Olympic Transgender Athletes Can Compete As The Gender They Identify As…
The Olympics have gone downhill since Team USA defeated the Russians in hockey and professional athletes can compete.
Via Think Progress:
Transgender athletes will no longer be required to undergo gender reassignment surgery in order to participate in the Olympics, according to documents obtained by Outsports on Thursday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) reportedly updated its transgender guidelines at an unpublicized “Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism” last November, and the guidelines are expected to be adopted before the Summer Olympics in Rio later this year.
“To require surgical anatomical changes as a pre-condition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights,” the new guidelines state. “It is necessary to ensure insofar as possible that trans athletes are not excluded from the opportunity to participate in sporting competition.”
Transgender athletes were first allowed to participate in IOC-run events in 2004, ahead of the summer games in Athens. However, the guidelines put in place then required those athletes to change their sex both legally and anatomically. Trans women also had to undergo two years of hormone replacement therapy post surgery in order to be eligible to compete.
Those rules have been criticized, not just because gender reassignment surgery is incredibly expensive and not accessible to all, but because genitalia itself has no relationship to athletic performance. The policy was “in all likelihood” intended only to prevent trans female athletes from competing with testicles and the associated higher testosterone levels, even though those levels can be chemically blocked without surgery.
Recently, the guidelines were being challenged by Chris Mosier, an American triathlete and duathlete who has qualified for the World Championships this June. Mosier, a trans man, was unsure if he would be able to compete in those championships since he has not undergone reassignment surgery, and the athlete was geared up to fight the IOC. (Shudder) More