The Olympics have joined other sporting organisations in adopting new guidelines to allow trans athletes to take part in the Games

  25 January 2016 17:19 - The Olympics are changing their policies on transgender athletes! According to ESPN, the Olympics have joined other sporting organisations such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), in adopting new guidelines to allow trans athletes who have not undergone gender reassignment surgery to take part in the Games. Rio de Janeiro will surely see some more diversity this summer.

Currently, trans athletes are required to have undergone gender reassignment surgery and must have undergone at least two years of hormone replacement surgery. Furthermore, they are subject to providing legal documents of the gender which they were assigned at birth. These policies have been widely criticised as they place a strong focus on the physical presentations of the gender rather than a persona, self-identification of gender. Additionally, the old requirements of the Olympic Organisation are incredibly costly and serve as a financial barrier to many who couldn’t afford the surgeries. Even if they are able to afford the surgeries, there are long hospital waits for the oprtations which can often delay an athlete’s career.

With the new guidelines, the Organisation will remove the surgery requirement and replace it with a one-year hormone replacement therapy. The new guidelines state: “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.”

Under the new rules, female-to-male athletes are able to compete in men’s competitions without restrictions, while men-to-female athletes can partake in women’s completion only when their testosterone is below a certain level one year before competing.

The report was influenced by rapidly changing perceptions and a growing acceptance of trans peoples in society, especially as the old policies were written in 2003. Just last year, Olympic winning decathlon athlete formerly known as Bruce Jenner came out as Caitlyn Jenner after hormone treatment last year. As of now, no Olympians have competed under the gender that they were not assigned at birth.

The future is bright, and this is one step in the right direction for LBTQA community.

(Reported by: Ivana Lucic)


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