Policy on Gender

As the governing body of the worldOutgames, it is the aim of the Gay & Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA) to provide a sport experience where all athletes are able to compete in a safe and welcoming environment.

We are mindful of previous policies and procedures that alienated and discouraged many Outgames participants from enjoying and participating in organized sport. Our priority is therefore to find a balance to ensure that no one experiences discrimination at the Outgames and also to create a fair and equitable sporting competition where all participants can test their sporting abilities.

The new policy challenges the culture of suspicion around gender and allows participants to self-identify their choice of gender for competition purposes. It has been developed after extensive consultation.

Many sports governing bodies have established policies for the participation of athletes who identify as transsexual or transgender (eg, IOC, IAAF, NCAA). IOC and IAAF also have policies specifically regarding the eligibility of female athletes with hyperandrogenism which, unlike the discriminatory ‘gender-verification test’ of the past, do not determine any athletes’ gender.

However, GLISA understands that these current policies also unfairly promote a culture of surveillance. As GLISA is a sports governing association that is capable of inspiring change and reflection in others, our policy on gender should be seen as offering a more convivial sporting space for sportspeople who identify/are identified as transgender, transsexual, intersex or other.

Gender Policy

  • While GLISA recognizes the complexity of gender identity, there will be only two recognized gender categories for competition purposes.
  • Athletes may choose to compete as male or female.
  • Athletes may compete in the gender of their choice and must designate their gender identity at the time of registration.
  • There may be no changes made to gender identity after registration is complete.
  • Athletes may not compete as more than one gender identity in any given Outgames event.

Approved by the board, May 2013



GLISA and worldOutgames recognize that some participants may want greater privacy than regular changing facilities give. Please see the world.outgames.org website and contact the organizers of the sport you wish to participate in. All approaches will be handled with discretion and in complete confidence.

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