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Dear Friend,

During this month of celebrating International Womens’ Day, we are turning our attention to the latest iteration of policing transgender bodies, as trans athletes are coming under attack by people who think they have an unfair advantage in sports. Ever since the International Olympic Committee drew up guidelines for the inclusion of trans participants, British citizens are demanding research to prove the competitive advantages trans women may have. This nonsensical demand comes while very few trans people have ever qualified for the Olympic Games, let alone won a medal. Since this argument doesn’t hold up then, we can confirm that the obsession with investigating and dissecting the functions of trans bodies is rooted in harmful ideas that trans people are pretending to be something they’re not, and that it is therefore justifiable to dehumanise them. 

[Image description: Two girls run in a track and field competition in New Britain in 2019. Photo by Hartford Courant]

Schools in the US are taking this exclusion further by prohibiting trans girls from joining girls’ sports teams, in an effort to ‘protect’ cis women from trans women. By painting trans women as perverse, they spread an irrational and cissexist fear of anyone who does not conform to traditional gender norms. The ugly irony of these efforts is that they serve to invisibilise the actual threat to girls in sports, and where their fear should be targetted: their male coaches. While there has been case after case of coaches sexually abusing girls as young as six years old, there has been no institutional change to prevent this violent consequence of sexism in our society. Instead, trans girls and women are scapegoated for being a threat in girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms, with no evidence of harm.

Meanwhile, as cisgender folks spend their time and energy debating the existance of certain human beings in the sports realm, trans women of colour are being murdered around the world. Yet again, the most marginalised people in the LGBTQ+ community are left to protect themselves from oppressive workplaces and medical institutions, homelessness, and violence because of tokenistic prioritisation of white affluent LGBTQ+ people.

Did You Know?

While the stories of Frederick Douglas’ contributions to the abolitionist movement during US slavery are quite famous, we hardly hear anything from the woman behind the scenes: his wife Anna Murray. While Douglas reached wide audiences with his writing, Murray curated the logistics of their stop on the Underground Railroad, ensuring its secrecy and organising the scholars who came to stay there. Sitting at the intersections of Blackness and womanhood at the time, she had to commit her life’s work to securing a stable home with a Free man, despite continuous turmoil. While sexist and racist “etiquette” required she stay out of the newspapers, we can only undo the years of this invisibilisation by re-prioritising what we teach from history. 

Virtual Workshop - Thinking Outside the Boxes:
a Holistic Approach

Thursday, 22nd April from 12:00-2:15PM EST/ 5:00-7:15PM GMT
As unfashionable as it is to say it, creating an inclusive culture in your organisation relies on understanding the complexity of the underlying issues that prevent robust change. Leaders who care about inclusion therefore need new, sharper tools to make this a reality. This workshop will be an introduction to how leaders who care about making inclusion happen can sharpen their thinking outside of and across inclusion silos as you design and lead on making inclusion a reality. If you are interested, sign up below.
22nd April Booking & Info
Design for Inclusion UK (Virtual)
26th-30th April from 9:00AM-1:00PM GMT
The five-day DFI is broken down into three sequential stages for senior leaders and stake holders committed to inclusion in their respective organisations:
  • Deepening cognisance and understanding of complex inequities and exclusions at the interpersonal level (between people in teams, relationships).
  • Analysing complex inequities at a system level and the implications of these on individuals and organisational culture and outputs.
  • Building up new capacity: flexible frameworks and tools for applying this analysis into impactful action across: policies, processes, products and people.
April DFI Booking & Info
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Let's continue to stay informed, safe and engaged.
Best,
Asher
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