EP 8 – FINA & the inclusion of trans and intersex athletes

Recently FINA have announced new restrictions regarding male to female transgender athletes competing in women’s categories. FINA have said these new restrictions come after scientific panel that found trans women retained a significant advantage over cisgender female swimmer. However many have criticised the validity and transparency of this testing. 

Supporters of this decision include Olympic gold medalist Cate Campbell who’ve said that this decision is based on science and not emotion. However, other Olympians such as Tom Daley and Madeline Groves have scrutinised the decision, labelling it as discriminatory. 

Ricki Coughan, Australia’s first publicly transgender athlete, has this to say on the issue: 

‘the decision is harmful for so many people, trans people, intersex people, and of course, the lives of everyone else, because all of a sudden, they’re being invited to adopt a mindset that speaks less of who we are, that diminishes who we are’ 

FINA’s answer to inclusion? The creation of a third ‘open’ category which trans athletes can participate in. However, Chris Mosier, founder of Trans Athlete believes this will do more harm than good, ‘Separate is never equal. Requiring all transgender athletes to compete in a separate third category is isolating and harmful’ 

This episode we explore the impact of FINA’s decision on the Trans community with Ricki Coughlan, one one of Australia’s first publicly transgender athletes.



‘Yours, Mine & Femme’ is a segment in which we put a spotlight on issues affecting women/feminine identifying persons of all ages, cultures, sexualities and abilities. To catch up on past YMF episodes or to make sure you don’t miss a story, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @YMF_2SER

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