Steph's Place

June 20th: New trans inclusion policies in sport, or should I say exclusion?

By Steph

Well, I am angry, and I know I should not be writing this blog - I will probably write something I shouldn't But sometimes, getting things off your chest can be helpful, so here goes.

I'm angry because transphobic people have had not one, but two wins.

One courtesy of the worlds governing body for cycling, the other for swimming. Two different outcomes, but both prejudiced because of the way a tiny minority are born.


I'm talking about inclusion in elite sports.

In reality, it's not a big deal here in the UK because we have never seen a trans elite athlete competing at an elite level; in short, it's a non-issue. Yes, Emily Bridges is on the horizon of competing, but as we saw with the one and only trans woman who reached the Olympics, it's not easy. That trans woman was Laurel Hubbard.

She came last.

The UK bookmakers made her second favourite driven by stupid punters putting money on her. Those punters subsequently learnt that the British media tells lies. No, let's go further.

They are utterly and completely transphobic.

The transphobes who promote this discourse say they are "saving women's sport" - but this is simply not true. There was no women's sport to save.

There are some 34 million women in the UK, but just around 100,000 trans women, the majority much closer to being pensioners than swinging a hockey stick. The numbers dont stack up. Indeed, some 50% of trans folk won't even leave their house for fear of transphobia in the street.

Yeah - let's save women's sport.

The cycling federation changed its rules purely because of Emily. Nothing more to be said, really. With the fanfare of saying they "want inclusion" - actions speak louder than words.

And as for swimming, who cares? Well, transphobes and the transphobic media.

Davies, Hilton et al ecstatic?

Yeah - let's save women's sport.

To be honest, the new policy from FINA (swimming's world federation) is kind of ironic. Because, in time, it will likely prove that not all girls are, well girls. Competitors have to have "sex tests", and I've got a gut feeling some of those tests will prove that human diversity exists.

I wonder how Sharron Davies would explain that one? Would she say "sorry" to any young lass or indeed lasses thrown out of swimming? I doubt it. The purity of the binary.

But every cloud has a silver lining.

The argument against Self-ID has suddenly gotten weaker, which could make life easier for thousands of us. In reality, sport and Self-ID were never a bonafide argument, but that argument is now diminished, if not entirely gone.

And how about FINA's new "open category" - designed purely for the one (yes, one) potential elite trans swimmer from the US, Lia Thomas. How gracious we all should feel that FINA cares about one trans athlete.

Okay, I am being flippant - I did say I was angry.

I guess we should all welcome it, indeed I have mooted this idea in the past, to the EHRC no less - and there are ways that this could work.

But then again, I saw the transphobes get angry after Emily Bridges won an open bike race which was all about fun.

A race designed for any sex, any gender, any human being.

I witnessed the terf pile-on's to anyone who supported Emily, even the natal females who came third and fourth in that race, who disapproved of gender-critical prejudice.

I read Sharron Davies declare the result was "disappointing".

I rest my case.


Words by Steph 

08:29 20/6/22

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