As you may have seen elsewhere, UKRDA has announced the ratification of a new Transgender Policy, which will be published for non-UKRDA members to see in due course. They have also appointed a Transgender Liaison co-held by two of Glasgow Roller Derby's own: Jodie Stanley and Freyja Gosnold, both of whom have huge experience and expertise in LGBT topics.
I think this is definitely a very positive thing, and look forward to seeing the policy document itself. Certainly, the rapid development of a Transgender Policy given the relative youth of UKRDA and Modern Roller Derby once again shows how positive and inclusive Derby can be, especially compared to other sports.
This article was edited after the fact to include a link to the Derby News Network article, which includes a copy of the policy document itself ( http://www.derbynewsnetwork.com/2014/04/ukrda_ratifies_no_questions_asked_trans_policy ). Having had a chance to read it quickly, it seems to be as well thought out and constructed as I could expect such a policy to be, and is definitely at the forefront of such policies in sport.
The full UKRDA press release is included below:
Roller derby organisation unveils transgender policy
The United Kingdom Roller Derby Association (UKRDA) has today [Wednesday, April 16] announced the appointment of their new Transgender Liaison and the ratification of their Transgender Policy.
The policy creates a uniform standard of treatment of transgender skaters, and ensures the protection and safety of transgender skaters throughout the UK, with UKRDA member leagues committing to adhere to the policy. This includes safeguarding the confidentiality of trans* skaters, and ensuring that they are supported not just by the law, but by UKRDA policies.
Mistress Malicious, chairwoman of the UKRDA, welcomed the announcement. She said: “This policy makes the UKRDA one of the most forward-thinking and inclusive sports organisations in the country.
“Skaters in our member leagues come from all walks of life and with this policy, we ensure that transgender skaters feel safe, supported and welcome within the UK roller derby community.”
To oversee the integration of the Transgender Policy, the UKRDA has appointed Glasgow Roller Derby skater Jodie Stanley as the organisation's Transgender Liaison. Jodie is a policy manager within a national LGBT organisation. "I hold a Senior Management position within a national LGBT organisation, and bring to the role vast experience in creating and influencing national and local policies and frameworks, ensuring that they represent lgbt people as widely as possible and reflect their differing needs."
Jodie will be co-performing this role with fellow GRD skater Freya Gosnold, who Freya has a great personal and political investment in trans* advocacy and support, and will be a wonderful asset to this role.
Jodie said: “I'm excited that UK roller derby is creating a breakthrough arena for transgender representation in our sport. Transgender people statistically engage far less in sport, partly due to structural discrimination - and I am delighted that roller derby is the sport which is breaking the barriers of gender, making it all about the sport and not about anatomy.”
Freya added: “Roller Derby has the potential to really pave the way for trans representation in sport, at all levels of competition, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to use my experience as a trans person and activist to support our sport and our community on this journey.”