Picture this… It’s the end of a 14-year-old girl’s first curling season. Upon looking back at her glorious season, she realizes that she can’t see herself not curling ever again. She’s completely in love with the sport. However, she has a secret that may prevent her from continuing to find joy within sport. She feels as though she was never meant to be a girl and strongly desires to begin her transition to what she identifies with – a boy.
For what seems like forever, sport has followed a binary gendered philosophy. Youth are told at a young age that they’re joining a boy’s team, or a girl’s team. Within that social construct there is no place for a boy playing on a girl’s team (or vice versa), let alone the transgender boy mentioned above.
Today, there is hope to crush the binary gendered philosophy in sport. In curling, both females and males take part in the mixed doubles category. In MacLean’s Magazine, it is stated that mixed doubles curling finally places both female and male athletes side by side to accomplish the same goal within sport – to win. Mixed doubles curling was finally placed on the world stage in the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics to show the world that the binary gender philosophy of sport can be broken.
In order to construct more co-ed sports teams there is one main issue to consider: the construction of new co-ed league rules. Scholars insist that upon the creation of co-ed sport rules, the rules are framed to insist that female athletes are unequal to male athletes in sport. Thus, the co-ed sport may have a masculine bias before the sport can even be played.
As a society, I believe we are headed in the right direction when it comes to gender equity and equality. However, there is much work to be done in sport. The Olympics made the right move by putting mixed curling on the World stage. But there is much more leg-work to be done in order to have that young transgender boy mentioned at the beginning of the article to feel safe and welcomed in the sport he loves.
Image: World Curling Federation/Alina Pavlyuchik