Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes has admitted to being “ignorant” about trans people’s inclusion in sport and shared her full support for the community.
The comments were made in response to the Daily Mail quoting a 2019 tweet from Holmes in which she said sporting events could have “a trans category if need be but even better a trans games.”
Taking to Instagram shortly after its publication on 16 January, she wrote: “As a former international athlete, a gay women and now openly a member of the LGBTQIA community, I want to firstly say I totally support my trans siblings…”
“I have been ignorant in the past about the fight of the trans community and I now want to see fair and conclusive outcome for those whose gender differs from that assigned at birth, in all walks of life, including sport.”
Holmes also explained that she does not support banning trans people from sport as “inclusion” is often more important than “winning”.
“Firstly I do not believe in a blanket approach,” she continued. “A more nuanced approach of looking at the individual person, sport and level is [a] much better way of keeping sport fair.”
She acknowledged that the topic is a “complex” one though stated that “saying that all trans athletes shouldn’t compete in elite sport isn’t right.”
Rounding out her comments, the athlete added: “It is important everyone in society is treated fairly and for sport, a scientific approach on this matter is taken, like in other countries were scientific reviews have already happened.”
Holmes came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in June 2022 at the age of 52.
In an emotional interview with the Sunday Mirror, the beloved Olympic athlete revealed that she lived with her secret for decades.
“I needed to do this now, for me. It was my decision. I’m nervous about saying it. I feel like I’m going to explode with excitement,” she told the publication.
“Sometimes, I cry with relief. The moment this comes out, I’m essentially getting rid of that fear.”