The Federation of Gay Games recognizes that gender is a significant way of defining one’s identity, and that the dominant definition of gender as “male” or “female” is pertinent to the world of sport as it is currently organized and practiced.
The Federation of Gay Games also recognizes that athletes may be fluid in their identity. This is taken into consideration in the policy guidelines.
Section 1: Sexual orientation
Participation in Gay Games sports is open to all, whatever their sexual orientation. Information about participants’ sexual orientation may be requested for marketing and general information reasons on a voluntary basis.
There are no limits or quotas on participation in any event on the basis of sexual orientation.
For the purposes of management of sports events, the key information required is “male” or “female”, in order to allow for the proper organization of events that are for the most part run on this basis.
Most Gay Games sports allow for Mixed divisions. In addition, Section 4 of the present policy offers Hosts the option of offering non-gendered divisions.
Section 2: Women’s divisions
In many sports, men will on average have a competitive advantage to women*. Although many women can outperform many men in any given sport, the higher the level of competition, the less true this becomes. Therefore, to ensure fair access to competitive sport by women, certain competition categories must be reserved for women.
The “non-women’s” division may be a men’s division or a mixed division (or both). Men’s and mixed divisions may offered alongside each other (i.e. Women’s/Men’s or Women’s/Mixed or Women’s/Men’s/Mixed).
All Gay Games sports must offer competitive divisions reserved for women athletes.
This means that for every sport on the Gay Games sports program, there must be a women’s division offered. (There may on an exceptional basis be sports offering only a single mixed gender division.)
Unless prohibited by sanctioning bodies or undesirable for safety reasons, women may compete in “male” divisions. This does not preclude the creation of a specific mixed division or a specific men’s division. In no case does the creation of a mixed division remove the requirement for a women’s division.
In certain sports, where women on average have a competitive advantage to men, the priority will be instead to offer a men’s division. In addition there will be a women’s division, a mixed division, or both.
If mainstream sanctioning is required or desirable, and is incompatible with the above principles, the requirements of the mainstream sanctioning body will take precedence.
When there is limited capacity for a sport, it is possible and desirable for Hosts to set aside some of this capacity for women participants, and not take registrations solely on a first-come-first-served basis. This set-aside may be limited in time.
*This document is based on the notion that men have a competitive advantage over women in most sports. In certain sports, this may not be the case, or the opposite may be true. The relevant LGBT sports bodies determine if there is a competitive advantage for one sex or the other in their sport or in a discipline or event within that sport, and which divisions are appropriate for that sport, discipline or event. In the absence of a recognized LGBT sports body for a sport, the Host should seek expert advice, with the support of the FGG Sports Committee.
The Federation of Gay Games recognizes that gender identity is more complicated than a binary male-female division. In particular, it recognizes that the legal and medical systems of various countries, and the individual situations of participants, may make the use of legal gender insufficient or inappropriate for the purposes of defining whether a participant competes as a male or female.
All participants are required to identify in which gender division (male, female) they will participate, according to the Gender Identity Policy established by the Host in accordance with the present guidelines. They may also be asked to voluntarily provide their gender identity during registration, but the gender in which they will be participating in their sporting event must be indicated on their accreditation.
Gender as identified by the participant may also be printed on accreditation documents (badges).
An athlete may always invoke his or her legal gender to compete in that gender division. This may be demonstrated by government-issued identification with photo (national ID, drivers’s licence, passport).
For trans athletes unable to provide legal proof of their gender, they may provide alternate documentation, in English or in the original language with certified translations. Note that these alternate methods are subject to specific requirements in certain sports (notably combat sports, including Wrestling and Judo, which require that legal gender only be used):
a) an athlete may demonstrate the right to compete in the gender of his or her choice by providing proof (a letter or certificate from their doctor) that he or she has been undergoing hormone treatment for at least one year.
This requires uninterrupted treatment over the period up to and including the beginning of the Gay Games unless there is a medical reason that may have resulted in short breaks from that treatment. Any breaks in treatment should be outlined in the medical practitioner’s letter.
b) an athlete may demonstrate the right to compete in the gender of his or her choice by providing documentation that he or she has been living as the chosen gender for at least two years. The Host must implement procedures for collecting such proof in a discreet and confidential fashion.
Proof may be provided by legal documents such as a driver’s license, evidence of employment as the chosen or self-identified gender, personal letters, testimonials or statutory declarations, bank accounts, leases, property titles, etc. Considering the challenges that may be involved in changing legal documents in some countries, the accreditation officials may exercise discretion when evaluating the adequacy of the type of documentation provided for proof of an individual’s gender.
Section 4: Non-gendered divisions/events
The Federation of Gay Games recognizes that for some transgender people, gender transition may not be desirable, desired, appropriate, available, legal, or affordable.
It also recognizes that intersex women may have a competitive advantage over non-intersex women, but may be at a competitive disadvantage to non-intersex men.
Should there be interest and a demand for such a category, a Host, with the approval of the relevant sanctioning body and the FGG Sports Committee, may propose, in addition to the existing gender categories, a gender-neutral category of competition, open to all competitors other than non-intersex men.
The existence of this option should be made known to all potential registrants, and registration must be purely voluntary.
Section 5: Policy development and implementation
Development of policies to achieve these goals while respecting the present policy guidelines is the responsibility of the Host.
The deadline for a final approved implementation policy is three months before opening of full registration.
The Host must identify one or more qualified local consultants on gender identity issues and treatments no later than the opening of registration for the Gay Games in question. These consultants must be consulted on policy development and implementation.
A consultant must be present or on call during accreditation to handle any issues that may arise.