1st Edition

Transgender Athletes in Competitive Sport

Edited By Eric Anderson, Ann Travers Copyright 2017
    238 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    While efforts to include gay and lesbian athletes in competitive sport have received significant attention, it is only recently that we have begun examining the experiences of transgender athletes in competitive sport. This book represents the first comprehensive study of the challenges that transgender athletes face in competitive sport; and the challenges they pose for this sex-segregated institution. Beginning with a discussion of the historical role that sport has played in preserving sex as a binary, the book examines how gender has been policed by policymakers within competitive athletics. It also considers how transgender athletes are treated by a system predicated on separating males from females, consequently forcing transgender athletes to negotiate the system in coercive ways. The book not only exposes our culture’s binary thinking in terms of both sex and gender, but also offers a series of thought-provoking and sometimes contradictory recommendations for how to make sport more hospitable, inclusive and equitable.

    Transgender Athletes in Competitive Sport is important reading for all students and scholars of the sociology of sport with an interest in the relationship between sport and gender, politics, identity and ethics.


    [Eric Anderson and Ann Travers]

    Section I: Individual Stories of Transgender Sporting Experiences

    1. Advantage Renée?: Renée Richards and Women’s Tennis

    [Lindsay Parks Pieper]

    2. My name is Jay, I Transitioned and I’m a Disabled Young Athlete

    [Jay Anonymous]

    3. Becoming Me: Transitioning, Training and Surgery

    [Riley McCormack and Maylon Hanold]

    Section II: Research into Transgender Sporting Experiences

    4. An Introduction to Five Exceptional Trans Athletes from Around the World

    [Kinnon MacKinnon]

    5. Between Stigmatization and Empowerment: Meanings of Physical Activity and Sport in the Lives of Transgender People

    [Agnes Elling and Kiki Collot d’Escury]

    6. Athletes’ Perceptions of Transgender Eligibility Policies Applied in High-Performance Sport in Canada

    [Sarah Teetzel]

    7. Sport and Physical Exercise among Spanish Trans Persons

    [Victor Manuel Perez Samaniego, Sofía Pereira-García, Elena Lopez-Cañada and

    José Devís-Devís]

    8. Honesty and Discipline: Identity Management of Transgender Netballers

    [Brendon Tagg]

    9. The Experiences of Female-to-Male Transgender Athletes

    [Mark Ogville]

    10. Media Accounts of the First Transgender Person to Work in the English Premier League

    [Rory Magrath]

    Section III: When Policy and Identity Clash

    11. Subjective Sex: Science, Medicine and Sex Tests in Sports

    [Vanessa Heggie] 

    12. Including Transgender Students in United States School-Based Athletics

    [Helen Carroll]

    13. Transgender Athletes in Elite Sport Competitions: Equity and Inclusivity

    [Eric Vilain, Jonathan Ospina Betancurt, Nereida Bueno-Guerra and Maria Jose Martinez-Patiño]

    Section IV: Challenging the System

    14. From Transsexuals to Transhumans in Elite Athletics: The Implications of Osteology (and Other Issues) in Levelling the Playing Field

    [Michelle Sutherland, Richard J. Wassersug and Karen Rosenberg]

    15. The Tenuous Inclusion of Transgender Athletes in Sport

    [Adam Love]

    16. Queer Genes? The Bio-Amazons Project: A Response to Critics

    [Claudio Tamburrini]


    Eric Anderson is Professor of Sport, Masculinities and Sexualities at the University of Winchester, UK. He holds four degrees, has published 17 books, over 60 peer-reviewed articles, and is regularly featured in international television, print and digital media. Professor Anderson is recognized for research excellence by the British Academy of Social Sciences and is a fellow of the International Academy of Sex Research. His work shows a decline in cultural homohysteria and promotes inclusive attitudes toward openly gay, lesbian and bisexual athletes as well as a softening of heterosexual masculinities

    Ann Travers is Associate Professor of Sociology at Simon Fraser University, Canada. She has published two books, 13 peer-reviewed articles, is a regular presenter at conferences relating to sport, embodiment and sociology more generally. She has received over $200,000 in funding for her research relating to sport and gender and transgender issues in sport