Who’s exclooosionary now?

Belfast Pride wants to see more women injured by men in women’s sports.

Ulster Rugby will not be allowed to march in Belfast’s Pride parade because of the ban on transgender women playing in female contact rugby games. The organisers of the Pride parade said any group which was “engaging in trans exclusionary practices” would not be permitted to participate in the march.

But of course keeping men out of women’s rugby isn’t a “trans exclusionary” practice, it’s a male exclusionary practice in women’s sports. Women should be allowed to have their own sports, because otherwise they can’t have any sports at all.

In August 2022, the IRFU said only rugby players whose sex was recorded as female at birth would be allowed to compete in the female category. At the time, the IRFU said its ban was based on “medical and scientific evidence”. It said there were “physical differences between those people whose sex was assigned as male and those as female at birth”. The IRFU added that “advantages in strength, stamina and physique brought about by male puberty are significant and retained even after testosterone suppression”.

As everyone knows and always has known, but we’re supposed to pretend it’s all up in the air.

Ulster Rugby was one of many organisations which applied to take in the annual Pride parade through the city on 29 July. Following its exclusion, Belfast’s Pride organisers described their festival as “unapologetically trans inclusive”.

“Trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people have helped lead and shape not only the Pride movement, but the wider LGBTQIA+ civil rights movement, and are an integral part of our community and wider society,” they added. “We believe trans, non-binary and gender- diverse people should be supported, accepted and celebrated within families, communities and across wider society.”

But they can be all that without invading women’s sports.

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