British Cycling has announced an amendment to its Transgender and Non-binary policy stating that trans women, regardless of testosterone levels or other medical indicators, will not be allowed to compete in the ‘female’ category.Moreover, the categories are being renamed, with the male category merged into an ‘open’ category, in which cis-men, trans men, trans women and non-binary people will compete.
British Cycling says the decision has been made following a nine-month consultation period, which included 14 focus-group sessions, numerous one-to-ones and a full medical science review.
The controversial point here is that previously if a trans woman’s testosterone levels met the specified requirements, she could compete in the women’s category. British Cycling now says that, ‘Studies indicate that even with the suppression of testosterone, transgender women who transition post-puberty retain a performance advantage.’
The problem is where that data is coming from. Not only do some authors cited have histories of discriminatory language towards trans women, but several aren’t even correctly referenced.
Moreover, there is a much bigger issue at play, in the social/political context and the precedent that this policy sets. Trans people are currently facing unparalleled levels of discrimination and violence, both here in the UK and globally. In the US, trans policies that at first pertained to the likes of sport or education have spawned into laws that strip trans people of healthcare and basic human rights.
No one person or governing body exists in a vacuum. In making such a policy, British Cycling has taken a political standpoint which, in […]