Monday, August 6, 2012

McCreath won't defend titles nor attend 2013 Outgames

I received much compliments and much criticism, all at once, for successfully convincing the 2009 World Outgames to create a third sex category for those who fell outside of the gender/sex binary classification scheme, and for those athletes in transition who had not yet met the 2003 gender policy standard from the International Olympic Committee, that had been adopted by the Outgames.

As has been well documented in this blog, while agreeing to the category, upon attending the Games, I not only felt invisible, but unwanted. Fast forward ahead three years, not only has the policy been removed, but there is no new policy in place (either new, or reference to reverting back to the old), on the website of - the entity who oversees the Outgames. "gender policy under review" is what you will find there now.

This lead me to contact them about a week ago to inquire as to what was going on, and I did not receive a response. meanwhile, I see these folks tweeting that they are trying to prevent transphobia at the Olympic games that are currently taking place. Well, sorry folks. you have demonstrated to me that you are all talk and no action. With this in mind, further to my announcement of my plans to attend the 2014 Gay Games (mostly given the fact that they have a new gender policy that I feel works great for the trans community), I will further announce today that I will NOT be making the trip to Antwerp in 2013 for the next edition of the Outgames. 

As it seems likely that the 3rd sex category will now be defunct, I find it interestingly ironic that I will likely go down as not only the first, but the ONLY formally-sanctioned transsexual marathon runner in world history,  (a label that I am starting to hate more now, than embrace, by the way). Likewise, the other 12 athletes who participated in the 3rd category, may lay claim to the same for their sports.

Ironically, I would not have competed in said 3rd category, had I decided to attend next year. I would have competed as a female - as I will in 2014 at the Gay Games.  While it was unlikely that I would have attended anyway, I hope that this public boycott statement sends a message to GLISA that they are not doing a good enough job at making trans athletes feel welcome nor comfortable attending.

Furthermore, for those of you not familiar with the history. GLISA was created when the Gay Games decided to cancel their previous plans to hold their 2006 event in Montreal. While the Gay Games pulled the plug and moved their event to Chicago, a separate group launched themselves and hosted the premiere Outgames in Montreal. The two organizations have been considered rivals ever since.

Ironically, I did not attend the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany, due to similar concerns with regards to the gender policy they had at the time. But I am excited to see a much-improved policy for the 2014 Gay Games.  I can only hope that GLISA will get back on board and start to re-engage trans athletes, so that myself and perhaps many more, will attend their games in 2017.

No comments: