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Moment transgender skateboarder takes top position on winner’s podium at 2021 event

Video shows transgender skateboarder Lillian Gallagher standing triumphantly atop the winner’s podium at last year’s Red Bull Cornerstone skating competition – a victory that saw the female runner-up slam the contest as unfair.

Footage taken from the 2021 final of the event – which sees top skaters from the Midwest compete at the region’s best indoor skateparks – shows Gallagher gladly accepting her trophy at the top of the stage, as the second- and third-place winners stand on.  

The victory at the final in Lincoln, Nebraska, held in December, saw Gallagher awarded $5,000, after sealing wins in both the event’s main competition and its ‘Best Trick’ contest.

Now, however, runner-up Taylor Silverman – who was awarded just over half that sum – says that award should be hers.

Video shows transgender skateboarder Lillian Gallagher (middle) standing triumphantly atop the winner's podium at last year's Red Bull Cornerstone skating competition - a victory that saw the female runner-up Taylor Silverman (at left) slam the contest as unfair

Video shows transgender skateboarder Lillian Gallagher (middle) standing triumphantly atop the winner’s podium at last year’s Red Bull Cornerstone skating competition – a victory that saw the female runner-up Taylor Silverman (at left) slam the contest as unfair

‘I am a female athlete,’ Silverman, a 27-year-old professional skater from Kalamazoo, Michigan, wrote in a scathing post published to Instagram Tuesday, in which she slammed Red Bull for allowing a trans woman complete in an all-female competition.

‘I have been skateboarding for eleven years and competing for several years. I have been in three different contests with trans women, two of which I placed second,’ Silverman said

‘At the last contest series I did for Redbull, I placed second.’

Silverman, who says she has been skateboarding for 11 years, proceeded to break down the winnings split amongst the three contestants whom had medaled, while appealing to Red Bull to rescind Gallagher’s win.

‘The trans competitor who won took $1000 dollars in qualifiers, $3000 in finals, and $1000 in best trick,’ Silverman wrote. ‘This totaled to $5000 of the prize money meant for the female athletes.’

She went on to reveal what she had made from competing in the contest. 

‘I took $1000 in qualifiers and $1750 for second place, so $2750 in total.’

‘The girl who took third received $750. 

‘The girl who deserved $1000 for best trick took nothing along with whoever would have placed third.’ 

‘I deserved to place first, be acknowledged for my win and get paid. I reached out to Red Bull and was ignored. I am sick of being bullied into silence,’ Silverman then asserted in an Instagram post. 

Trans skateboarder Gallagher (pictured) was awarded $5,000 for placing first and winning two separate divisions - money that Silverman says should have been given to her

Trans skateboarder Gallagher (pictured) was awarded $5,000 for placing first and winning two separate divisions – money that Silverman says should have been given to her

Prior to the award, Gallagher (pictured) beat out the female competition at the December 2021 final in Lincoln, Nebraska, winning both the regular competition and the 'Best Trick' event

Prior to the award, Gallagher (pictured) beat out the female competition at the December 2021 final in Lincoln, Nebraska, winning both the regular competition and the ‘Best Trick’ event

The post also saw Silverman attach a screenshot of an email she said she sent to officials following the contest, demanding they take action – asking them to ‘do the right thing even if it’s not the popular thing’ – but said she was ignored.

In the undated email, sent to Redbull’s Senior Sports Marketing Manager Erich Dummer, Silverman asked the staffer for advice on how to proceed with a complaint regarding Gallagher’s win.

‘I am reaching out in hopes of being directed to the the right person to express my concerns about what occurred at the Redbull Cornerstone contest with the transgender competitor in the women’s division. Perhaps that is you. If not, hopefully you can put me in contact with the correct person,’ she wrote.

‘A biological man with a clear advantage won the women’s division, best trick, and also won multiple qualifiers. This took away the opportunity that was meant for women to place and earn money.’

She went on: ‘What happened was unfair and at the time I was too uncomfortable to speak up. I understand that in today’s society even some women think this is acceptable, but I believe in doing the right thing even if it’s not the popular thing.  

‘I now realize it’s really important for me to speak up.’

Footage taken from the 2021 final of the event - which sees top skaters from the Midwest compete at the region's best indoor skateparks - shows Gallagher gladly accepting her trophy

Footage taken from the 2021 final of the event – which sees top skaters from the Midwest compete at the region’s best indoor skateparks – shows Gallagher gladly accepting her trophy

She proceeded to ask the staffer if they could set up a date to talk, but has since said the request went unanswered.

‘I am done being silent. Please share,’ Silverman captioned the post, noting that the ‘the email I sent redbull… was completely ignored.’

Gallagher, who hails from Minneapolis, has yet to comment on the controversy. It is not yet known when she transitioned. 

The post has sparked an array of reactions, many of them supportive.

Other users have asked Silverman to have more empathy towards transgender women or get better at skateboarding.

Silverman’s claims come at a time of heightened national debate about whether transgender individuals should participate in the traditional women and men categories in sports. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to Silverman and Red Bull for comment. 

