UKRDA Ratifies ‘No Questions Asked Trans* Policy

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The United Kingdom Roller Derby Association today announced it had ratified a new policy regarding trans* skaters.

The policy allows skaters who live as and identify as female or male to skate competitively in single-gender teams of the appropriate gender. It does not require disclosure of trans* status to the league or governing body.

The policy also states that “Transgender skaters starting within a league should be welcomed on a ‘no questions asked’ basis.” It goes on to explain that “skaters will be received on the same ‘no-questions-asked’ basis for all UKRDA sanctioned games and national [England, Scotland and Wales] selection try-outs.”

For international competition (such as world cups or individual international games) the policy states that “transgender skaters will accept the responsibility themselves that games played to any other governing body sanctioning requirements may be subject to additional and potentially different transgender policies […] Where policies differ and transgender skaters feel their options are limited as a result UKRDA is committed to actively supporting them and working with any international body to come to a mutually acceptable solution.”

We have asked Blood & Thunder if a gender policy exists for their world cup competition; we had not received comment at press time.

The policy differs from that implemented by WFTDA in one other significant way. It states that “for sanctioned games and national selection, the UKRDA do not feel it is appropriate to ask transgender individuals for evidence of hormone levels.” This is in apposition to the WFTDA policy which states that “upon request” anyone wishing to compete in WFTDA competition must be able to provide a letter from a healthcare provider containing “language stating that the athlete’s sex hormones are within the medically acceptable range for a female.”

The policy also encourages leagues, wherever possible, to make accommodations–such as gender-neutral facilities–for those who are “genderqueer, gender variant or intersex or who choose to live permanently with a more fluid gender identity.”

UPDATE: UKRDA has also clarified one aspect of the policy. “Individuals with a genderqueer/fluid/neutral or bi-gendered identity [...] may opt to join single gendered leagues on the basis that they are happy to be considered that gender in the context of single gendered roller derby leagues.”

UKRDA also announced that the policy’s primary author, Jodie Stanley, policy manager at LGBT Youth Scotland and skater with Glasgow Roller Derby, had been appointed to the new role of Transgender Liaison at the organisation.

You can read the full policy on the UKRDA website.

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