Boris Johnson says transgender athletes should not compete in women's sport

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes transgender women should not be eligible to compete in women’s sport.

The discussion surrounding transgender sporting participants has been ongoing all around the world, and the athletes themselves have been subject to abhorrent abuse in the wake of it.

Johnson had been speaking on the government’s approach to conversion therapy in England and Wales before making the comment he admitted ‘may be controversial.’

The UK government is set to go ahead with the conversion therapy ban for gay and bisexual people, but Johnson has refused to extend it to transgender individuals.

The Prime Minister stated he believes there should be “parental involvement” before children “take decisions about their gender or irreversible treatments.”

Johnson then went on to air his views on transgender athletes.

“I don’t think biological males should be competing in female sporting events. Maybe that’s a controversial thing to say, but it just seems to me to be sensible.

“I also happen to think that women should have spaces — whether it’s in hospitals, prison or changing rooms — which are dedicated to women. That’s as far as my thinking has developed on this issue.

“If that puts me in conflict with some others, then we have got to work it all out. It doesn’t mean I’m not immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition, and it’s vital we give people the maximum love and support in making those decisions. 

“These are complex issues and they can’t be solved with one swift, easy piece of legislation. It takes a lot of thought to get this right.”

British transgender cyclist Emily Bridges was recently ruled ineligible to compete in the women’s National Omnium Championships.

British Cycling’s regulations require transgender riders to have had testosterone levels below five nanomoles per litre, for 12 months prior to competing. However, Bridges was unable to compete because the UCI is yet to complete its own process around her eligibility to race internationally.

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender female to compete at the Olympics last summer. But despite her historic achievement, she was met with severe backlash.

Fellow weightlifter Anna Vanbellinghen described Hubbard’s participation at Tokyo 2020 as “like a bad joke,” despite claiming to support the transgender community.

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