The most famous trans athlete – UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas – has smashed multiple records, with critics saying she has a clear biological advantage not afforded to her competitors who were born female.   

Pro skater Silverman (pictured) - who was awarded just over half the sum Gallagher garnered from the contest - slammed Red Bull for sponsoring the contest Tuesday, writing in a post to Instagram: 'I am done being silent'

Pro skater Silverman (pictured) – who was awarded just over half the sum Gallagher garnered from the contest – slammed Red Bull for sponsoring the contest Tuesday, writing in a post to Instagram: ‘I am done being silent’

Silverman (pictured) claims she and other female competitors were sidelined by officials at the Red Bull Cornerstone Contest, where she placed second and received a $2,750 award. Liberal commentators have said that Silverman's 'biological disadvantage was her mind'

Silverman (pictured) claims she and other female competitors were sidelined by officials at the Red Bull Cornerstone Contest, where she placed second and received a $2,750 award. Liberal commentators have said that Silverman’s ‘biological disadvantage was her mind’

'I deserved to place first, be acknowledged for my win and get paid. I reached out to Redbull and was ignored. I am sick of being bullied into silence,' Silverman wrote in an Instagram post

 ‘I deserved to place first, be acknowledged for my win and get paid. I reached out to Redbull and was ignored. I am sick of being bullied into silence,’ Silverman wrote in an Instagram post

Silverman, who has been skateboarding for 11 years, said when she tried to reach out to officials to 'do the right thing even if it's not the popular thing,' she was ignored

Silverman, who has been skateboarding for 11 years, said when she tried to reach out to officials to ‘do the right thing even if it’s not the popular thing,’ she was ignored 

Many supported Silverman’s decision to speak out about her experience at the competition.  

Instagram user Corie Kenyon wrote: ‘Good for you for speaking up Taylor! I support you. Please try to keep in mind that the internet is not an accurate snapshot of reality so the abuse you’re getting here is not the voice of those around you. 

‘The VAST majority of people even in the most liberal areas agree with what you’re saying here. I am sorry you’re getting abuse for saying so.’ 

Some Instagram users lashed out at Silverman, criticizing her skateboarding skills and insulting her performance.  

‘ALSO IT’S CALLED WOMAN’S devison (sic) not the ‘female ‘ devision (sic) genitalia doesn’t play a part in the red bull comp,’ user @skatescrum wrote. 

Another user wrote: ‘It’s not that deep. That should be your motivation to get better at skating props for them for setting the bar higher.’

Some went on to say that Silverman’s ‘biological disadvantage was her mind.’ 

‘I wholeheartedly disagree and cannot support this. Take the L and go on with your day, maybe try practicing more and you’ll be able to compete against anybody,’ another user wrote. 

Gallagher, who hails from Minneapolis, has yet to comment on the controversy. It is not yet known when she transitioned

Gallagher, who hails from Minneapolis, has yet to comment on the controversy. It is not yet known when she transitioned

Silverman has been skateboarding for 11 years, she said in her post

Silverman has been skateboarding for 11 years, she said in her post 

She said when she tried to reach out to officials to 'do the right thing even if it's not the popular thing,' she was ignored

She said when she tried to reach out to officials to ‘do the right thing even if it’s not the popular thing,’ she was ignored

‘This argument is transphobic as f*** and shows what type of person you are.’ 

Silverman says her email reaching out to Red Bull in hopes somebody would address her concerns that the competition was unfair, but she obtained no response. 

Silverman’s claims come on the heels of a flurry of bills this year directed at transgender youth, including measures that bar classroom discussion of gender identity, block access to healthcare to help young people transition, and restrict participation in sports.

Instagram users lashed out at Silverman, criticizing her skateboarding skills and insulting her performance

Instagram users lashed out at Silverman, criticizing her skateboarding skills and insulting her performance

Some went on to say that Silverman's 'biological disadvantage was her mind'

Some went on to say that Silverman’s ‘biological disadvantage was her mind’

Seldom people supported Silverman's decision to speak out about her experience at the competition

Seldom people supported Silverman’s decision to speak out about her experience at the competition

The Republican-sponsored legislations come in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections, with transgender rights emerging as a major front in America’s culture wars.

In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey signed a law that bans transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams in public and private schools.

Meanwhile, the Kentucky legislature, overriding Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s veto, enacted a law that bans trans women and girls from school sports teams in grades six through 12 and at Kentucky colleges and universities.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb vetoed a bill banning trans girls from girls’ school sports. Republican leaders in the legislators have vowed to override it.

Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill requiring student athletes to join school sports team based on ‘sex at birth’ across public and private schools as well as in higher education.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of a bill to ban transgender women and girls from participating in school sports will stand. 

Proponents of the bill did not get the two-thirds majority needed in the state’s House of Representatives to overturn the Democratic governor’s veto, essentially killing the bill despite a vote by state senators to override that veto.

Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah, are among other states that have enacted legislation to ban transgender individuals from participating in sports in the gender-category that they identify with. 

Supporters say the bills stop trans women and girls with a biological advantage from being allowed to compete unfairly. Detractors say the bills target an already vulnerable section of society.  

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