British Cycling Update on Transgender and Non-Binary Participation Policy

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It is Transgender Awareness Week, and British Cycling has issued an update on its Transgender and Non-Binary Participation Policy, which was suspended in April this year. The policy review remains ongoing, however the new guidance published today gives some clarity to racers wishing to race events run under British Cycling eligibility rules, as well as reiterating inclusive messages to those outside the race scene.

The full guidance can be read here. The keys points relating to competitive events are:

  • That no new Full Race Licences for transgender and non-binary athletes will be processed until the completion of the full policy review
  • Full Race Licences already issued under previous rules remain valid
  • Licences for events run under British Cycling regulations must be accepted at face value, and not questioned at or during at event.
  • Any concerns about or objections to eligibility are to be raised via the British Cycling Compliance Team and not discussed publicly.
  • The responsibility for checking eligibility sits with the athlete.

British Cycling competitive events 

Event organisers, Commissaires and all participants should take a Licence and/or event entry at face value and all participants should respect the decision of the event officials.

If an event organiser, participant or volunteer has any concerns regarding another participant’s eligibility, this should be done after the event via the British Cycling Compliance team.

Where queries surrounding a participant’s eligibility are raised at the event or out of office hours, the participant should be permitted to race and following the event, the Compliance team can be contacted to check the participant’s eligibility. All volunteers and participants should ensure any communications regarding a participant’s eligibility are not shared at the event or otherwise.

Any queries from transgender and non-binary members about their Race Licence and eligibility to compete should be passed directly to the Compliance team who will conduct the necessary enquiries and respond directly to the relevant parties.

All participants should be able to use facilities which match their gender identity. If the venue can offer gender neutral or private changing facilities, then this would be encouraged as an option for participants.

Transgender and non-binary participants make a vital contribution to our sport and activities as volunteers, Commissaires and administrators, and these roles are not affected by the suspension of the Policy.

For events which do not require a British Cycling Race Licence, eligibility to compete will depend on the requirements of the relevant licensing body.

It is the participant’s responsibility to check that they are eligible to compete in an event upon entering. Any queries regarding this should be raised with the Compliance team who will be able to respond accordingly as soon as possible.

British Cycling

In effect, this allows anyone with a current Full Race Licence to compete at British Cycling events. For those who have been issued licences under the old policy, this should provide both an opportunity to compete, and a degree of protection from hostility and discrimination during events.

This update also makes it clear that participatory events should be open to all, and that Breeze events (British Cycling initiative to get more women on bikes) are open to transgender and non-binary riders.

Transgender and non-binary participants are encouraged to participate in British Cycling community programmes and other recreational activities, including Breeze, Guided Rides and affiliated Club activities.

British Cycling

However, the question of how licences will be issued in future remains unanswered for now, and any transgender and non-binary athletes hoping to apply to race face a wait until Spring 2023 to find out what the rules will be. Today’s British Cycling statement promises regular updates on progress – this is the first to be issued since the suspension of the policy in April this year.

Transgender Awareness Week

To mark Transgender Awareness Week, there are many resources being shared on what it means to be trans, and how to be an ally. If you are interested in learning more, it’s a great time to hit the internet. There is also an International Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20th November, an event which marks those who have died as a result of transphobic violence.

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Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • British Cycling Update on Transgender and Non-Binary Participation Policy
  • didnthurt
    Full Member

    How do you have non binary participation in a binary sport?

    Can’t really see what all the fuss is about myself, we’re only talking about a tiny fraction of society. Let them race.

    The way I see it is you only have two real options to be fair to all other participants (the third option would generally see male participants dominant so wouldn’t be fair to everyone else):
    – You either enter as the sex you were born as.
    – Or you create another division for people who do not want to enter as the sex they were born as.
    – Or you only have a single category.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    Let them race.

    Nobody is being prevented from racing.

    vdubber67
    Free Member

    I got the update via email, and after reading it three times, I couldn’t work out what the update actually was. Eventually realised that the update is that BC have creating a ‘working group’ or something.

    Irrespective of your thoughts on transgender participation in sport, you can always rely on BC to be a bit ineffective at everything – lol

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    @scotroutes

    Not how I read it

    transgender and non-binary athletes hoping to apply to race, face a wait until Spring 2023 to find out what the rules will be.

    rickon
    Free Member

    – You either enter as the sex you were born as.
    – Or you create another division for people who do not want to enter as the sex they were born as.
    – Or you only have a single category.

    This is a pretty balanced response. There’s competitive fairness, and participatory fairness – and it appears they are mutually exclusive when considering trans atheletes. Based on how sport is something that we all start from a level playing field, and then train to get better – competitive fairness has to come first.

    The additional option would be to change the name of Men’s and Women’s to something gender neutral, and more based on attributes, e.g. Low Testostorone and High Testostorone. Which then bases category on physical capability, and not gender.

    tpbiker
    Free Member

    At grass roots level I really don’t see an issue. Careers aren’t on the line and ultimately it’s just a bit of fun. Personally I’d still consider the first non trans lady over the line the real winner of such an event, and so would all the ladies at my club. But that doesn’t mean they can’t compete

    Non of that applies at the top end of the sport however

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    The additional option would be to change the name of Men’s and Women’s to something gender neutral, and more based on attributes, e.g. Low Testostorone and High Testostorone. Which then bases category on physical capability, and not gender.

    Would that be current testosterone levels or lifetime testosterone levels?

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Personally I’d still consider the first non trans lady over the line the real winner of such an event, and so would all the ladies at my club. But that doesn’t mean they can’t compete

    Is the point participation or competition? That seems to say for one group it’s one and for another group it’s the other – you can compete as a woman but can’t win as one?

    tpbiker
    Free Member

    Is the point participation or competition? That seems to say for one group it’s one and for another group it’s the other – you can compete as a woman but can’t win as one?

    Not really. They can win the prize on offer if they are first over the line. They will be announced as the winner if they are first over the line. Whether their fellow competitors will view them as the true winner is another matter altogether and will be subject to personal opinion

    I think if what trans athletes are really after is not just the right to compete, but the acceptance by fellow competitors and the general population that they are competing on a level playing field, they will be waiting an awful long time.

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    At grass roots level I really don’t see an issue.

    I’d disagree. Our sport already suffers from low levels of female participation. If girls at the grassroot level are discouraged from racing because they don’t have a chance at winning due to a trans competitor dominating their class, I struggle to reconcile that.

    I took a step away from racing a few years ago but came back last year. I entered a “grass roots” race to get a reminder of racing. On race day there was a trans woman there. I genuinely had a moment of shock as I met them at the start of a stage. A good 4-5 inches taller than me and significantly larger than me in terms of muscle mass. Unsurprisingly they won their class, their time beat mine on the day, and she continues to win pretty much every every race she enters.

    It’s hard to voice an opinion about this. On the one hand I respect anyone’s right to live the life they want to, but on the other hand I do feel that in something like sports, it’s hard to reconcile and I’d say at grass roots it’s even more of a concern

    tjagain
    Full Member

    It’s hard to voice an opinion about this.

    partly because any one expressing any doubts / does not agree with instant self identification is shouted down, called a bigot, deplatformed

    its the nastiest political debate I have ever seen. the behaviour of the “trans activists” is often abhorrent

    discussed on here before I explained some doubts some female friends of mine have. I was shouted down and called a bigot.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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