Trans Awareness in Sports Week
Trans Awareness in Sports Week ran on Derby Frontier from March 28 – April 6, 2014, with a new article or interview posted every day. A second event was planned for 2015, however, due to personal life circumstances, quitting roller derby, and my decision to stop blogging about the sport, the event was ultimately cancelled.
I started the event for a number of reasons. Firstly, being a gender non-binary trans person myself who struggles to find any semblance of acceptance or inclusion in most every environment, I wanted to explore and share my research into the subjects of gender identity and gender expression. Secondly, I wanted to discuss the good and bad of how trans inclusion is handled and treated by derby leagues, governing bodies and individuals. Furthermore, I hoped that these discussions would provide valuable suggestions for how organizations could improve their policies for Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming and Intersex (TGI) athletes. Finally, I wanted to create an outlet for binary and non-binary trans individuals involved in not only roller derby, but in other sports and communities, to share their stories and experiences as TGI athletes.
Overall, it was a resounding success that drew in thousands of readers from around the globe and ignited valuable discussion across social media platforms! I as very happy with how well received it was. The timeline for content on Derby Frontier during the 2014 Trans Awareness in Sports Week was:
- March 28: Sex, Gender, Identity and Expression in Roller Derby [an introduction to the wibbly wobbly gendey bendey world of the Trans* community]
- March 29: Interview with Ms. Dr. Joseph L. Simonis of the Trans, Gender Nonconformity and Intersex Athlete Network [resources for TGI Athletes and discussion of what steps leagues can take to educate themselves before developing their own gender inclusion policies]
- March 30: Interview with Mikayla Schultz of Gender Talk Saskatchewan, TransSask Support Services and the Time 4 Rights campaign [discussing the importance of Trans* visibility and gender rights in Saskatchewan and Canada]
- March 31: Let’s Have Another Hard Conversation [a followup from Kevlar on Let’s Have That Hard Conversation]
- April 1: “Getting There is Half the Bout” Derby Frontier exclusive feature article written by Angie Reid, aka Easy Break Oven, of the Oil City Derby Girls [how current policies regarding identity documents and travel in North America present an additional challenge for trans* athletes looking to compete]
- April 2: Interview with Andee Scallion, aka Miss Identified, of Hartford Area Roller Derby in Connecticut [discussion of the WFTDA’s Gender Inclusion Policy, the perception of transgender women having “competitive advantage” and how your league can develop its own gender policies]
- April 3: An Anonymous Discussion on Trans* Issues in Roller Derby [body image, anxiety, passive discrimination and more]
- April 4: Interview with Mack Schneider, aka the Smacktivist, of the Ohio Roller Girls [identity erasure, gender labels, gender segregation and more!]
- April 5: “Fighting for the Right to Participate and Thoughts on Coming Out”, personal story submission from Chris Mosier, three-time Ironman triathlete and founder of www.transathlete.com.
- April 6: “Enforcing the Gender Binary” Derby Frontier exclusive feature article from Easy Break Oven [endocrine systems/HRT and some of the really weird ways that’s been enforced in sports]
Direct links to all of the posts will be provided here as they go live on the blog.
Blog Posts and News Stories
- Call to Action: Don’t Just Do It for 57, written by Nillin Dennison [April 20, 2015]
- Another Kid is Dead. We Need to Stop This, written by Aoife O’Riordan of Free Thought Blogs [April 17, 2015]
- Rest in Power Sam Taub, Roller Derby Community Mourns Following Suicide of Trans Junior Skater, written by Nillin Dennison [April 15, 2015]
- Joe Kaiser: ‘Just Being Who I am’ On Track, In Life, written by Ross Forman for the Windy City Times [March 12, 2014]
- Putting the Spotlight in TGI Athletes, written by Ross Forman for the Windy City Times [January 15, 2014]
- Skater Competes in Women’s Derby, written by Kate Sosin for the Wind City Times [January 29 2014]
- Derby as a Microcosm of My Life During Second Puberty: An Introduction, written by Ms. Dr. Joseph L. Simonis [January 30, 2013]
- Transgender derby player: ‘100 years ago, I’d have been locked up’, written by Ty Steele for KVAL [May 17, 2013]
- Breaking Binaries: Transphobia in Sport, written by Lucy Watson for Honi Soit [October 8, 2013]
- How to Support Your Trans Team Mate, written by Gut-Her Punk for Derby Life [December 20, 2013]
- Stabbing Myself Only Does So Much: Thoughts on “Competitive Advantage”, written by Ms. Dr. Joseph L. Simonis [December 21, 2013]
- One of the Girls, written by Maryam Adrangi for Briarpatch Magazine [January 1, 2012]
- Roller Derby Girls Organize Against Trans Policy, written by Jan Colletta for Philadelphia Gay News [January 2012]
- Transgender Roller Derby Jammer Skates Her Way to Acceptance, written by James Calder for the DCist [December 2012]
- Roller Derby Was Fun Until it Wasn’t (thoughts on trans & queer visibility and acceptance in the sport), written by Maranda Elizabeth [September 7, 2012]
- Coming Out in Roller Derby, written by Nameless Whorror [January 30, 2011]
- Transgender Derby Player Discusses New League Policy, written by Ross Forman for the Windy City Times [March 2, 2011]
- How Do You Define ‘Female’? Roller Derby’s Debate Over Gender, [March 26, 2011]
- Roller Derby News Organization Clarifies Mission Statement to be More Trans Inclusive, written by Michiko Ota [April 4, 2011]
- Transgender Policies: My Story, written by Lenore Gore for Derby Life [December 18, 2011]
- Becoming Roller Derby Grrrls: Exploring the Gendered Play of Affect in Mediated Sport Cultures, written by .
- Neither Butch Nor Barbie: Negotiating Gender in Women’s Roller Derby, written by Kaley Mullins [December 2012]
The Unladylike Ladies of Roller Derby?:How Spectators, Players and Derby Wives Do and RedoGender and Heteronormativity in All-Female Roller Derby, written by Megan Geneva Murray PhD [The University of York Women’s Studies]