We recognize the roots of the body positive movement in Black culture and Black body liberation. We strive to create a culture that dismantles white supremacy and centers and lifts up Black voices, including Black trans and Black queer voices. We are here to listen, to learn, and to help however we can. Our DMs are open and we look forward to continuing the conversation.
The Body Positive Fitness Alliance stands in solidarity with intersex, transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive athletes*. We believe that if a competition is divided into men’s and women’s divisions, individuals should participate in whichever gender division they most closely identify with. “Sex testing” athletes is an undue burden to the participants in question and promotes a hostile culture in sports.
Asking participants to prove their gender through biological testing is an invasion of privacy and negates their humanity.
Many anti-trans activists claim to want to “protect women in sports” by implementing sex-testing barriers, but these policies foster cultures of fear and suspicion towards any women who perform “too well”, particularly BIPOC athletes.
Sex-testing advocates often invoke “fairness” as a reason for implementing testing policies, but these same competitions make no considerations for other factors such as differences in nutrition, coaching, financial support, and other human variations like height and body mechanics.
ARE YOU A COACH OR EVENT ORGANIZER LOOKING FOR GUIDANCE ON ESTABLISHING AN INCLUSIVE GENDER POLICY?
WHAT DOES A GENDER-INCLUSIVE POLICY LOOK LIKE IN COMPETITIVE SPORT?
The Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association in recent years, with the input of their membership, has evolved away from a sex-testing policy first adapted based on the International Olympic Committee policy in 2010 and instead has implemented this straightforward and inclusive framework to replace it. This sport is full-contact, highly competitive, and one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Implementing a gender-inclusive policy has been an asset to participants and WFTDA as an organization.
“While the evidence indicates that higher levels of naturally occurring testosterone may increase athletic performance, the Panel is not satisfied that the degree of that advantage is more significant than the advantage derived from the numerous other variables which the parties acknowledge also affect female athletic performance: for example, nutrition, access to specialist training facilities and coaching and other genetic and biological variations.” –Court of Arbitration for Sport, July 2019
“Decolonizing Fitness is not a gym, but an incredible educational resource for coaches, trainers, studio owners, and anyone who is interested in unlearning toxic fitness culture. Decolonizing Fitness as a practice is about providing a supportive environment to individuals who have historically not felt welcomed in fitness spaces i.e. people in larger bodies, people with disabilities, people with chronic pain, people over the age of 65 and people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community.”
“Nonnormative Body Club is a Philadelphia-based project with a goal to create accessible fitness spaces for those of us whose bodies and identities rebel against normative definitions of beauty and health. Nonnormative Body Club offers personal training, group fitness, and wellness workshops on a sliding scale.”