A new policy allowing Canadian transgender student-athletes to compete on teams consistent with their gender identity and without hormone therapy is a welcome change, but more can still be done to make athletics inclusive of gender diversity, says a Vancouver trans athlete and consultant.
U Sports, which governs university athletics in Canada, put its new policy into effect Thursday and says it affects student-athletes at all 56 of its member institutions. Athletes can only compete on teams of one gender during a given academic year, and the policy doesn’t require them to undertake hormone therapy. They must also comply with the Canadian Anti-Doping Program.
“For me, it’s a step in the right direction,” said Kai Scott, a principal partner at TransFocus Consulting, which works with organizations addressing gender inclusion issues.
“I think these kinds of policies are really important. This one, in particular, is great for certain transgender student-athletes in that they can select the team or division that aligns with their gender identity. These kinds of policies are important declarations of support and assurance of inclusivity.”
Scott, who was a competitive runner at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and last month competed in 10K and half-marathon events at the Gay Games in Paris, said it is important that the policy has clarity about hormone therapy because the absence of such details can make a trans athlete hesitant to come forward or avoid participating altogether. Read more via Vancouver Sun