard spoke to 1 NEWS for the first time since winning two silver medals at the world champs in Anaheim. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: Emotional transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard asks critics to 'treat people like me with respect' after world champs success

Kiwi transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has opened up for the first time about her thoughts on criticism of her competing in the female-super heavyweight class after her success at the world championships in the US.

Hubbard, 39, made New Zealand history claiming two silver medals in her first event at this year's world championships in Anaheim on Wednesday.

Hubbard will become the first transgender New Zealander to compete at next year's Gold Coast games. Source: 1 NEWS

She spoke to 1 NEWS today in Auckland and said that she was mentally prepared for a backlash from critics.

"Look I think that every athlete has to develop a certain amount of toughness because when you are competing at this level you just can't let the distractions distract you," said Hubbard.

"I don't think I am any different from anyone else, I don't think I am any tougher - I just do what I have to do."

Hubbard will be the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in Australia next year.

She said she understands that not everyone agrees with her competing in the female class.

"I think the world has changed enough – not everyone supports me, not everyone accepts me but there are people out there that do, that's been great," said Hubbard.

"I just hope that no matter what people think about people in my situation that they treat people like me with respect because what more can you ask for."

The Kiwi made history claiming two silver medals in her first event at this year's world championships in Anaheim. Source: 1 NEWS


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