A new policy from Badminton England states that transgender women cannot compete in female competitions, which are restricted to those “assigned female at birth”.
The policy, approved on 3 August, replaced the men’s bracket with “open competition”, where all individuals may compete.
The organisation claims to prioritise “fairness of competition” with this action.
Badminton England “encourages transgender and non-binary players to play badminton recreationally in the gender they identify as” – though this does not extend to sanctioned competition.
Eligibility for international selection is also restricted to a player’s assigned sex at birth.
The body “recognises and acknowledges each individual’s right to define their own gender”.
It also believes that “transgender and non-binary players should be able to access badminton without fear of discrimination or prejudice.”
However, Badminton England cited the Equality Act 2010’s provisions for restricting participation by trans people.
It also claimed that “available evidence shows that Badminton” should be considered a “gender affected sport”.
The statement added: “We recognise that this is a developing area of policy with new research being published and changing societal attitudes.
“As such, we will review this policy annually before the start of each competitive season to ensure that best practice is continued.”
Attacks on trans people in sport is widespread
Trans sports bans have been taking place at an alarmingly high rate.
In April, the Republican-controlled House passed a ban on trans women in certain school athletics.
Republican Governor of Texas Greg Abbot signed a law banning trans college athletes from competing in teams aligning with their gender identity in June.
Anti-LGBTQ+ bills are currently rife in the United States and, by 7 June, more than 75 of these bills had been signed this year alone.
Unfortunately, this anti-trans rhetoric in sport is equally present in the UK.
In March, UK Athletics prohibited trans athletes from participating in the female competition, The Guardian reported.