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For Trans Irish Dancers, Hate Is Against the Spirit of the Sport

Started by Jessica_Rose, March 16, 2024, 02:08:28 PM

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For Trans Irish Dancers, Hate Is Against the Spirit of the Sport

Story by Gabrielle Siegel (15 March 2024)

In 2023, a wave of sports from track and field to chess released policies banning transgender athletes from categories aligned with their gender identities. These policies have followed increasing anti-trans laws at the state level over the last few years, many aimed particularly at trans girls in sports.

So, when a teenage trans girl entered and won the girls' competition at a regional world-qualifying Irish dance championship, or oireachtas, in late 2023, most dancers were shocked to learn that An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), Irish dance's oldest and largest governing body, had adopted a trans-inclusive policy years ago and virtually nobody had noticed.

Though the sport had made inclusion its policy, many in the community — including prominent teachers and adjudicators — weren't so accepting; thousands petitioned CLRG to reverse the policy and strip the teen of her win. (Editor's Note: The writer of this story is an Irish dancer who circulated a counter-petition in support of the teen.) As her win was debated in the Irish dance world, the teen (who is not being named here to avoid further negative impact) faced harassment across social media, on online forums, and in right-wing news outlets — harassment that was swiftly renewed when CLRG reaffirmed this policy in February.


It is difficult to make a synopsis of this article. It's long, but it's a great story. Please read it if you have the time. It's really nice to see good news about an organization who embraces our community.

Love always -- Jess
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