Three national LGBT+ sport organisations have come together to criticise Sharron Davies, Kelly Holmes and other high-profile athletes who have hit out at transgender athletes.

The statement looks at some of the common claims made about transgender athletes, and also examines the wider issues facing transgender people today.



The organisations conclude their statement by saying that those who try to examine transgender athletes’ access to sport without examining the wider issues they face are guilty of “deeply irresponsible transphobia.”

“To assert that there is only a sex ‘binary’ or two sexes is uninformed and serves to make intersex people invisible.”

– Joint statement from sporting organisations

The joint statement was released by Pride Sports, LEAP Sports Scotland and LGBT Sport Cymru, who said that they felt compelled to respond to some of the claims made by Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies in a now viral tweet.

In the tweet, Davies said there is “a fundamental difference between the binary sex you are born with & the gender u may identify as.”

She also said that – in order to protect women’s sport – that those with a “male sex advantage should not be able to compete.”

Stockholm Consensus has allowed trans athletes to compete in the Olympics since 2003

In the statement released by the three sporting organisations, they pointed out that transgender athletes have been competing at the highest levels for 15 years now.

In 2003, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) agreed to the Stockholm Consensus, which allowed trans athletes to compete for the first time.

In 2015, that policy was updated to improve access for trans athletes again.

The sporting organisations claim that the policies of the IOC around trans athletes are doing their job in ensuring fairness, and note that “not a single transgender athlete has medalled at the Olympics.”

They also criticise Davies for suggesting that people are born with a “binary sex,” and point out that 1.7 percent of the population is intersex – or are born with sex characteristics which are not typically male or female.

“Gendered sport can prove problematic for intersex participants who are forced to compete in one or other category, but to assert that there is only a sex ‘binary’ or two sexes is uninformed and serves to make intersex people invisible.”

‘Male sex advantage’ is a ‘problematic’ term

They also criticise her use of the term “male sex advantage,” which they say is “problematic” as it “implies that all men are stronger and faster than all women.”

Furthermore, the statement suggests that men do have advantages over women in sport – but that this is largely to do with the “inequitable investment in women’s sport” instead of male physiological superiority.

“This is happening within a context of a moral panic generated around trans rights which often centres on themes of unfair ‘advantage’ and/or infiltration of women’s spaces.”

– Joint statement

Finally, the statement links attempts by high-profile athletes to question the rights of trans athletes to a wider “political debate” around trans people.

“This is happening within a context of a moral panic generated around trans rights which often centres on themes of unfair ‘advantage’ and/or infiltration of women’s spaces.”

LGBT sport organisations respond to Sharron Davies anti-trans claims
Jeff Spicer/Getty

The statement notes that many trans people continue to experience “pronounced disadvantage and hardship which can encompass home life, education, employment prospects, mental and physical health and wellbeing, and overall happiness.”

More from PinkNews

Stars You Didn't Know Were Gay Or Bisexual The Stars You Didn’t Know Have An LGBT Sibling The Straight Stars Who Went Gay For Pay

They conclude by inviting Sharron Davies to meet with representatives from the organisations so they can discuss her concerns and “allay any fears she might have about unfair advantage.”

Sharron Davies’ tweet causes controversy

Sharron Davies caused controversy yesterday for her tweet about transgender athletes, in which she suggested that they could have an unfair advantage.

Trans columnist Paris Lees responded to Davies, saying: “Women are oppressed on the basis of biology. That is not an argument for excluding trans women from anything.

“Tell me, do you think when I’m walking down the street alone I’m safer because I don’t have ovaries? Do you think it makes me less likely to be attacked? Are you serious?”

“It is not a transphobic thing – I really want to say we have no issue with people who are transgender.”

– Sharron Davies

Speaking to BBC Sport after posting the tweet, Davies said that she has spoken to “many” female athletes in international sports, and that they all “feel the same way.”

“It is not a transphobic thing – I really want to say we have no issue with people who are transgender,” she continued.

“Unfortunately, a lot of people who are in the races are in a very difficult predicament when they can’t speak out.

“It maybe falls to the people who were competing [in the past] who would understand the predicament that is being faced at the moment to try to create a debate, and try to explain how we feel there needs to be a fair and level playing field.”




Read This: The Celebrities That You Didn’t Realise Are Gay