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Here’s how Australian sport will do better by trans people

Here’s how Australian sport will do better by trans people

New guidelines aim to help make Australian sport more inclusive for trans and gender diverse people.

The Australian Human Rights Commission, Sport Australia and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) developed the guidelines.

The guidelines provide information on relevant laws. They also have guidance on creating and promoting inclusive environments in sport.

Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer said sport should fundamentally remember to ‘put people first’.

‘Sport must be safe and inclusive for all because every Australian has the fundamental right to enjoy the wonderful benefits of sport and physical activity,’ Palmer said.

‘Research tells us gender diverse people, particularly young people, want to engage more in sport and physical activity but often face or fear peer rejection.’

Broad Australian consultation

The Australian Human Rights Commission consulted with a broad range of people, across different sports to develop the guidelines.

‘Unfortunately transgender and gender diverse people are sometimes excluded from sport or experience discrimination and sexual harassment when they do participate,’ said Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins said.

‘While some reported positive experiences of inclusion, others described how they had been excluded from the sports they loved because of their sex or gender identity.

‘Some spoke of disengaging from sport during their transition journey because of their concern about how their team mates would treat them.’

‘I look forward to sporting organisations using these Guidelines to take steps to encourage the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in their sport.’

Bowie Stover of LGBTI sport charity, Proud 2 Play, said the guidelines are a positive step.

‘As a non-binary athlete and having worked with numerous sporting clubs and codes over the past few years, I’ve experienced first-hand the many positive outcomes that occur when clubs actively show support for their trans and gender diverse participants,’ Stover said.

‘It benefits not only the trans and gender diverse community involved as players, volunteers and spectators, but also helps the clubs and all sports as whole, in creating a diverse and safe sporting environment for everybody.’

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