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Fuck roller derby [Nov. 11th, 2015|01:19 am]
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It's nothing major, but fuck roller derby.

Yes, I found some good friends and like minds there, but fuck this. I joined 4 years ago, I left 2 years ago.

So, I saw some news that WFTDA, the body that most women's flat-track roller derby leagues join, have finally taken a positive step with regard to trans skaters.

You see, in 2011, they released their gender policy. They said that trans women could skate in WFTDA-sanctioned inter-league games, but that they had to be ready to provide bloodwork to prove that hormones were suitably female. While you weren't required to get the bloods done, you had to be prepared, in case the opposing team felt that by having a trans woman skating against them was an unfair advantage, then you had to stump up with the bloods. This was only required of trans skaters. Cis skaters were never required under this policy to do so.

The statement about the new policy is here, with the choice quote of "In 2011 when the WFTDA first adopted a policy that was inclusive of many transgender athletes, it was the most progressive standard of any sport at that time. WFTDA members felt that the old policy, which included references to trans women athletes’ hormone levels, had the potential to exclude and discriminate". You don't say.

LOTS of trans women involved with the sport were saying this from the get-go, and from the moment this was proposed. We said this. We said that the syringe of Damocles with the threat of potentially expensive bloodwork (depending on where you live) looming over any trans skater who wanted to skate.

The MRDA, the Men's Roller Derby Association, had a better policy. It was more or less, "identify as a man, cool, join us". Actually, that's stricter than what they actually said. They said you could skate under the MRDA banner regardless of your gender identity, and without any medical component to it. When they released that statement, I saw it as a clear shot across WFTDA's bows. I remember thinking, "If I ever try skating derby again, it's with MRDA".

And what's annoying is, I just see people circlejerking about it. I see people circlejerking about how it's one less reason to avoid WFTDA (which is true, but there were always far more compelling reasons). I see people saying how progressive the organisation is, and why it's why the love the sport.

I am bitter because I wasn't there for it. I am bitter because I was one of the ones talking about how it was wrong, and now they don't even really want to admit it. They don't explain why it took 4 years. They just do their thing and move on.

And here's the kicker, MRDA still has the better policy. MRDA's policy didn't limit itself to inter-league games, it said it as a statement of its fucking membership. My money is that WFTDA won't. My money is that WFTDA still won't see why it mattered.

WFTDA patted itself on the back when they released their first policy, covering only their inter-league games, not talking about their memberships. Their member leagues could be transphobic as fuck, as far as the policy was concerned, it never covered that. It only ever resolved what happened when a league with a trans skater went against a transphobic one.

I'm annoyed, and I'm bitter. Mostly because this never happened when I was around to enjoy it.