The International Swimming Federation (Fina) recently ruled that trans women are not allowed to participate in elite competition as women if they are over the age of twelve when they complete gender confirmation treatment.
Several other unions have also recently tightened their rules.
– I feel very sad. If all these rules were here when I was young, it would have been very difficult for me. “I use sport to express myself and it helps me understand who I am,” said Perry, who is from England.
– To eliminate that possibility for millions of transgender people – really sad. I think of all the people affected by this, and I hope they have a good support system around them.
Perry now plays for the Lambertseter team in the 3rd and 4th divisions, and refuses that she should have a physical advantage over the others because she is a trans woman.
– If there is such a thing as physical advantage, why am I not at Kristiansand and playing for the Viper, he asked rhetorically.
Goalkeeper Lambertseter hopes the new rules in the top sport will not keep young people away from their local sports teams.
– I hope they take the opportunity to make new friends. Doing exercise can do wonders for your mental health.
– To exclude them from this, it’s crazy, he said.
Afraid of negative comments
It is the special international unions that adopt the rule changes.
Håvard B. vregård, who is a senior adviser and works with work values at the Norwegian Sports Confederation, says they are receiving more and more questions from transgender people, parents and leaders on sports teams who want advice.
– There may be people wondering if they can participate in sports at all, many are afraid of negative comments or harassment. Some have practical questions about how to organize it in terms of wardrobes, he says.
He reminded that transgender participation in sports is first and foremost about grassroots sports and not about top sports.
– We are concerned that there may be some rules for top sports, setting limits for participation in women’s classes, at the same time being open to grassroots sports and facilitating everyone’s participation, said vregård.
– Now we can look ahead
So far, the changes in the sport have been received with ups and downs.
One who naturally reacted negatively was Lia Thomas from America. There was a terrible and terrible debate in the United States about transgender people in sports when he won the American College Women’s Swimming Championship.
From now on, she and other trans women are prohibited from taking women’s swimming classes.
– Fina’s decision is outrageous. It is discriminatory and will only harm all women, he said.
Five-time swimming world champion Emily Seebohm, from Australia, for her part, was pleased with Fina’s decision.
– Now we can look ahead. We can all get back to the sport we love, and be confident that we jump into the pool for fair competition, he said, according to Reuters.
The decision came shortly after the International Cycling Union (UCI) decided to tighten their rules in the area. Starting July 1, trans women in elite circles will have to show testosterone levels below the association’s allowable limit for the 24 months prior to competition. Previously, this period was 12 months.
wrote about British Emily Bridges
which have been affected by changes in association rules.
The International Rugby League (IRL) has also announced that trans women will be barred from participating in the International Rugby League until further notice. Security.
The IRL has thus made the same decision as World Rugby, which already had a ban.
Sebastian Coe, president of the International Athletics Federation, also said that there could be changes in athletics.
On Monday, FIFA also stated that they were reviewing their regulations.
Germany with new rules: Transgenders are free to choose teams – NRK Sport – Sports news, results and broadcast schedules
Think more unions will follow
NRK sports commentator Jan P. Saltvedt believes that more federations will follow in the future.
– There is a strong movement internationally toward trying to come up with something reminiscent of limit setting and best preparation in some sports, he said.
– What we still see today is that more and more unions are taking more categorical lines than we have seen before. That is, in the form of what in practice is purely a ban on transgender women from being able to compete in the women’s class.
– Fina’s rule that anyone who has undergone gender confirmation treatment after the age of 12 must be excluded from the girls’ class is one example. This creates more ethical dilemmas, when no one can argue that this is a serious limitation on the right of transgender people to participate in sports like everyone else. And this is deeply problematic, from a human rights perspective, he comments.
– Considerations that are hard to put together
So why is this happening now?
IOC new guidelines or framework have left it to the special unions themselves to prepare their own guidelines on transgender people.
This does not necessarily make it easier for special unions.
The recently introduced changes replace previous regulations based on testosterone values.
The main points of the framework are inclusion, fairness and non-discrimination. It should also be a knowledge-based approach, as stated in the document.
And this is what they are trying to follow in the International Swimming Federation.
– These are considerations that are difficult to combine, says Håvard B. vregård.
– One of the problems is that this is an area where there is limited knowledge. There is also disagreement about what knowledge is today.
– It becomes easy to prioritize one consideration at the expense of another, even if this is the opposite of the message in the framework. “Now we see that international federations have relatively different rules and I think it will be some time before there is more harmonization across sport,” he commented.
Saltvedt thought it would be extra interesting to follow FIFA’s line further.
– The world’s biggest sport is by far one of the most tolerant and inclusive of trans people and has yet to show that there will be a change in that path.
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