Written by Kevin Dennison
Massive props to the Mad Rollin’ Dolls of Madison, Wisconsin, on the implementation of a well thought out, fully inclusive non-discrimination policy! In a press release posted to their league’s blog this morning, MRD states:
“In the interest of preserving a supportive, grassroots community and sport, and in the interest of respecting the privacy and dignity of every individual who participates or wishes to participate in roller derby, MRD has moved to create, pass, and now implement a non-discrimination policy that is more open and inclusive.
With thanks to the league working group that laid the initial groundwork for this policy, as well as every league member who participated in a healthy dialogue about the change, and with enormous gratitude to everyone who has paved the way for transgender, genderqueer, agender, gender non-conforming, etc. athletes worldwide. MRD would also like to specifically thank Gabriel Javier, director of the UW LGBT Campus Center for his help with this process.”
Not only am I extremely pleased to see the MRD adopt something like this as a member group of the Women’s Flat Track Association, which will hopefully encourage others to do so as well for their membership, additionally, I’m very happy to read that they also consulted with LGBT athletes and the director of their local LGBT Campus Center as well!
The policy itself is very similar to the one released by the Men’s Roller Derby Association this past May and much of what I praised about that policy would most certainly apply here as well. It is short, to the point, does not strictly define gender, and genuinely welcomes and respects gender nonconforming identities.
Some highlights include:
- Explicit protections from discrimination based upon the gender expression of members.
- No minimum standards of “femininity”.
- No differentiating between those who identify as female and those who identify as a non-binary gender.
Transgender issues are at the forefront of a great deal of discussion this year, with individuals all around the world fighting for their rights and protections not only in government, but also in schools and sporting organizations. I thank you for challenging the status quo and for pushing this policy forward, clearly stating that discrimination based upon the gender expression of an athlete is NOT okay. Booya! Well done, Mad Rollin’ Dolls!