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

Guidelines on sport inclusion are welcome, but it is communities who must lead the charge
The ACT is encouraging Canberra sports clubs to be more inclusive of trans and intersex players. Real change, however, needs to be driven by sporting communities themselves.

“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.

How roller derby has proven itself to be the most inclusive sport around
Recently a new by-law for roller derby threatened to exclude trans*, genderqueer and non-binary team members, the community rallied to have the law reversed, and won.



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