Rules for transgender athletes in student sport: Quebec not ready to decide

Rules for transgender athletes in student sport: Quebec not ready to decide


The Legault government is not ready to issue a specific directive for transgender athletes who play in the Quebec Student Sport Network (RSEQ). It will still be necessary to manage on a case-by-case basis, argues Minister Isabelle Charest.  

The Minister of Sports and former Olympian invites RSEQ coaches and leaders to continue to rely on the various sports federations.

Quebec wants to gather more evidence before deciding and it may well be that the rules that will come will differ from one discipline to another.

“Each sport has a particularity and that will not necessarily be able to be a measure or directive that will be uniform across all disciplines. Boxing versus artistic swimming… each sport has different aptitudes and physical abilities that correspond to performance,” argued Ms. Charest.

The subject of transgender athletes who wish to compete with women is currently being debated around the world. The international athletics federation has just excluded from female competitions transgender male and female athletes who have experienced male puberty, the time to do more advanced scientific studies. 

Quebec also wants to rely on science. “We need to rely on scientific data to really understand how this could benefit trans people and how we could limit this perception of advantage,” insisted the Minister. 

< p>Isabelle Charest is also concerned about the impact of the inclusion of transgender people on sportswomen. 

“I want the openness we have to be beneficial for everyone. We know that we have issues with girls in sport. Could this be a reason that would cause some girls to leave the sport?”, the minister openly wonders. 


The Liberal opposition is asking the CAQ to assume a minimum of leadership in this file. “The rules need to be standardized,” as the RSEQ is asking, said interim Liberal leader Marc Tanguay. 

A clear directive would also make it possible to avoid cases of discrimination, according to Québec solidaire.  

“The government should appoint a team of scientific studies on this,” believes the supportive deputy Vincent Marissal. He mentions in particular the participation of the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) and ethicists.

“I think we have to ensure the greatest equality of opportunity, it is something that will happen more and more.”

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