According to a New York Times article by Katie Thomas, the L.P.G.A (Ladies Professional Golf Association) players had a vote and eliminated the tour’s requirement that in order to play you have to be female at birth. This means they are allowing transgendered athletes to take part in the competition. The tour was sued by a transgendered woman in federal court, which then led the new rule. The woman claimed that the new rile violated California’s civil rights law. “Steps will be taken in the coming weeks to make the appropriate changes in the language of the Constitution,” Commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement.
Lana Lawless sued the tour in October. Lawless is a retired police officer that had sex reassignment surgery in 2005. She won the 2008 women’s world championship in long-drive golf. “Ms. Lawless finds it regrettable that she had to bring a lawsuit to get somebody to follow the law, but is glad that the civil justice system in this instance worked,” her lawyer, Christopher B. Dolan, said Wednesday.
This new policy is following similar changes made by other sports organizations that are now allowing trans athletes to compete. These include the International Olympic Committee, the United States Golf Association, the Ladies Golf Union in Britain and the Ladies European Golf Tour. Also, the N.C.A.A. has said that they are reviewing their policies that regard trans athletes.
The article also explains how a George Washington women’s basketball team member, Kye Allums, came out as a trans man. He has been able to continue to play for the women’s team because he has not initiated hormone therapy or reassignment surgery.
Dolan, Lana Lawless’ lawyer, said the L.P.G.A. players’ decision reached beyond golf. “I think it’s a victory for the transgender community,” he said, “and that hopefully other women won’t have to go through this just to have the right to play golf or any other sport.”
I feel like it’s a really big change for these committees and organizations to change such a controversial rule. I agree with Dolan that this is a big victory for the trans communities. I hope that all sports will soon follow these policy changes. This may even bring more awareness to trans issues, especially if trans teammates come out and speak about trans issues. Perhaps discrimination will slowly start to decline because of the moves of these sports associations.