Gymnastics Australia has released new guidelines for transgender athletes.
The federation announced this week athletes may “wear the uniform” and “use changing and bathroom facilities” based on their gender identity.
“Gymnastics Australia is committed to providing a safe, fun and inclusive environment for all people, including those of diverse sexualities and genders,” Gymnastics Australia said.
“Being an inclusive organization not only reflects our core values, it also reflects the diversity of our local communities.”
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The new guidelines “ensure all Australians can participate in both recreational and competitive gymnastics,” and, despite the “complex and emotive issue,” the guidelines “are focused on creating and fostering inclusive environments.”
“We’re passionate about helping people lead happy, healthy and active lives,” the organization said. “Gymnastics Australia celebrates diversity of sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, intersex status, ability, skill, cultural background, ethnicity, location, religious or political beliefs and life stage.
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“There is a place in our sport for everyone, exactly as you are.”
The federation cited studies that link anxiety and depression to transgender and gender diverse people as a reason to enact the new guidelines.
Gymnastics Australia listed four objectives:
• “To affirm our commitment to supporting the inclusion of trans and gender diverse identifying people in gymnastics.”
• “To ensure we foster a safe, welcoming environment for gender diverse people by eliminating discriminative behavior within Gymnastics Australia facilities, programs and services.’
• “To affirm our support of gender-affirming practices in our programs, operations and competitions.
• “To promote a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment that engages and keeps participants with diverse genders and sexualities involved with gymnastics.”
The decision comes the same week Paula Scanlan, a former teammate of transgender swimmer and NCAA Division I national champion Lia Thomas, said she had to “relive [her] trauma of [her] sexual assault by undressing in front of … Thomas.”
Scanlan also blasted the Democratic Party for “[prioritizing] the advancement of ‘trans rights’ over the concerns of women.”
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“One might wonder what happened to the #MeToo movement — a movement that seemed ideally positioned to advocate for the safeguarding of women’s safety from physical and sexual violence — during these recent gender debates,” she wrote.
“It’s not too late for #MeToo-aligned organizations to change course and stand with women: we deserve safety, privacy, and equal opportunity in all areas of life, just like everybody else.”