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Human Rights and Sports Transgender Europe is the world’s largest transgender network with 65 member organisations in Europe and Central Asia and well.

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Presentation on theme: "Human Rights and Sports Transgender Europe is the world’s largest transgender network with 65 member organisations in Europe and Central Asia and well."— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Rights and Sports Transgender Europe is the world’s largest transgender network with 65 member organisations in Europe and Central Asia and well over 100 individual members. Every second year we convene the European Transgender Council, recently in Dublin, 2010 in Malmö, 2008 in Berlin and 2005 in Vienna. At the Dublin council 2012 Wiktor Dynarski (Poland) and Maria Sundin (Sweden) were elected co-chairs. Transgender Europe – TGEU

2 Human Rights and Sports Trans* Rights are Human Rights Human Rights are Universal This includes all aspects of our lives including the right to inclusion in sports on all levels Transgender Europe – TGEU

3 Human Rights and Sports The right to change one’s gender marker and name without the requirement of surgeries or medical interventions and have this legally recognised for all purposes. The Yogyakarta Principles 2007 Human Rights And Gender Identity Mr Thomas Hammarberg Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe 2009 The Reccommendations by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe 2010 The World Professional Association for Transgender Health Statement on requirements to change legal gender 2010 Transgender Europe – TGEU

4 Yogyakarta Principle 3 No one shall be forced to undergo medical procedures, including sex reassignment surgery, sterilisation or hormonal therapy, as a requirement for legal recognition of their gender identity. No status, such as marriage or parenthood, may be invoked as such to prevent the legal recognition of a person’s gender identity. No one shall be subjected to pressure to conceal, suppress or deny their sexual orientation or gender identity. Transgender Europe – TGEU

5 Human Rights and Sports So why don’t these rather universal ideas and principles on human rights also apply to those of us who want to keep being active in sports or take up sports on different levels when we transition? What is the logic behind gendered sports and what purpose does it serve? Are the present ”rules” concerning trans* athletes compatible with the principles of Human Rights? Transgender Europe – TGEU

6 Human Rights and Sports The present situation do have many consequences for trans* people who want to take up sport or continue to be active in sports. Some examples from my own country, Sweden. Young trans activists try to access gyms and indoor pools but do face a lot of prejudices in the process or are asked to pay very large sums for exclusive access, not to upset ”normal” users. During Stockholm Pride the fitness coach, top body builder and queer activist Kia Sigge introduced ”TransForm: Shape your body and gender” which is a queer and trans positive method for transmen to develop their bodies by using hormones, bodybuilding and fitness training. Transgender Europe – TGEU

7 Human Rights and Sports Recently RFSL, RFSL Ungdom and Riksidrottsförbundet started a project where the purpose is to collect stories from young gay, lesbian, trans and queer persons between 15 and 25 describe experiences of taking part in sports and the attitudes they encounter. This report will be published in But still a large number of trans* people drop out of sports when they transition or meet a number of obstacles when they actually do try take part in sports as any other kid which we will see. Transgender Europe – TGEU

8 Human Rights and Sports Victoria is a trans* woman in her 40-ies. From her childhood until she was 18 she played ice-hockey with on of Sweden top teams, Västra Frölunda (Gothenburg), she was selected for her team’s junior A-team and played a number of matches on national level, among them securing the gold medal in the national cup for junior teams, TV- cupen. She on the draft list as a junior of Boston Bruins (USA) when she told her coach she was trans’ and that she was going to transition to female. She was met with a rather typical reaction from her coach and the leaders ”you must be crazy to waste such an opportunity”! But she felt she had no choice and began her transition and was granted legal gender recognition after having surgery in 1992 at 25. NGO-Policy Briefing, 13 Dec 2010, BrusselsTransgender Europe – TGEU

9 Human Rights and Sports Josse is a 11 year old trans* girl. Her mother has had to fight the social services, child psychiatrists, the courts and the school to let her daughter grow up in peace and as the girls she feels she is. After being brutally harassed and abused she her mother finally found a small school where Josse was allowed to attend as a girl. Everything went very her classmates totally accepted her as the girl she felt she was. Josse was overjoyed when she came home and told her mum she was selected to the girls soccer team and they were to play a match against the neighbouring school. But when the time for the match came, the student’s athletic federation contacted the school and said, you can not have a boy on the girls team, it is unfair towards the visiting all girls team. Josse and her mum were heartbroken, the school tried to explain to the officials but no, no way Josse is a boy and he will give his team an unfair advantage. An she is an 11 year old trans girl! Transgender Europe – TGEU

10 Human Rights and Sports In the light of the wave of change in the legislations for legal gender recognition with Argentina as the last legislations that conform with basic human rights principles and Iceland adopting a similar law requiring no surgical or medical interventions and the Netherlands and Sweden following suit – the question remains how will the Sport’s world handle and adopt to this ever changing situation? The Swedish researcher in Sport’s Science at the University of Malmö, Kutte Jönsson came up with the radical proposal some time ago that we once and for all should do away with gendered athletic competitions as a whole. Transgender Europe – TGEU


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