In Australia and New Zealand, trans women can play on women's rugby teams, and trans men can join men's teams. However, World Rugby wants to globally ban trans women from women's teams by enforcing an anti-trans policy.
They thus invoke the physical difference, the difference in strength, which would endanger other women.
Perhaps you will have noticed that at the moment it is fashionable to target trans female sportswomen from one country to another.
During the review of their guidelines, World Rugby submitted new policies that now need to be reviewed and voted on by the sport’s governing body.
It would appear that to establish these new policies, World Rugby sponsored a forum that included the Fair Play For Women organization, which some people describe as an “anti-trans” organization.
Caroline Layt, a former trans player who played in Australia’s rugby union and rugby league, and who has since become a journalist and blogger, shared her frustration in an interview with Outsports.
“I played club and representative rugby with and against cisgender women who were far bigger than me and many were stronger than me,” she told Outsports. “There’s always the argument about size and strength against transgender women, but that’s only one prerequisite to a successful rugby player.”
About the new guidelines, she said:
“It just goes to show the steps the patriarchy has taken to exclude any current or former trans rugby playing women in their working group. They’re happy for us to be injured playing against cisgender women and the same for trans men playing against cis men, so you know whose welfare is important in all of this. It’s not us trans people as we’re once again collateral damage and our lives don’t matter.”
Fortunately, we can count on International Gay Rugby (IGR) to defend the women of our community.
“It’s very surprising to see the restrictive turn that this review of the guidelines has taken, especially with the lack of research that has been conducted.” IGR Chair Karl Ainscough-Gates noted, “Rugby has always been a sporting role model for diversity and inclusion. We will be working with World Rugby to uphold those commitments and ensure that rugby remains a welcoming and open environment to transgender athletes.”
Many clubs backed up this statement.
In New Zealand, an internal review team with members of the respect, inclusion, legal, and medical teams has been formed to look at the guidelines that currently allow transgender women to take part in women’s rugby.
NZ Rugby’s chief operating officer, Nicki Nicol, would like to continue the inclusion of transgender players.
“The situation is quite complex, but I’m really proud that we are having conversations and owning it as part of the rugby community and we’re trying to find ways that trans athletes can be involved in our sport. That is the outcome we are trying to effect.” Nicol said.