In line with today being Trans Day of Visibility and the current negativity towards the trans community I thought it timely to share some thoughts on trans inclusion in sport.
In my open letter I wrote shortly after winning Mr Gay Pride Australia I set out my goal of making a significant impact to end homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in sport. Some recent decisions from world and then national bodies have really shone a light on the transphobia that exists in sport and the work that still needs to be done to better support the inclusion of trans athletes. I know this issue can be very divisive and it is the exact reason I want to start a conversation to bring about more understanding.
Now I am one of the first advocates for an equal playing field when it comes to participating in sport. I am also an advocate for scientific research to keep sport fair particularly when it comes to performance-enhancing substances. I, therefore, accept the new research that the World Athletics Council (WAC) is using to demonstrate the previously allowable testosterone levels provide a substantial advantage to trans athletes competing in women’s competition.
Where I see the failure on the trans athletes is that the research has not yet been conducted to find the levels that wouldn’t provide an unfair advantage and instead the action was to ban trans athletes from participating in women’s competition.
Banning these trans athletes goes to show the lack of empathy and lack of will to deal with the issue of trans inclusion in sport. There is a commitment by the WAC to do the research but how long is this going to take?
Meanwhile, elite trans athletes have to wait on the sidelines awaiting a resolution. There is no wonder there are extremely low levels of trans engagement with sport when there is no immediate plan to discuss trans inclusion, whatever that may look like.
So on this Trans Day of Visibility I want to make a point that some amazing trans athletes exist and they deserve to be included in sport, but we all have to do a better job of discussing what that looks like.
Last Updated on Mar 31, 2023