Athlete Ally applauds the work of DiscNY athletes to develop and adopt comprehensive guidelines for inclusion of trans, non-binary and intersex athletes. We spoke with Khunsa Amin, DiscNY Equity Committee Director, to learn more about this process and the change she’s hoping it inspires.
Athlete Ally: Was there a specific event or reason that these guidelines came to be developed?
KA: Something that has been on the rise in the ultimate community in recent years has been a fight for gender equity in the sport. The thought process for our guidelines came from our desire to look at ultimate through a truly intersectional lens, working to fight against inequity at the various levels in the sport. In creating these guidelines, we hope to cement our inclusivity in our community through written words and show newcomers to our community from the aforementioned groups that we are working to create the most inclusive version of the sport. We also hope these guidelines will minimize the number of questions our trans, nonbinary, and intersex athletes have to ask, and minimize the number of times they have to out themselves due to necessity. A secondary effect we hope for is to effect the guidelines in place at the national level for ultimate, USA Ultimate (USAU). Our focus group of trans, nonbinary and intersex athletes have constantly voiced the restrictive nature of the USAU policy (latest version: Nov. 1); we hope to disseminate our policy to other local ultimate organizations in an effort to show USAU our version that was created with the help of our community’s trans, nonbinary, intersex athletes and with the help of Athlete Ally.
How were they developed (i.e. who did you consult)?
We relied on preexisting guidelines for trans, nonbinary, intersex athletes. Most importantly, we relied heavily on the input from trans, nonbinary, intersex athletes in our ultimate community. Lastly, Athlete Ally has been a huge help in drafting the guidelines.
How do you hope these guidelines will make Disc New York more inclusive?
As stated previously, we hope this will be another way to showcase how our leagues are inclusive and have the space for trans, nonbinary, intersex athletes. We are also hoping to minimize the number of questions the aforementioned athletes would have to ask and, in the process, constantly out themselves. We also realize realistically that our ratios will be hard to fulfill initially, but our thought process around that is: this is how we managed to add more womxn to our mixed division — in implementing an equitable ratio, we created the space and more efforts were made to recruit womxn and make the environment more inclusive for womxn. Our intent is that the same will occur in implementing our new ratios — in creating a visible space for trans, nonbinary, intersex athletes, we hope to show our organization’s inclusive nature and make the aforementioned athletes comfortable in joining our sport and making it reflective of the diversity that exists in our world.
What advice would you give to athletes who want to make a change in their sport?
Work with the marginalized voices in your respective community and ask them what they would like to see, because they truly realize the various levels of inequity that exist and how it can be combated.
Read the full policy from DiscNY here