British Cycling announced Friday that biological males will no longer be allowed to compete in the “Female” category of any of the organization’s events, regardless of whether they identify as female.
The new policy will prevent biological males from competing as females in all British Cycling competitive events, though it allows for the inclusion of biological females who identify as men so long as they have not begun any hormone therapy. “Transgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals and those whose sex was assigned male at birth,” will compete in the “Open” category, according to the policy.
British Cycling also added a second policy for non-competitive activity which allows trans and non-binary people to continue to participate in non-competitive British Cycling activities “in line with their gender identities.”
Related: Transgender Wins Women's Cycling Event In New York City
The organization, which “is the national governing body for the sport of cycling in Britain,” suspended its previous policy in April 2022 in order to conduct a nine-month policy review. It included “a full review of the available medical science” and “targeted consultation with [British Cycling’s] communities,” according to the announcement.
Trans cyclist Emily (previously Zach) Bridges posted a statement on social media in response to the change, calling the policy a “violent act” that “[furthers] a genocide against [transgender people].” The post additionally called cycling “one of the whitest, straightest sports out there,” and alluded to Bridges potentially leaving cycling (and Britain) due to the political climate.
The post also claims that transgender cyclists have been banned from competing, which is incorrect, as transgender athletes will compete in the “Open” category.
Many advocates for the protection of women’s sports have voiced excitement over the new policies, including Riley Gaines.
“Women should never be used as collateral damage to validate feelings/identity of others. It’s time governing bodies of all sports follow @BritishCycling,” she said in a Tweet responding to the news.
Great news! Prioritizing fairness as intended to be in sports. Women should never be used as collateral damage to validate feelings/identity of others. Its time governing bodies of all sports follow @BritishCycling— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) May 26, 2023
Im certain you played a big part in this! @ithompsonfdn ⭐️ https://t.co/3PVua6XYaq
Retired British swimmer Sharron Davies also expressed her support for the change on Twitter and called for a culture change in sports.
“So it’s ok to be discriminatory against females but not trans identifying males? I’m so over this PC crap… Do sport in categories based on the sex you are… not the sex you’d like to be but are not!” her Tweet said.
The new policies are expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2023.
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This should be federal law, there is no legitimate reason why anyone should ever have access to these dolls.— MRCTV (@mrctv) May 26, 2023