Starting next season, transgender people in France will be able to join rugby teams and take part in all official competitions. “Rugby is an inclusive sport, a sport of sharing, without distinction in terms of gender, gender, origin or religion,” said Serge Simon (53), Vice President of the Fédération Française de Rugby, according to a press release.
The association relies on the recommendations of an anti-discrimination and equal treatment commission.
In plain language: Trans people who have already adjusted their gender can in future play in the team of their gender without any prerequisites! For transgender people who have not yet adjusted their gender surgically or are currently in the transition phase, certain requirements apply.
According to the association, the decision should send a benevolent and determined signal two years before the World Cup in France that respect for minorities in rugby is an irrefutable right.
Last year, the World Rugby Federation recommended that trans women should not take part in competitions and cited safety reasons for doing so, since in rugby size, strength, power and speed are decisive for both risk and performance.
84 leading British scientists then opposed such a ban, even describing it as “unscientific”. According to a US study, the performance of trans women increasingly resembles that of cis women around 24 months after starting hormone therapy.
The term “cis” denotes the opposite of “trans”. It is only becoming more common at the moment. “Transgender” means people whose gender identity does not match the gender determined by external characteristics after birth. According to this, the gender identity of cis people corresponds to the gender of birth.
The US researchers also noted that complete equality in competitive sports is an illusion anyway – completely regardless of gender identity. For example with cis athletes who, due to hormones, would have narrowed their hips in their youth. Or rather well-heeled athletes who have “the best coaches and the best sports facilities” available very early on.
According to the scientists, these two advantages are not sanctioned by sports associations.
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