International Gay Rugby (IGR) is attending a working group convened by World Rugby ahead of its review of policies relating to transgender players.

During this two-day session in London the scientific, medical, legal, social and ethical aspects of the current policy for transgender players will be discussed.

IGR Women’s Rugby Representative, Megan Goettsches and IGR transgender player, Verity Smith, will join leading academics, medical and legal professionals and other transgender athletes at the session where the anti-transgender campaign group ‘Fair Play for Women’ will also be speaking to delegates.

This group has previously incited violence against transgender people on their public platforms and has a long history of attacks on individuals and the transgender sporting community as a whole.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Megan Goettsches said, “Let’s be clear, this is a transgender hate group. They have actively used their social media platforms to call for violence and oppression for one of the most vulnerable demographics worldwide.”

“They call themselves ‘Fair Play for Women’ and that they represent the interest of protecting hard fought women only spaces. Trans women are women and I’m a cisgendered rugby-playing woman who does not agree with Fair Play’s views or interests in any way, shape or form.

Hate and discrimination have no place in our sport. We’ll be travelling to London to make that quite clear and defend rugby as a sport for all, regardless of your gender identity”.

Verity Smith commented, “I’m pleased to be representing the transgender amateur rugby community at this meeting. The growth of my rugby career was ruined by restrictive policies and a lack of knowledge that forced me back into the proverbial closet; I didn’t stop playing, but I did have to hide myself for many years.”

“Over recent years rugby has made great strides in reducing barriers for transgender athletes to be able to compete safely and fairly in rugby, I hope this review will keep us moving in the right direction,”

For any clubs wanting to make sure that they are creating a welcoming and safe space for transgender people who want to play rugby, view and download IGR’s handy guide for clubs by clicking on the button below.

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