Boris Johnson says, “Transgender women should not compete in women’s sports”
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, says he does not believe transgender individuals should compete in female sporting events, a position he admits is “controversial.”
The example of transgender cyclist Emily Bridges has recently drawn attention to the subject of transgender athletes, which revolves around the balance of inclusion, sporting justice, and safety in women’s sports.
Cycling’s world governing body recently found Bridges ineligible to compete in her maiden elite women’s race.
Johnson was discussing a variety of topics, including the government’s stance on the so-called conversion therapy prohibition, before adding, “I don’t believe biological guys should compete in female sporting events.” Maybe that’s a contentious statement, but it just sounds reasonable to me.
Bridges, 21, was scheduled to compete in the National Omnium Championships in Derby last weekend against some of the sport’s greatest names.
Because of her low testosterone levels, she was allowed to compete in women’s events by British Cycling after coming out as transgender in October 2020 and starting hormone therapy in 2021 as part of her gender dysphoria treatment.
Transgender riders must have testosterone levels below five nanomoles per litre for 12 months before the competition, according to British Cycling’s transgender regulations.
The UCI, on the other hand, has not yet finished its investigation into Bridge’s eligibility to compete in international competitions, so Bridges will be unable to compete.
She was 43rd out of 45 riders in the elite men’s criterium at the Loughborough Cycling Festival in May 2021, while still transitioning and participating in male competitions, and she was second to last in the Welsh National Championship road race in September, a 12km lap behind the winner.
Bridges won a men’s points race at the British Universities Championships in Glasgow earlier this month, which was her final men’s event.
She said, “We also realise that in elite sports, the principle of fairness is crucial. Transgender and non-binary inclusion is an issue for all elite sports, not just one race or one athlete.”