A legacy of inclusion

I did a couple of posts about “Giulia” Valentino last month: he’s a man who plays football on women’s teams. The Guardian had a Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Trans Ladies piece earlier this month about how mean everyone is to men who compete against women.

Five weeks later, speaking to the Guardian in a first media interview since the controversy, Valentino sought to set the record straight about the tournament final and make the case for including trans people in sports.

Issue isn’t sports. Issue is men muscling into women’s sports.

Commentators had suggested the game they played in, called the Dublin Junior J Shield football final, was for teenagers whereas it was for adults, with junior signifying a lower skill level, said Valentino. “A lot of the misinformation was clearly intentional; they wanted to give the public a specific angle. This is the well-known toxic narrative against trans people we know so well.”

Not trans people; men. This is the well-known dishonesty and manipulation we know so well.

An Italian tech worker who moved to Ireland two years ago, Valentino is a newcomer to Gaelic sports and by her own account not especially skilled, yet she may leave a lasting mark if the GAA and LGFA allow trans players to compete – she has been consulted by the policy review. “I will never be remembered for my sporting results but I’d like to be remembered for leaving a legacy of inclusion for other trans players.”

He may be not especially skilled but he still has a man’s body. Just drop the whole Steal Women’s Sports campaign and that will solve the problem.

For opponents of such inclusion, the photograph of Valentino closing in on an opponent appeared to tell its own story: a bigger, stronger athlete with an unfair physical advantage from having undergone male puberty.

The Guardian agreed not to publish this or any photograph that identified Valentino, who has been harassed. “Safety is a privilege that doesn’t belong to trans people,” she said.

He said. Why is the Guardian so tenderly concerned about this man and so callously unconcerned about the woman he displaced and the women he put at risk?

I have no such qualms about publishing the photo: here you go:


We get the usual gabble about how he’s lost power yadda yadda.

Valentino said that since starting to play Gaelic football in February she had heard no objections from other players in the ladies’ league. “Cisgender women players are our main supporters. I never had an issue on the pitch.”

Gee I wonder why. Could it possibly be because of the massive amount of abuse and bullying women face if they do object? Could it be that he heard no objections not because the women didn’t object but because they didn’t feel free or able to object? Could it be that he should know that and should never have seized the unfair advantage in the first place?

I’m so tired of these cheats and the guardians that enable them.

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