Trans cyclist Emily Bridges still wants to ride for Wales: ‘It’s a dream’

Emily Bridges

Trans Welsh cyclist Emily Bridges is hoping to one day represent her country in the Commonwealth Games.

Bridges, who was named Sports Personality of the Year at the 2022 PinkNews Awards, is currently banned from competing in women’s races, but has told ITV News “it’s a dream to be in that Welsh jersey” at the major international competition. 

“I’m so incredibly proud to be Welsh,” Bridges said.

“This is who I am. I am a Welsh trans woman.”

However, she’s currently banned from racing in women’s events. 

Bridges came out publicly as trans in October 2020 and raced against men in 2021 because, at the time, British Cycling’s policy was that trans cyclists must meet a certain testosterone level for at least 12 months before they can compete in the female race category.

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That policy was suspended earlier this year.

Trans cyclist Emily Bridges rides a black bicycle in front of a brick building
British Cycling suspended its trans and non-binary participation policy. It comes after trans cyclist Emily Bridges (pictured) was banned from participating in a top women’s event. (YouTube/Sky News)

British Cycling provided an update of its ongoing policy review on 17 November, stating it’s aim to have a new policy by spring 2023.

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“We want to ensure that the review and development of the policy is robust, and we understand that this period has caused frustrations,” the organisation said. 

Emily Bridges went on to be banned from competing in the women’s British National Omnium Championships after being ruled ineligible by cycling’s world governing body. 

Throughout all of this, Bridges has been vocal about her views on the matter. 

She told ITV she was aware she had “other traits and attributes to other female riders”.

“But they aren’t so widely different that it makes competition unfair,” she said.

“What you are trying to root out is such an overwhelming difference and a reduction of testosterone creates a fair playing field.”

Bridges said her transition had been “a very wild ride” but “”realistically, I wouldn’t change anything for the world”.

“For the first time ever I feel comfortable with who I am. I’m still here.”

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Emily Bridges
Emily Bridges received violent threats after Boris Johnson made comments about excluding trans athletes from sport. (ITV News)

Emily Bridges’ public transition has seen her face heavy public backlash, including comments from former prime minister Boris Johnson. 

A week after she was banned from racing at the British National Omnium Championships, Johnson commented about transgender people in sports. 

“I don’t think ‘biological males’ should be competing in female sporting events,” he told Sky News

“Maybe that’s a controversial thing to say, but it just seems to me to be sensible.”

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