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M'son
-4th October 2011, 15:07
Last year on the USA forum there was much debate on whether Transgender fencers, pricipally male to female should be allowed to fence in female competitions. The answer there was yes as at the recent Veterans World Championships WE 50-59 a transgender fencer won. Causing a debate to say the least.

Now I was wondering what is the ruling in GB for competitions?
Does anyone know?

BigPappaBear
-4th October 2011, 15:31
I'm sure that the BFA published in the sword that anyone wishing to undergo a sex change operation needed to contact the BFA. Not sure whether it was to be informed of whatever policy the BFA have or whether there was some other pressing need to know what medical operations people are having.

BFA will probably follow sport england guidance on this one. I'd have thought that the equity/equality policy should cover it.

Also it shouldn't make a difference as 'we' don't allocate people to events based on their hormone or physical build. 'We' allocate them based on their sex and where needed/relevant their age.

Gav
-4th October 2011, 16:54
If you want to read screeds on what the US fencers think...

http://www.fencing.net/forums/thread52744.html

Yeah that thread did get closed - and yeah I'd close this one too if it got that far out of hand.

If you take a close look you'll notice that most of the objectors were vet ladies...

Gav
-4th October 2011, 16:55
I'm sure that the BFA published in the sword that anyone wishing to undergo a sex change operation needed to contact the BFA. Not sure whether it was to be informed of whatever policy the BFA have or whether there was some other pressing need to know what medical operations people are having.

BFA will probably follow sport england guidance on this one. I'd have thought that the equity/equality policy should cover it.

Also it shouldn't make a difference as 'we' don't allocate people to events based on their hormone or physical build. 'We' allocate them based on their sex and where needed/relevant their age.

It's actually gender - not sex. There's a difference.

M'son
-4th October 2011, 18:49
[Yeah that thread did get closed - and yeah I'd close this one too if it got that far out of hand.]

You are so right Gav. That is why I think powers that be should make a decision now before any fencer emerges and the debate becomes personalised. I can understand why vet women object for very real physiological reasons mainly around the use of oestrogen. But that opens a whole gambit about use of HRT as well. It is not an easy issue and I don't think it will go away. Any endocrinologist out there with useful facts?

BigPappaBear
-4th October 2011, 20:44
Gav - If I remember my sociology correctly sex is biological and gender is social. Yes I may have used the wrong one, I was trying to bring my head out of the backend of playing with routing data - it didn't do my brain cell any good!

M'Son I believe the issue has already occurred in the UK, its why the BFA issued the statement its statement about needing to contact them prior to the operation. Though all I heard was rumour and speculation mainly about people's reactions.

Either way its probably best to contact BFA - try their official line of communication facebook or twitter!

Threestain
-4th October 2011, 22:24
legally transgender individuals are their 'new' sex/gender.

you would surely therefore be illegally discriminating to ban transgender individuals from competing.

bear in mind the hormone loads that such individuals utilise affect their muscle and body masses leading to a far more even playing field than some scare stories.

COI: have been involved with GRS services (professionally)

Clare Halsted
-4th October 2011, 22:40
IOC approves consensus with regard to athletes who have changed sex

17 May 2004

The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the consensus proposed by the IOC Medical Commission stating the conditions to be respected for a person who has changed sex to compete in sports competitions. These conditions will be applied as of the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in 2004 in Athens. The consensus is based on an ad-hoc committee convened by the IOC Medical Commission that met on 28 October 2003 in Stockholm to discuss and issue recommendations on the participation of individuals who have undergone sex reassignment (male to female and vice versa) in sport.
Find out more and read the statement

British Fencing
-4th October 2011, 22:41
We've just had a board meeting tonight, and I am going through the new equality policy document and discussing with the equality committee chair tomorrow. We will make a definitive statement shortly.

jimcrawfurd
-4th October 2011, 23:44
I'm sure this came up a number of years ago, when my Dad was BFA medical advisor - I'm pretty sure the decision was that the fencer would be able to compete under their new gender, as it would be discriminatory not to allow this. I can see both sides of the argument, but can't help feeling that it would be very unfair to exclude transgender athletes from competing at all, and would look very weird to have one fencing in an event for their "original" gender, so this is the "least worst" option. Certainly can't see that anyone would change gender with the express intent of improving their fencing results...

Threestain
-5th October 2011, 20:59
if they've changed just for sport, their surgeon should/would be in big trouble

purple
-17th October 2011, 09:46
There are legal protections in place for transgendered people, relating to access to services. Note, these protections are not dependant on any paperwork, but on their own identification.

If the person is in possession of a GRC, then I would imagine the issue should be mostly moot.

As Threestain has pointed out, 18 months on hormone therapy, and the physical differences relating to muscle bulk, etc are significantly reduced. If anything, people under hormone therapy are under a disadvantage, it really does play havoc with the way your body works.

jimcrawfurd
-17th October 2011, 21:30
There are legal protections in place for transgendered people, relating to access to services. Note, these protections are not dependant on any paperwork, but on their own identification.

If the person is in possession of a GRC, then I would imagine the issue should be mostly moot.

As Threestain has pointed out, 18 months on hormone therapy, and the physical differences relating to muscle bulk, etc are significantly reduced. If anything, people under hormone therapy are under a disadvantage, it really does play havoc with the way your body works.

The legal protections specifically state that GRC does not automatically confer eligibility for competitive sports events, and that sports governing bodies can restrict participation in "gender-affected" sports - ie, any sport where one sex has a recognised advantage over the other.

Bezza
-22nd October 2011, 08:55
legally transgender individuals are their 'new' sex/gender.

you would surely therefore be illegally discriminating to ban transgender individuals from competing.

bear in mind the hormone loads that such individuals utilise affect their muscle and body masses leading to a far more even playing field than some scare stories.

COI: have been involved with GRS services (professionally)

Correct in that people are male or female so that's right. The discrimination element would probably be covered by transgender in the Equality Act 2010. Also, you don't need a GRC to be covered by the Act.
"The Act defines gender reassignment as a protected characteristic. People who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) to reassign their sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment."

Competitive sport is on the exemptions list though, and there are some useful paragraphs in the EHRC codes of practice for service providers. ...
If the physical strength, stamina or physique of the average person of one sex would put them at a disadvantage compared to the average person of the other sex as competitors in a sport, game or other competitive activity, it is not unlawful for those arranging the event to restrict participation to persons of one sex.

The Act permits the organisers of such a sport, game or other competitive activity to restrict participation of a transsexual person in that activity but only if this is necessary in a particular case to secure fair competition or the safety of other competitors.


Example: The organisers of a women’s triathlon competition would need to consider whether a transsexual woman who wanted to participate would have an unfair competitive advantage or whether her participation would pose a risk to the safety of other competitors. Under the Act they would only be permitted to exclude her if they are satisfied that to do so is necessary to uphold fair competition or to ensure the safety of other competitors.