Trans women banned from full-contact rugby

Prior to the vote, Curtiss had called on the RFU to “engage” and cooperate. “Trans women can’t play the men’s game,” she said. “I would be decimated. But they’re saying I should play with them and shower with them too. That aspect of it is ridiculous.

“The RFU needs to work with us. They have a moment in time right now to demonstrate their commitment to diversity. They can take a season, do all the monitoring they want. They haven’t bothered until now to do that. At the end of the season, we can look at the statistics, make a decision based on that and create a pathway for trans women in this game.”

Verity Smith, who was left in a wheelchair by a spinal injury suffered in women’s rugby in 2018 before transitioning to become a trans man, is another integral member of the protest. On his last visit to Twickenham, Smith was presented with an award by England Women icon Rochelle Clark. The Rhino Prop Star celebrated her commitment to inclusion in sport.

“There are seven trans women registered but there are three playing – two full-time and one every now and then,” said Smith, who works for Mermaids, an organization that supports transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse children.

“A 14-year-old girl has just been banned. Telling a child that they can’t play sport is telling them they are a second-class citizen. We need to start from a point of inclusion.

“Nobody is actually listening to the trans community. None of the people making the vote today have met with or spoken to any of the women.

“It’s not my life, it’s their lives being affected and we need to show these girls that it’s OK to dream to be in rugby. Not every trans person is good at sport, but every child should have a chance to play it.”

The RFU President, His Honor Jeff Blackett, said regarding the decision: “I would like to thank everyone for the passion, time and effort that has been put in to consulting with us and informing this policy review. Inclusion is at the heart of rugby values ​​and we will continue to work with everyone to keep listening, learning and finding ways to demonstrate there is a place for everyone in our game.

“We know that many will be disappointed by this decision however, it has been based on all the scientific evidence available. Our game can be strengthened by everyone who is involved; be it in coaching, refereeing, administration or supporting and playing non-contact forms of the game.”


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