As a club, our aim is to:
Embrace diversity and be inclusive by ensuring we attract, develop, support and retain as wide a range of members as possible
We actively support members of our community who identify as trans and we work closely with the LGBT Foundation in Manchester to ensure we are fully inclusive and supportive as a club.
We want to encourage trans people to become more involved in running and feel comfortable in joining and being a member of our club. This page will hopefully help answers most questions but if you have anything else you want to ask or discuss, then please email our Welfare Officer Sarah Rickard.
Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth and includes those who identify with both genders or neither (called non binary). We acknowledge that trans people may face incorrect assumptions, and remind our members to consider:
- Confusing sex with gender – sex is how you are defined at birth (i.e. male or female, normally based on sex characteristics), whereas gender is a psychological identification encompassing societal roles (i.e. boy/man or girl/woman)
- Sex also includes Intersex which is a general term for a person born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male
- Gender presentation – it’s important not to make assumptions about someone’s gender based on their physical presentation. This is particularly important when thinking about people who identify as non-binary or androgynous
- Misgendering – making an incorrect assumption about someone’s gender can offend and upset, so it’s important to ask which pronoun to use, such as “he”, “she” or “they”
- Conflating sexuality with gender – trans people can be heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual
- Disclosure – trans people may be “in the closet” or live openly, and this is their decision to make
- The process of change – transitioning to a preferred gender may be an ongoing process that takes time, and may or may not involve surgery or medical treatment
There some good FAQs here and you can find out more about a wide range of trans issues on the LGBT Foundation’s website. You may also want to visit Trans Fit to find out more about getting physically active.
Dealing with transphobia
As an LGBT organisation, we seek to encourage diversity through mutual tolerance and respect of others. Our Code of Conduct clearly sets out our expectations of members and is explicit that we will not accept bullying, harassment, discrimination or victimisation of any kind. Our policy sets out how we deal with any members found breaches our code, which may include expulsion from the club.
Our committee and other members who buddy members attended trans awareness training in August 2016 to ensure that those leading the club are fully aware of issues that may affect trans people, including transphobia. If you have any concerns then it’s important you approach a member of the committee (such as the Welfare Officer) rather than dealing with it yourself.
Members may need to change before or after one of our three weekly sessions and below is a rundown of what is available at each venue. We have spoken with the management of all three facilities to ensure they are aware of and properly support trans users, with Sugden Centre and Sports City developing appropriate policies and ensuring their staff are trained. The Equality Act 2010 legally protects the rights of trans people wishing to use the changing rooms of their choice.
Many club members do not get changed in the facilities provided at these venues, so it won’t look out of place if you don’t want to either!
Tuesday track sessions at Sports City
Most people come changed for this session and everyone leaves straight after to go home without showering. The changing rooms are gendered and do not have private cubicles, and the centre supports trans people using whichever changing room they feel most comfortable with. There are several large unisex disabled toilets that offer more privacy if needed.
Thursday run at Sugden Sports Centre
Some people get changed using the facilities before the run and many stay afterwards to have a shower if heading out with us for food in the Village. However, a lot of people head home first to change if they live close by. The changing rooms are gendered and do not have private changing cubicles. The centre supports trans people using whichever changing room they feel most comfortable with and there is a private disabled changing room which can be used (key from reception, just ask on the night).
Saturday run at Longford Park
Most people come changed for this run and many stay afterwards to have a shower if heading out for brunch in Chorlton, although some people head home first to change if they live close by. The changing rooms are gendered and do not have private cubicles. The centre supports trans people using whichever changing room they feel most comfortable with and there are disabled showers in each changing room that offer more privacy if needed.
UK Athletics rules
The Gender Recognition Act (2004) and the Sex Discrimination Act (1975) allow certain circumstances where trans people can be prevented from competing in sport as their preferred gender to ensure fair competition or the safety of others.
The Government has published Transsexuals in sport guidance for governing bodies which outlines how they can fairly support trans people in sport and UK Athletics (UKA) is signed up to the Government’s Charter against transphobia.
In August 2016, UKA published an updated policy and guidance for trans competitors in races with prizes (i.e. most races except Parkruns) or where points may be awarded (e.g. cross country). Charitable races such as the Great Manchester Run may be excluded where the competitor is not racing for a prize. We are actively working with the welfare team at UKA on implementing the policy fairly and they are keen to make it work so that as many as trans people can get involved in running as possible.
Relevant points of the policy are:
- Trans men are unaffected as there is deemed to be no advantage
- Trans women >16 years who wish to compete as female must provide evidence to UKA that hormone therapy has brought their blood measured testosterone levels within the range of their affirmed gender, or they have had a gonadectomy
- The process for recognition of acquired gender is conducted by UKA totally confidentially and also as sensitively as possible
The club registers each new member with UKA when they join and we use the gender that has been declared on our application form to inform this registration. We have a legal duty to respect the privacy of members and the club as no legal obligation to declare members who identify as trans to the UKA – the onus is on the runner to declare their trans status based on the guidelines above.
If you would like to discuss participation in races confidentially, then please contact Welfare Officer Sarah Rickard.
Running is a relatively simple sport to get involved with from a clothing perspective. You just need some trainers, shorts and a top! The club offers a selection of mostly non gendered items in a range of sizes including hoodies, vests and T shirts. Our membership entitles you to discounts at several running shops or try other sports shops to get yourself suitably kitted out.