I received an e-mail this week from a team that has a new transgender (or transexual?) player. They are seeking advice from any women’s teams that have been in similar situations.
In this particular case, it’s a pre-operative male who identifies herself as a woman and is taking hormones, etc. The team notes that she is enthusiastic to learn the sport and has been regularly attending practices and team events, despite not yet having a chance to play in a game.
I have heard of other situations with post-operative players on women’s teams as well.
I did a little research and USA Rugby follows IRB and International Olympic Committee rules that state a trans player may only compete for a team of their new gender if they are
three two years post-operative. The gray area with this is that it is for all (CLARIFICATION) discussing only games that count towards a national championship.
The territorial and state union for this team do not have rules to follow for this situation yet, so it falls back to following what USA Rugby says.
So here’s the issue though … could this player, a biologically pre-operative male that lives life almost completely as a woman, looks like a woman and even her medical records and health insurance state that she is a woman, play in games that DO NOT count towards a national championship? Like b-side games and spring non-league games?
Leave your thoughts, past experiences and opinions in the comments.
In the comments: I think I caused some confusion above … trans players are NOT allowed to play in any game that DO count towards a national championship until they are two years post-operative (thanks for the correction K-Train). What the team e-mailing wants to know concerns a pre-op trans player being allowed TO PLAY in games that DO NOT counts towards a national championship … like b-sides, social games, spring non-conference games, etc.
A few comments brought up the bigger hits from these players, and one commenter mentioned the greater density in muscle mass in the male body …
And Kerrie – can you clarify your comment … in your first sentence, you say “I firmly believe that mtfs should be allowed to play pre-op as long as it is a league game that counts towards championships.” Did you mean as long as it is NOT a league game that counts towards championships? Or are you saying you believe all trans players, whatever their current state, should be allowed to play in all games?
I agree there definitely needs to be some clear guidelines and rules related to this, especially for women’s rugby. I can only assume trans players of either gender would feel most comfortable on a women’s team. USA Rugby on down needs to help teams sort through the gray areas in what is clearly an already cultural gray area.
More discussion? How about just everyone’s opinions? Even if you have never dealt with this situation before …