Sport and locker room debate: Johnson against equal rights for trans women

Debate about sport and changing rooms
Johnson against equal rights for trans women

Should trans women be able to compete as women? The British Prime Minister says: No. Johnson says biologically male people should also be denied access to the women’s wing in changing rooms and hospitals. The topic is hotly debated in the kingdom.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spoken out against equal treatment for trans women and women in public life. “I don’t think biologically male people should compete in women’s sports tournaments,” Johnson said while visiting a hospital in a small town north of London. He added: “Maybe it’s a controversial thing, but to me it just seems reasonable.” He also believes women should have spaces to themselves, Johnson continued. He cited hospitals, prisons and changing rooms as examples.

He stressed that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have immense sympathy for people who want to change their gender. “It is vital that we give people the maximum love and support to make these decisions,” said the PM. However, these are complex problems that cannot be easily solved.

Female athletes demand scientific evidence

The statement comes days after a transgender British track cyclist was banned from competing in the UK by her sport’s international governing body. Emily Bridges, 21, had started hormone therapy last year and was given the go-ahead by her British FA to take part. The case sparked debate in the UK.

A group of elite women cyclists previously wrote a letter threatening a boycott and calling for the current transgender rules to be repealed unless the federation could “prove robust scientific evidence that the rules ensure fairness for female athletes,” the BBC reported. Low testosterone levels alone are not enough to prevent male advantage in exercise.

Disqualified trans woman Bridges wrote in a statement that she felt “harassed and demonized” and said she simply wanted to get back to racing. According to the BBC, the British interest group Stonewall complained about the blanket exclusion of trans people, which is always unfair. There are still no scientific findings in this complex field.

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