Thu | Jun 20, 2024

Give transgender athletes a fair chance

Published:Saturday | March 25, 2023 | 12:10 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

I am writing to express my strong opposition to the recent decision by the World Athletics Council to ban transgender women from competing in elite female competitions , as well as the new regulations that may keep athletes with differences in sex development (DSD) from competing. These policies are not only discriminatory, but they also violate the basic principles of fairness and inclusivity in sports and send a very harmful message to the wider society.

Transgender and intersex athletes deserve the right to compete in their chosen sport, regardless of their gender identity or physical characteristics. It is unfair to penalise athletes simply because of their biology, which is beyond their control. Additionally, it is important to recognise that hormone levels do not necessarily correlate with athletic ability. Many factors contribute to success in sports, including training, skill, and strategy.

Moreover, it is important to note that this decision is based on flawed assumptions about transgender individuals and their physical abilities. Research has shown that hormone therapy can effectively reduce testosterone levels, levelling the playing field for transgender athletes. Therefore, the ban on transgender athletes is not only discriminatory but also unnecessary. Instead of barring transgender and intersex athletes from competition, we should be focusing on creating a more inclusive and supportive environment in sports. This could include offering resources and support for athletes who may require medical treatment or accommodations, as well as providing education and awareness training for coaches, officials, and other athletes, to promote understanding and acceptance.

Furthermore, we should strive to create more opportunities for transgender and intersex athletes to compete in their chosen sport. This could involve creating separate categories or divisions based on gender identity or biological characteristics, as well as developing more events and competitions that are open to athletes of all genders and abilities. We also should not forget that transgender and intersex athletes are individuals who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, just like everyone else. By allowing them to compete on an equal playing field, we promote a culture of inclusivity and acceptance, which is essential for a healthy and thriving society.

I urge the World Athletics Council to reconsider its decision to ban transgender and intersex athletes from international competition. We must work together to create a more inclusive and accepting culture in sports, where all athletes have the opportunity to compete and succeed, regardless of their gender identity or biological characteristics.

LAMAR GRANT

Policy and

Advocacy Coordinator

TransWave Jamaica