POSITION STATEMENT: SPORT AND THE GLOBAL TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY
In light of recent exclusion-based policy changes by various international sports federations, equitysport, have reaffirmed their position regarding sport and the global transgender community. Our position is under regular review by the equitysport Board of Trustees.
We fundamentally believe in equality, diversity and equal opportunity for all people, no matter who they are, where they come from or what their background might be. This is a complex, highly emotive and polarised topic, and is one that doesn't lend itself well to definitive, broad-brush statements.
We are acutely aware of the need for sport and society to find space to have safe, reasoned, nuanced and above all, informed discussions to explore this subject and find better solutions for everyone. These discussions require both sides of the debate to relinquish their claim to a monopoly on the moral high ground, to do more to counter the proliferation of misinformation and fear-mongering, and acknowledge the brutally damaging impact that campaigns have had, and continue to have, on their fellow human beings.
equitysport are actively engaged with organisations and groups to continually improve our understanding of the issues at all levels of sport around the world.
We know that to question the very existence of trans people, to routinely liken human beings and their existence to machines, natural disasters, mythical creatures, dopers and cheaters is counter-productive, and that those people in positions of influence, authority or with large audiences should know better than to employ such divisive language and dehumanising tactics, however virtuous they might believe their position to be.
We also understand that thorough scientific debate is healthy, and in this case, often necessary; but that targeted public scrutiny of people’s individual biology in the name of science can be hugely damaging, unethical, unscientific, and in an age of social-media-based soundbite analysis, can quickly descend into transphobic harassment and abuse.
We have long resisted taking a public position on issues relating to sport and the global trans community, acknowledging that to wade into such an emotive and polarised forum unprepared, would do little more than add to widespread confusion, and risk a deliberate and calculated mischaracterisation of our position.
We hope that in time and in the right setting we can make an informed, considered and constructive contribution to finding better answers for the inclusion of the trans community in sport; whilst addressing the legitimate concerns of others in line with our charitable purposes and wider vision for a fairer, more equitable sporting world.
Until then we will continue to listen and learn from a wide range of sources, perspectives and lived experiences whilst continuing to advance our existing programmatic priorities.
equitysport is a values-led registered charity (1189559) that exists to advance equality, promote diversity and extend equal opportunity in and through global sport. We seek an inclusive and equitable sporting ecosystem that lives true to the values of sport. For interviews or further comment from equitysport, please contact the team via email@example.com