Transgender Women Grapple with New Rules; Mostly Silence from Pros, Industry
, 2022-12-14 13:06:04,
Some trans women will continue to play; others have said they will leave the sport
December 14, 2022 by Sam Mintz in News with comments
Monday was a devastating, and in some cases career-ending, day for transgender women disc golfers.
The PDGA and DGPT announced a new policy that will effectively prohibit transgender women from competing in the FPO division on the Pro Tour and at Majors.
The decision will affect several prominent trans competitors, including two-time Elite Series winner Natalie Ryan who told Ultiworld she felt “broken” and targeted by the decision.
Nova Politte, a transgender woman who has won the last two women’s over-50 pro world championships and competed in the FPO division for two DGPT events this year, said in an interview she’ll still take part in PDGA events. “But I will despise the PDGA the entire time,” Politte said.
“My friends, the people I love, are people I meet while playing disc golf, and I see many of them in person solely at tournaments. I will not let the PDGA drive a wedge between me and my friends. They are all that I’ve got,” she said.
Politte said the decision didn’t surprise her, and that she felt the PDGA board was “hell-bent” on this outcome.
She also noted that Ryan earned an invite to the PDGA Champions Cup in April but now won’t be able to take part because of the new eligibility rules.
“I suggest they re-name it the ‘Some Champions Cup,’” she said.
Joanna Harper, a trans researcher who studies transgender athletic performance and has advised the International Olympic Committee and sports federations on their eligibility policies, told Ultiworld Disc Golf she feels the decision was premature and based on incomplete research.
“If you read the latest IOC transgender framework, they suggest…sports specific research on trans athletes,” Harper said. “And there are enough in disc golf, or there were up until yesterday, that you could do a study like that.”
The trans golfers trying to process the news have also had to do so largely in a vacuum. Almost no touring players have weighed in publicly on the announcement, even though it will shake up the women’s game by removing a top 10 golfer from the tour.
Ultiworld Disc Golf reached out to more than a dozen of the top FPO players in the field. Two of them said they weren’t comfortable speaking about the topic, and the rest…
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