British Cycling announces landmark trans and non-binary athlete inclusion policy ‘to ensure our sport is welcoming to all’

Non-binary cyclist describes joy at competing in non-binary category: 'I didn’t have to create my own space, someone had done it for me'

British Cycling has announced a new policy setting out how it includes trans and non-binary athletes at all levels of the sport.

It’s the first time that British Cycling, the national governing body for the sport in the UK, has specifically addressed trans and non-binary inclusion.

The policy sets out how trans people can change the gender marker on their British Cycling membership, the rules for competing in gendered categories at elite levels of the sport, and clear guidance on respecting trans and non-binary cyclists in all arenas, including using the correct name and pronouns and supporting all members’ choice of changing room.

Earlier this summer, British Cycling endorsed the first-ever Tour de Trans, which saw a non-binary cyclist pedal the length of Britain to raise awareness of trans issues in the UK.

And on National Coming Out day last week, the organisation also support Emily Bridges, one of Britain’s most promising young cyclists, as she came out as trans.

British Cycling began developing its transgender and non-binary participation policy in 2018, and now says it wants to create “a welcoming and inclusive environment” for all.

Chief executive Julie Harrington said: “As the governing body for cycling in Britain, we have a fundamental responsibility to ensure our sport is welcoming to all, and I hope that the publication of this policy provides additional reassurance to transgender and non-binary participants at all levels of our sport.

“We acknowledge that this is an evolving area of sports governance and our policy will be kept under continual review to ensure that we are responsive to future developments, and I’d like to say thank you to all of those from both within and outside of the organisation who have supported the development of the policy to date.

“At British Cycling we have been proud to work alongside stakeholders in the LGBTQ community over a number of years, including Stonewall and Pride Out, and we are fully committed to embedding equality into all areas of our work to ensure that cycling is a supportive and welcoming place for all.”

Members, or prospective members, who want to change the gender marker on their membership must provide a signed declaration stating the gender they wish to be identified as. This can’t be changed again for four years. Only male and female gender markers are available.

No medical evidence is required for a non-racing member’s gender marker to be updated. For those wishing to compete in women’s races, evidence must be provided showing the member’s total testosterone level in serum has been below 5 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to the member’s first competition.

No medical evidence is required for trans or non-binary cyclists to compete in men’s races.

Former professional cyclist Philippa York, who publicly announced her own transition in 2017, said: “British Cycling has been setting the benchmarks for performance in sport and now they are doing the same for inclusion by having a policy which is easily understood.

“Whilst the work doesn’t end here, it is important that transgender and non-binary participants feel welcome and that everyone takes their responsibilities seriously to ensure that sport becomes more open and inclusive. Of course as scientific and social issues involved become better understood the policy will be updated but I’m glad to see such a positive beginning.”

British Cycling has also set out guidelines for treating trans and non-binary members with respect, including using correct names and pronouns, accepting people’s gender identity without demanding verification, and encouraging trans and non-binary members to use the gendered changing facilities of their choice.


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