• The Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission this week launched guidelines for sporting organisations aimed at promoting trans participation. (HREOC)
Unsupportive coaches, teams and clubs can alienate trans Australians from community sports groups.
By
Ben Winsor

17 May 2017 - 4:53 PM  UPDATED 18 May 2017 - 10:15 AM

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission this week launched guidelines for sporting organisations aimed at promoting trans and gender diverse participation.

The commission’s website now hosts a four-page document on the basics, a two page ‘common scenarios’ Q&A, a longer document on complying with anti-discrimination laws, and a model policy document for sporting bodies to adopt.

“It’s vital that sport is accessible to everyone,” says Victorian EOHRC Commissioner Kristen Hilton.

“Some sporting clubs and organisations have been uncertain how they can ensure that they are inclusive of trans and gender diverse players, and at times have felt overwhelmed by their responsibilities under the law.”

Hilton said the guidelines would make it easier for sports clubs by giving them practical advice.

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“The most important thing is to treat trans and gender diverse people like you would anyone else. A trans man is a man, a trans woman is a woman and a non-binary or agender person is a person.”

The attitudes of community sporting clubs have made some trans Australians wary of participation.

“Being trans has made it impossible for me to participate in sport as myself,” says Rory Blundell, a transmasculine person currently training in freestyle martial arts with the Melbourne Dragons Inclusive Club.

“These guidelines are a fantastic step forward in increasing trans and gender diverse inclusivity in sport,” Blundell says.

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