April 18, 2011
WFTDA's member leagues have voted to adopt a common definition of “female” as it applies to competitors in the sport. The new policy is inclusive of female transgender athletes.
WFTDA has been working to develop a gender policy since 2008. In the course of developing this policy, WFTDA consulted other sports organizations, government and legal counsel, academic experts, and medical professionals.
Recognizing that there are many definitions of “female,” the policy clearly defines what the term means for the purposes of WFTDA-sanctioned competition. It states that a female is someone “living as a woman and having sex hormones that are within the medically acceptable range for a female,” to include male-to-female transgender and intersex persons. Review the full policy at wftda.com/wftda-gender-policy.
“This is a monumental and exciting moment in the development of our organization and our sport,” said WFTDA Executive Director Juliana Gonzales. “We’ve maintained our commitment to women’s sports while expressing the value of inclusivity, and affirming the right of transgender females to be included and accepted in WFTDA.”
The policy does not require that transgender athletes proactively provide the WFTDA with proof of “female” gender, but does articulate some standards for documentation. Should a review of a skater's status become necessary, the policy mandates that it be done in a way that protects her privacy and relies on the medical expertise of her own healthcare provider. The organization does not intend to investigate or assess individual athletes preemptively, as clearly stated in the policy itself: “The purpose of this policy is to set a common expectation and definition, and make clear that transgender females are welcome in WFTDA. Teams will continue to be responsible for attesting to the eligibility of their competitors.”
The policy will go into effect January 1, 2012 and applies to skaters on member leagues' 20-person WFTDA-chartered teams (the teams that compete for WFTDA rankings and tournament eligibility).
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