‘Utter Rubbish’: Trans Woman Golfer Against Relaxing Sports Gender Rules

Matt Philbin | April 20, 2022
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Mianne Bagger is probably a hypocrite, but she’s okay with that. Bagger is a transgender woman golfer who, according to News.com.au, “made history at the Women’s Australian Open as the first transgender athlete to compete in a professional golf tournament.”

Bagger is a hypocrite, in her words, because she supports Australia’s “Save Women’s Sport” bill, which would specifically ban transgender women from competing in actual women’s sports. Bagger, 55, began transitioning in 1995. 

Asked why she favours a bill that could have ultimately precluded her from competing during her own career, Ms Bagger said: ‘These days, [the dynamic] has crept into what’s called self ID or self identification: male-bodied people presenting as women, who live as women, with varying degrees of medical intervention and in some degrees, no medical intervention, which is just — it’s crossed the line, in my view, it really has … It’s a slap in the face to women.’

Indeed, but it’s nice to hear it from Bagger’s perspective. She said that, while “we want equality, lack of discrimination, and of course every single person should have equal access to life and services and work in society,” sports are “different”

Sport is about physical ability. It’s not just about discrimination, it’s not just about equality and equal access. It is a physical ability. Now, if you’ve got one group — males — that are on average stronger, taller, faster, as opposed to women, there has to be a divide. There has to be a division.

That’s especially so “when it comes to elite, professional sport. You’ve got money, medals, world records — there’s a whole different dynamic at play.” 

Related: Ex-Swimmers Unite Against NCAA’s Unacceptable Trans Policy

Bagger believes there are compromises that could allow transgender women “access” to elite sports, but “I just don’t agree with the current, softened policies that are requiring less and less medical intervention of a male-bodied person entering women’s sport.” The IOC’s November decision to relax rules about trans participation in women’s sports was, she said, "utter rubbish." 

And she’s not backing down. “And if people don’t like that, calling me a hypocrite, I’m like, well, bad luck. I’m sorry, but be reasonable.”

Golf clap.