Argentine trans hockey player wins right to play

May 13, 2017
Jessica Millaman.

Argentine hockey player Jessica Millaman, who had been prevented from playing field hockey by her provincial federation governing the sport, told EFE in an interview that she was happy about the recent decision by the Argentine Field Hockey Confederation (CAH) to allow transgender women to participate in women’s tourneys.

Millaman launched a media and legal battle last September, when the Field Hockey Association of southern Chubut province refused to let her play on the Germinal team in Rawson. The fight culminated with the association reversing its decision on April 28 in what she called “a small step”.

“I’m happy over the fact that we can play sports,” the athlete said. She asked that the CAH respect the gender identity law on the books in Argentina since 2012 and for it to guarantee that all athletic rules respect people’s gender identities.

The CAH decision is in line with the International Olympic Committee stance on the issue. This establishes that for a man transitioning to a woman to be able to play it must be shown that the total level of male testosterone in the athlete’s blood has been below 10 nanomols per liter for at least a year prior to competing.

However, the trans community says this principle goes against Argentine legislation that prevents any institution or athletic event from restricting, excluding or supplanting a person's right to exercise their preferred sexual identity.

Millaman says that demanding that athletes take hormones violates their bodily integrity.

Nonetheless, she said the decision to allow her to play is a small step in the right direction.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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