Written by Reiss Smith
Trans women who have been through “male puberty” will be banned from female UK Athletics events.
Having announced its intention to exclude trans women athletes in February, UK Athletics chose Friday (31 March), which is Trans Day of Visibility, to confirm the new policy.
It had previously shared concerns around the enforceability of the policy. But on Friday, UK Athletics said it had been reassured by relevant bodies that the plans could be defended under the Equality Act’s sports exemption.
The governing body said it will consider making the men’s category an “open” one.
Since UK Athletics’ February announcement, World Athletics has also said that it will ban trans athletes who have been through “male puberty” from female events, beginning Friday.
“Bans on trans women athletes do not protect anyone – instead they endanger all women and girls in the category, especially those who are already marginalized.
“Excluding trans women demands policing the entire women’s category, measuring every woman’s body against some manufactured prototype of womanhood that is deemed “woman enough” by systems of power (namely the patriarchy and white supremacy).
“Women considered “too masculine” because of how they look or how their bodies perform are already at risk of heightened scrutiny and discrimination, and trans athlete bans only exacerbate this. Black women, in particular, are disproportionately affected due to misogynoir – think Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Sha’Carri Richardson… the list goes on.”
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