Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More on gender and sport in the not-so-binary system

USA Today ran this piece focusing on Lana Lawless, or rather leading with the golfer's story, but extending the discussion to gender in sport, i.e. when gender is not so neatly packaged. The LPGA was scheduled to gather for a players' meeting in which they would consider the "female by birth" rule that excludes Lawless and other transgender athletes from competing on the tour. But the USA Today article cites other cases--like GW b-baller Kye Allums--as well as some of my favorite people, Helen Carroll of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Dr. Heather Sykes of University of Toronto. There was also the seemingly obligatory call to Dr. Renee Richards who as a male-to-female transsexual sued for the right to play on the women's tennis tour in the 1970s. Richards, who is not exactly a vocal champion for transgender rights, simply said "It's a conundrum."
Sykes kind of summed it up well, I thought:
"The gender boundaries have never been clear, and sport is under an illusion that they can police or contain it."

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