Blazing a trail

The BBC celebrates a male rugby player who has moved to a women’s team:

Kelly Morgan is a trailblazer.

Born Nicholas Gareth Morgan, she played representative rugby for east Wales as a teenager.

Then he spent ten years “wrestling with gender identity” and now is playing with (and against) the wims.

Transgender women participating in female sport is a divisive subject, and one not confined to Welsh rugby.

Brushing it off with “divisive” is lazy and cowardly. The BBC might as well say it’s “divisive” for men to punch women in the face whenever they get annoyed.

Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) guidelines – which are “fully committed to the principles of equality” – state Kelly can play providing her blood-measured testosterone levels are within a certain range.

They can say they’re fully committed to the principles of equality all they like, but that doesn’t make it true, and letting people with male bodies trample over women has nothing to do with any “principles of equality.” It has to do with letting men get what they want while women get stomped.

Kelly has been taking estrogen for 18 months. Kelly still has a male body.

At nearly 6ft she stands out among her team-mates, and club captain Jessica Minty-Madley recounts a time she folded an opponent “like a deckchair”.

I guess Minty-Madley is ok with that because the folded one was an opponent? But that’s called “cheating” and it’s frowned on.

But coach Wayne Mansell notes: “I’ve seen Kelly struggling more than a lot of the girls with the demands our of training.”

That said, Kelly, 33, accepts transgender women may have an advantage in terms of size and strength.

“I do feel guilty, but what can you do?” she says. “I don’t go out to hurt anybody. I just want to play rugby.”

What can you do? What can you do? WHAT CAN YOU DO? You can refrain from cheating, that’s what. You can grasp that you feel guilty for a reason and stop doing the bad thing you’re doing that makes you feel guilty. Play mixed-sex non-professional rugby if there is such a thing, or play on a men’s team if there isn’t, but don’t make women pay the price for your desire to play rugby while pretending to be a woman.

Brian Minty, who founded the team four years ago, says: “I’ve always taken rugby as a totally inclusive sport and we’re happy to welcome Kelly to the club.”

Inclusive how? Anyone can be on the team, no matter what the level of skill or fitness or preparation? Toddlers can play alongside huge adult men?

“Inclusive” in this context ought to mean no arbitrary barriers – no exclusion for race or class or sexual orientation or political allegiance or immigration status and the like. But if you have a women’s team, as they do, it’s not arbitrary to exclude men from the women’s team. Possession of a male body is not an arbitrary attribute in this context.

“One of the main things Kelly does is give confidence to the other people around her. We’ve got a number of people who’ve only just started playing.”

He can’t resist a joke, though, adding: “She’s going to be a good, good player for the next few years, as long as we can stop her injuring players in training.”

Oh hahahahahahahaha that is hilarious, it’s funny the way Trump’s jokes are funny. Hahahahahaha he might injure the women hahahahahaha what could be funnier than that.

Minty-Madley says Kelly is not treated differently to other members of the squad.

“Kelly has become completely and utterly absorbed into the team,” she says.

“She’s one of us. She comes in, trains hard, plays hard and parties hard with us afterwards.

“She folded a girl like a deckchair during a game, which was quite funny, but they’re still friends.”

So funny. So very hilariously uproariously funny.

Mansell sees Kelly as a great addition to his squad.

“Straight away we just saw there was a load of ability there,” he says.

“Some days are good, some days are bad, but at the end of the day can you really exclude people?”

Can you really exclude men from playing on women’s teams? Yes of course you can, and you have to.

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