Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 4, 2008 - Groundbreaking Trans Athlete Policy Development!

Due to an Olympic policy precedent, transwomen athletes who are less than 2 years into transition are often forced to compete as "males." i found this to be unfair and degrading. I proposed a better idea, and it looks like the idea may get accepted!

The World Out Games are the Olympic equivalent for athletes who identify as Lesbian / Gay / Bisexual / Transgender /misc Queer, etc. It is a combination of athletic excellence and pride. The inaugural World Out Games took place in Montreal Canada in 2006. The next version will take place July-Aug 2009 in Copenhagen Denmark.

My big news of the day is that the World Out Games race organizers have given preliminary indication that they will likely accept and implement my proposed policy amendment to their policy for transsexual athletes, paying special attention to those who are currently "in transition".

The International Olympic Committee has clear guidelines for when and how trans athletes will qualify for their new sex. but for those who are less than 2 years into transition, they are forced to compete under their old/original biological sex category. The World Out Games had adopted this guideline as their official policy.

i suggested to the World Out Games that although i agree that it would be unfair for me to compete as a female, it would be unfair for me to compete as a male as well, given that 1 - i won't have all of the male "parts" that i was born with, and 2 - the affect of estrogen gives me an unfair competitive disadvantage against other males.

I also suggested that asking me to compete as a male was not only unfair, but disrespectful, humiliating, and degrading, given that i identify as a woman.

i proposed that a 3rd sex category be created for those athletes who neither identify with and/nor biologically qualify as male or female. this would be a participation category, as opposed to a competitive category (given that it is not really fair to ask transitioning competitors to compete against one another as some will be further along into hormones, and hence further advantaged or disadvantaged from others). the spirit of the World Out Games is to give LGBT athletes a chance to display their athletic talents while expressing pride of their LGBT status. this isn't really about winning or losing.

if this policy amendment does in fact go thru in January, i would consider this a huge precedent and a huge victory in terms of trans recognition and acceptance.



Boris T. said...

Jen great stuff to hear, hope it goes through.

Must be great to be a part of such a change in the system.

Jennifer McCreath said...

i know this will not be the first time a marathon has sanctioned someone to participate in a 3rd category, but i hope this one gets some media hype. any chance i can get to raise education and awareness to transsexualism, and to help dispel the myths. it's worth the effort for sure!

schwingsie said...

That's definitely progress. I honestly don't see why more races don't implement such a strategy...doesn't seem to require much more of them. They already track age groups and such, why not a 'transition' category?
Anyway, best of luck with your training. I read that you've had a 42.2K day recently. :)