Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV)
On March 31st we celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of discrimination faced by trans* people worldwide. We celebrate their contributions to society, and in the case of the Bruisers, to our rugby club. As an organization we are committed to fighting against transphobia and creating a safe space for trans* people to play rugby. We are extremely proud of our trans* members and were able to speak to several of them about what trans* visibility means to them, as well as about their experiences playing rugby.
Joel has been playing with the Berlin Bruisers since the fall of 2022. After just a few trainings they played in their first game! When asked about their experience with rugby they said "Rugby has given me the freedom to build a new relationship with my body. I focus not on what I look like, how I am perceived, what my body means, but on what I can do. Rugby is trans joy."
Lea Marie (She/Her)
In 2022 Lea Marie came to her first rugby training with the Bruisers. When asked about TDoV she said "Trans* visibility to me means showing the contribution that trans* people make to society." She added that in addition to celebrating trans* visibility we must also "always take into account that there are many trans* people who must hide their identity, because otherwise they cannot survive; they could be harassed, they could be killed." She further explains that "being visible will contribute to making a more diverse society, where everyone has a right to live."
Lea Marie addressed the attempts in many countries to use false information to ban trans* people from sport "Trans people belong in sports, and rugby specifically. The attempt to exclude trans* people from sport is an attempt to exclude us from society - and that's what we're fighting against."
Lyss has been playing rugby for over 10 years, and is a founding member of the Bruisers FLINTA* team. When asked about TDoV they said Transgender Day of Visibility is extremely important because of what is happening around the world right now with ongoing attacks on the trans* community. "It's important to show up - if you feel comfortable - and represent the trans* community." Lyss explained that by showing up they mean supporting each other, helping where possible, and being a role model for others.
Wondering what you can do to be a better ally? We recommend education as a great first step. As a sports club we have a special interest in educating people about the importance of including trans* people in sport. In the face of on going discrimination against trans women in particular, consider reading the recently published Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review, a comprehensive look at all scientific literature published between 2011 and 2021 in English regarding trans women and their participation in elite-level sports commissioned by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. It found that "biomedical factors do not pose an advantage, but suggests social factors – like nutrition and training quality – do."