Trans cyclist Emily Bridges has launched a fierce attack on the British Cycling Federation after its recent decision to ban trans women from participating in the women’s class. Bridges, who underwent male puberty, accuses the cycling federation of “furthering a genocide” of transgender people.
British newspaper The Telegraph reports that last week, British Cycling, the national governing body for cycling sport in Britain, decided to modify the current national men’s class into a future so-called ‘open class’. The background to the decision is partly the contemporary trend of transgenderism – a movement that in recent years has seen an avalanche of mediocre male athletes moving into the women’s category.
British Cycling further justifies its decision that the stated aim is to enable trans women to compete against other male-born cyclists. Hence the change from men’s class to open class.
The women’s class will continue to be reserved only for those born with double X chromosomes – that is, female gender. The organization made the decision to “safeguard the fairness of competition“.
The new policy, which will enter into full force at the end of the year, applies to all competitions and events involving timing, ranking or prizes. The rule change may also put pressure on the sport’s international federation, the UCI, to change its rules.
The federation’s decision has, not surprisingly, been widely criticized, not least by the protagonist herself, who considers the development reminiscent of genocide. Emily Bridges, born Zach Bridges, presented herself as a woman in October 2020 and started hormone therapy in 2022 to reduce her testosterone levels.
– Does it surprise me that the same organisation funded directly by a state that ships vulnerable refugees to Rwanda, violently clamps down on any political dissent that they disapprove of, or starves their people? No, of course, it doesn’t. The same organisation with actively homophobic coaches, who encouraged eating disorders and did nothing about any bullying between its riders, Bridges comments.
– You don’t care about making sport more diverse, you want to make yourself look better and you’re even failing at that. Cycling is still one of the whitest, straightest sports out there, and you couldn’t care less.
However, under the new rules, trans men will still be allowed to participate in the women’s class in non-competitive events.