LGBTQ+ CYCLING GROUP PRiDE OUT RESPONDS TO
BRITISH CYCLING TRANS PARTICIPATION CONSULTATION
DATE: 21 APRIL 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As the largest network of LGBTQ+ cyclists in the UK, PRiDE OUT believes British Cycling’s trans policy should recognise there are human experiences behind the scenes of any consultation. It is imperative that trans people are treated with the same dignity and respect as other riders and there should be direct engagement with members of the trans community.
Leaders of cycling club events have a duty to ensure the sport is accessible and inclusive for everyone, irrespective of age, ability, body shape, ethnicity, gender identity or sexuality. In the past two months we have been joint partners in founding two networks to promote diversity in cycling: Cycling Pride & Cycling Diversity Alliance. From the feedback we have received so far, it’s clear that there is overwhelming demand to see more inclusion in cycling, rather than exclusion.
Cycling's World Governing Body, the UCI, clearly states the requirements for any trans person wishing to compete at an elite level. They also offer guidance that any event sitting below National Championship level should "have less stringent eligibility requirements" (13.5.13). PRiDE OUT urges British Cycling to align with these recommendations.
PRiDE OUT welcomes everyone from the LGBTQ+ community, including allies, without exception. Therefore we implore British Cycling to remain on the path to inclusion and ensure that cycling is a safe and welcoming space for everyone ... without exception.
Emily Bridges, Former Great Britain Senior Academy Cyclist, said:
“When I came out as trans 6 months ago, I felt an immense weight being lifted off my shoulders. I got so much support and love, but I also got the expected hate, too. This vitriol is currently the norm for every trans person, every day of their life. Anti-trans groups aim to legislate us out of existence, drag us over social media, and spread lies about who we are and what we stand for. They try to ban us from sports based on flawed science and lies.”
Richard Hearne, Chairperson of PRIDE OUT, said:
“I believe the trans community is going through the same battles gay/queer people went through in the 1980s, and things are still far from perfect today. Gender identity, just like sexuality, should never be considered a life choice. Therefore, I implore British Cycling to embrace our trans siblings with the respect they deserve and fight fearlessly for their right to be their true selves and have equal opportunities to access sport.”
Lou Englefield, Director at Pride Sports, said:
“We urge British Cycling to centre the experience of trans and non-binary people in its policy review. Research shows that these groups are some of the most marginalised in UK sport. Right now, including LGBTIQ+ people in cycling is imperative for a community disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, particularly in terms of mental health. Physical activity can be hugely beneficial for physical and mental wellbeing and cycling should be for everyone.”
Hugh Torrance, Director at LEAP Sports Scotland, said:
“One of the fundamental principles in The Olympic Charter states ‘The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play'. This principle applies at all levels of sport and any new policy should be unequivocal in its commitment to this, with trans and non-binary people's experiences at the centre.”
Biola Babawale, Chair of London-based inclusive cycling club Velociposse, said:
“By targeting only trans people to provide such in-depth personal information, British Cycling’s new policy is discriminatory and scientifically questionable. British Cycling urgently needs to speak with trans members and trans-led organisations on widening participation in order to encourage all people to cycle, as they claim to do.”
Verity, Trans Inclusion in Sport Officer at Mermaids, said:
“Sport is for everyone. It is a human right to partake in and enjoy all sporting activities no matter who someone is or how they identify. Sadly this is not the case if you are trans, non-binary or gender-diverse. We want a society where trans and gender diverse children have role models and can see themselves in sport and have access without barriers.
Governing bodies need to start including the trans community and listening to lived experiences, instead of providing anti-trans groups, with no background in trans lives, an opportunity to discriminate. All conversations around trans inclusion in sport need to be with us not without us. Let’s break the barriers, moulds and stereotypes. The world is changing and people are changing but sport is not. Let’s create an inclusive environment for sport. Education, not discrimination is the way forward.”
Cara English, Head of Public Engagement, Gendered Intelligence, said:
“Sports can and should be open, free and fair for everyone who wants to take part to do so. We should all be aiming to widen inclusion and participation, not looking to limit who can take part or seeking to exclude. We look forward to responding to this consultation by British Cycling and to have trans voices heard.”
Gregory Patmore, Chief Commercial Officer at Black Cyclists Network (BCN), said:
“We believe in sport and diversity for all. British Cycling are in a position to nurture grassroots cycling and help the sport begin to reflect its diverse fans and participants. In this spirit we urge them to work with the trans community on this consultation and not unfairly limit their participation, perpetuate outdated thinking or undermine the inclusiveness they as an organisation have championed.”
Erin Walters-Williams, Sport Engagement Manager at Stonewall, said:
“Trans people deserve to be included in all sports. It’s vital that national sport bodies like British Cycling create an environment at all levels of the sport where trans - including non-binary - people can thrive and enjoy the sport. Policies that put specific requirements for trans people to participate should be based on robust, peer-reviewed research that is specific to that sport.”
Jo Chattoo at Women of Colour Cycling Collective, said:
“We believe all people deserve the opportunity to access cycling as a sport and recreational activity. We are established on the understanding that women face obstacles in accessing resources and support within the sport. We also recognise that for people of colour on various intersections this marginalisation is multiple and varied, especially for trans and non-binary people of colour.
We believe that any decisions made about trans and non-binary participation in our sport must include an understanding of the lived experience of the transgender and non-binary communities. We urge British Cycling to approach these consultations and decisions from the perspective of inclusion and finding ways for all people to participate in the sport, rather than exclusion."
For more information, please contact Richard Hearne at PRiDE OUT by email: email@example.com.
Notes To Editors:
1) PRiDE OUT is a friendly and inclusive cycling group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer and asexual people (LGBTQIA+) and allies across the UK. Everyone is welcome, regardless of age, gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, body shape, bike or ability.
2) British Cycling published their first trans and non-binary policy on 9 October 2020.
3) Emily Bridges is a former Great Britain senior academy elite cyclist who came out as a trans woman one day later on 10 October 2020.
4) British Cycling is the nation's largest cycling organisation and the national governing body for cyclesport. They advise: ‘We are the nation's largest cycling organisation and the national governing body for cyclesport. Our mission in life is to deliver international sporting success, grow and effectively govern cyclesport and inspire and support people to cycle regularly.
5) On 25 March 2021, British Cycling opened 'a five-week long consultation into its Transgender and Non-Binary Participation Policy, which was first published in October 2020, as part of a commitment to annually assess its impact as this area of sport and medical expertise develops.