Anti-transgender legislation proposed in many states across the country has spurred local cycling leaders to step up, speak out, and fight back.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 31 states are currently considering bills that would limit health care to transgender youth and/or prevent transgender youth from playing sports.
Arkansas is one of the states leading the charge. It’s also slated to host the 2022 UCI Cyclocross World Championships. In addition to this high-profile event that’s likely to draw many racers from the Portland region, Arkansas has become a cycling mecca in recent years. That’s because it’s home to Walmart, whose young heirs’ love of cycling has led to massive investments to attract bike companies and riders seeking fun trails.[Read more…]
The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association says controversial board member Inga Thompson has resigned. The move comes less than a week since the organization voted to keep Thompson on their board following calls for her removal from some OBRA members. Thompson has attracted concern because of her advocacy around transgender athletes.
OBRA Executive Director Chuck Kenlan announced the resignation in an email to members on Thursday. “I pledge to you, our passionate membership, that OBRA will continue to strive towards fulfilling our mission of inclusiveness in the sport of bicycle racing and adhere to our statement of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Kenlan wrote, “We are imperfect, and recognize that there is so much more to learn.”
According to the Willamette Week, Thompson’s resignation came after the OBRA Board found her in violation of their confidentiality agreement. “In a Dec. 11 email to Thompson obtained by [Willamette Week], Kenlan wrote that due to statements made to BikePortland and on Twitter, the board determined that Thompson “violated the confidentiality of the executive session’.” (Some of those tweets can be found in the screen grab at right.)
The OBRA Board was going to vote to remove her and before doing so gave her the option to resign.[Read more…]
The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) has decided that one of their board members accused of “pervasive transphobia” can remain on their board of directors.
At-large OBRA board member and three-time Olympic cyclist Inga Thompson has come under scrutiny from some OBRA members who feel her conduct discriminates against transgender athletes. Thompson works closely with a group named Save Women’s Sports and was featured in an article published on their site in October titled, Male athletes are taking over women’s cycling.
In October Thompson represented Save Women’s Sports at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.. The rally aimed to “preserve women’s rights” and prevent the Supreme Court from including “gender identity” in the legal definition of “sex”. If that happened, the group worried that, “Any male could self-identify as a female and compete against women at every level of athletics, which would effectively destroy women’s sports.” [Read more…]
The global debate over the presence of transgender athletes in competitive sports has hit our local racing scene. [Read more…]
Portland Monthly magazine has the story of a new riding club in Portland: Transgender Riders United.
Here their lede:
When Quinn Lindstrom moved to Portland six months ago, she quickly fell in love with cycling, and began to seek out a group that shared her passion. But although there are more than 10 bike clubs within the city and countless others around Oregon, Lindstrom, a transgender woman, struggled to find one that felt like a good fit. She eventually decided to start her own group, Transgender Riders United (TRU), where trans folk of all genders could cycle together without judgment.
Molly Cameron, a 39-year old local professional cyclocross racer and owner of Portland Bicycle Studio, has just gotten some bad news. Despite a stellar racing season where she amassed 14 top five finishes in the highly competitive men’s “A” category, she has been told by USA Cycling (USAC, the governing body of racing in America) that she cannot race in the men’s event at the Cycloross National Championships next month in Asheville, North Carolina.