, 2022-12-28 10:01:05,
An ultimate player reacts to the recent PDGA transgender decision
“We can’t let this happen to us.”
Those were my first thoughts when I read the recent Professional Disc Golf Association decision, effectively banning transgender women from competing in the women’s division at the highest level of the sport. While USA Ultimate currently has one of the most inclusive gender policies of any sport, and I personally have always been allowed to play in the division in which I expected to compete, it’s simply scary to see a fellow disc sport make a decision that is so blatantly exclusive of athletes in the community.
It was gutting to read some of the comments on Twitter and Reddit; some loud and bigoted commenters wasted no time throwing around tired tropes and offensive opinions lauding the PDGA for their decision. I know I’m not the only person who hopelessly doom-scrolled for just a bit too long. The fact that people are capable of writing so ill of one another is terrifying. The fact that it was happening so close to home just crushed me.
The worst experience I had was in a group chat full of ultimate acquaintances. After a bit of back and forth about the policy, one male-matching member wrote: “I want to win a national championship. I’m gonna round up some [location redacted] guys to play in the women’s division. I identify as a woman only when I want to win a championship for frisbee, but as a male at other moments. There’s nothing USAU or anyone can do to stop us.”
Befuddled, I responded, “But nobody actually does that. You’re making up a problem that doesn’t exist.”
I’ve spent days thinking about this. Both of us are right, technically. The social pressure on a hypothetical group of men who play in the women’s division would be immense, and my hunch is that anyone who tried such a maneuver just to point out the “loophole” in USAU’s gender inclusion policy probably wouldn’t find much value in winning that particular championship anyway. But I can’t lie: the interaction scares me because I could see it happening. And I could see the ugly discourse that would follow. And I can see the effect it might have on some of our most vulnerable community members. I don’t want to live in that world.
It scares me that people are talking about taking advantage of a rule…
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