Archaic rules on trans players at Portsmouth bowls association

TRANSGENDER woman Stella Moore was left upset after the Portsmouth & District Women’s Bowling Association refused to allow her to play for the women’s team until after surgery.

Friday, 23rd October 2020, 7:00 am
Transgender woman, Stella Moore who has been living life as a woman now for three years, got refused to play in bowls in the Portsmouth league. Pictured: Stella Moore outside Hayling Bowls club, Hayling Island on 21 October 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman.

The association has a transgender policy page on its website from Bowls England and a second page with a list of behaviours and scenarios, which the club says was issued by Bowls England in 2014.

Stella described the rules as ‘archaic’ and the document has since been removed from the association’s website since The News approached them for comment.

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- ‘Even though the transsexual will wish to present obviously as a female, she will do best by presenting herself in an understated fashion, including not wearing too much make-up (few lady bowlers `vamp-up` on the green!)’

- ‘The transsexual should show goodwill by freely involving in aspects of the social activities, fund-raising, food preparation. This allows other members (women and men) to become used to her being around en femme.’

- ‘The transsexual must similarly understand the concerns that club members may have. She will gain most sympathy by activing reasonably, with a friendly manner.’

- ‘In this, what one should also understand is that, though many transsexuals will not expect to be visually undetectable, partly because they were reassigned after many years of life in their genetic sex, a proportion of transsexuals will be undetectable in their altered gender role. In practice, however, many will just be realistic enough to hope that society and other people will accept them in the role that they have chosen, without prejudice, merely judging them for the way they live and behave as human beings and the abilities and contributions that they bring either to their communities, to their employment or to their leisure activities (including sport).

‘Transsexuals may be top scientists, lawyers, university academics, well-known entertainers, industrial managers, computer scientists, sportsmen and women, doctors, as often as retail assistants, cleaners, lorry drivers, office workers or literally anything.’

- ‘The opposition in friendlies be advised - through a very carefully and sensitively written letter - that the club has a member undergoing gender reassignment (male to female OR female to male), who is a pleasant and likeable person and who will not embarrass anyone involved in the game(s) involved.’

- That the transsexual and the ladies agree together how changing and toilet facilities will be managed. She must accept that she will have to be reasonable in this, just for others to become comfortable with her. (In practice, ladies` toilet cubicles are closed and toilets shouldn`t present a problem, but ladies` sensibilities are understood). The transsexual might do well to come to games already changed, for now, to enable her to just change shoes in the main clubhouse (lots of us already do that when playing away games).