Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Transgender derby player discusses new league policy
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2011-03-02

This article shared 18712 times since Wed Mar 2, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The Chicago Outfit Roller Derby League has taken a bold step off the track that will have a huge impact when it competes within the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).

The Outfit formally voted in a policy to allow transgender women skaters to join the league, the Windy City Times has learned exclusively.

"We've yet to send out a formal press release regarding this, but we are very proud of the diversity represented by our league and we're glad that our league can be one of the leagues to formally create a policy allowing transwomen skaters," said Bethany Johnson, who skates as Meg Gyver and is the league's marketing manager.

Meg Gyver also is the league's lone transgender skater.

She is rostered as a pivot skater for the Outfit's Shade Brigade, the league's second-tiered team. The Syndicate is the Chicago Outfit's A-Team that plays chartered games for the WFTDA.

Meg Gyver has been with the Chicago Outfit for about nine months and also serves on its board of directors.

The Outfits' five-bout season runs from mid-May through early October.

"The policy itself is a very lenient policy versus what other sports organizations have required in the past," Johnson said. "Without too much in depth detail, it basically requires that transwomen who would like to skate with The Chicago Outfit have [to have] completed six months of hormonal treatment to try out and possibly skate for our league. In order to skate for our A-Team, The Syndicate, a trans woman skater would have to complete 1-year of hormonal treatment. It might surprise some people that we do not require trans women skaters to have completed surgical gender reassignment.

"The Outfit adopted the policy because it was just time to have an official policy. The Chicago Outfit is an extremely queer-positive roller derby league. They had discussed this policy in the past, but there never seemed to be any urgency as they hadn't had any transwomen actively trying out."

In fact, when Johnson joined the league last year, she did not disclose that she was a trangender woman. "I wasn't actively denying. … It just didn't come up," she said. "A discussion started within the league last fall regarding allowing trans skaters, and during that discussion I eventually just came out to the league in order to show the legitimacy of trans athletes in a definite and positive way

"For The Chicago Outfit, I think that having this policy is another step for our league to show how open and accepting of women from all walks of life we are. This policy also hopefully will help to continue the legitimization of transwomen athletes in this sport in other leagues throughout the country."

Johnson admitted that, yes, there was some opposition to the policy change, but limited. "People are sometimes wary of things they don't know about. I think it helped the skaters that were questioning this policy when they could put a face to the issue," Johnson said.

Johnson, 31, who lives in West Town, is an executive assistant for a major Chicago real-estate developer. "I've worked in the same company for nearly six years and really enjoy it," Johnson said.

Johnson started transitioning in 2000 while in college.

"Like most gender non-conforming people, I always knew there was something different about me," Johnson said. "After getting up the courage to work through all of this, I started transitioning near the end of college. I had a lot of financial struggles in the small town I was living in, so I moved to Chicago where financial opportunities and a strong LGBT community helped me work forward. Luckily, in Chicago I found the personal and financial stability that can be very hard for transwomen, and transmen, to attain and fully completed my transition several years ago.

"I was not immediately open about my being trans [to the Outfit,] but once we began talking about this policy, I wanted to be open about it."

Regardless of the negative impact it might have brought.

"Almost every trans person has had bad experiences with being trans," Johnson said. "My family initially disowned me and prevented me from finishing my college education. That relationship is still so strained that I haven't spoken with my mother since 2005. I've had friends who have parted ways from me because of it. Medical staff at hospitals has passed me around to their entire staff as an example of transwomen. Even in roller derby I've been treated like an interloper by some skaters who are not affiliated with The Chicago Outfit.

"But in The Chicago Outfit, I have never been treated with less than the utmost of respect and familial love."

Johnson said the Outfit's policy change certainly could bring more transgender skaters to the league.

"I would love to see other transwomen join, because this sport can really add so much to people's lives," Johnson said. "I've heard people say that roller derby saved their soul, and The Chicago Outfit definitely saved mine.

"I waited about five years to start playing this sport. I had asked people at other roller derby leagues if transwomen skaters were allowed and was told that the general consensus was that they weren't. But I want other transwomen, and really any and all women out there, to know that if you want to play this amazing sport there are leagues like The Chicago Outfit that are committed to finding strength through diversity."


This article shared 18712 times since Wed Mar 2, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Undocumented LGBTQ+ activists speak on importance of voting 2020-10-23
--From a press release - Los Angeles, CA. - Queer and undocumented filmmaker Armando Ibañez is releasing the videos of 9 undocumented LGTQ+ activists speaking on the importance of the 2020 elections to undocumented communities as part of the #VotaJota digital ...


Gay News

'V for Vendetta' at Music Box Oct. 30. includes talk with Wachowski 2020-10-22
- The 15th-anniversary theatrical re-release of V for Vendetta, which now includes bonus content—a 13-minute, pre-recorded conversation with director James McTeigue and writer/producer Lana Wachowski—will run at the Music Box Theatre ...


Gay News

Trans films at Chicago International Film Festival 2020-10-22
- The 56th Chicago International Film Festival illuminates varying gender norms—in childhood, adolescence and old age—now through Sunday, Oct. 25 as part of the Festival's "Out-Look" LGBTQ+ programming. Three feature films ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Lovecraft,' Tony nominees, RuPaul, Megan Thee Stallion 2020-10-19
- The HBO show Lovecraft Country recently introduced a new character, Yahima—a Two-Spirit person who was quickly murdered and never mentioned again. But now, showrunner Misha Green has gone on Twitter to apologize for what she calls ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Autistic trans guide, trans death, AIDS Quilt, intersex study 2020-10-19
- The National LGBTQ Task Force and the AWNNetwork released a collaborative guide, "Before You Go: Know Your Rights & What to Expect at the Doctor and in the Hospital"—a groundbreaking first-of-its-kind publication filled with tips and ...


Gay News

WORLD French plan, 'gay panic' defense, trans youth case, Northern Triangle 2020-10-19
- The French government unveiled a national plan to combat hatred and discrimination against LGBTQ people, and the initiative emphasises the importance of inclusive education in stamping out homophobia, RFI.fr reported. The three-year plan aims to make ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois condemns transphobic posts by State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi 2020-10-14
--From a press release - CHICAGO - Newly exposed discriminatory comments show it's deja vu in DuPage County following racist and homophobic remarks by State Rep. Amy Grant last month. The Patch reported that voters learned that state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi ...


Gay News

Court declines to review ruling ordering medically care for Idaho trans prisoner 2020-10-14
--From a NCLR press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the United States Supreme Court declined to review a federal court decision ordering the Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC) to provide medically necessary gender confirmation surgery ...


Gay News

Transphobic ad attacks U.S. House candidate Gina Ortiz Jones 2020-10-13
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ people to public office, condemned the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) for releasing a transphobic ...


Gay News

Collaborate Arts Institute to mark 10th anniversary 2020-10-12
- Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC), 7409 N. Greenview Ave., is celebrating its 10th-anniversary season with fall offerings that include the annual Collaborative Works Festival, two recitals as part of the Lieder Lounge series and the ...


Gay News

WORLD India couple, Japan items, pro-trans writers, Nigeria job fair 2020-10-12
- In India, a same-sex couple approached the Delhi High Court seeking legal recognition of their marriage under the Foreign Marriage Act, India.com reported. The petitioners, an Indian citizen and an overseas citizen, are two gay men ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage equality, minister and trans journalist die, HRC 2020-10-12
- LGBTQ-rights advocates are warning of a renewed threat to marriage equality, NBC News reported. President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ignited fears of ...


Gay News

World Rugby bans trans women players 2020-10-11
- International body World Rugby ruled Oct. 9 that transgender women may not participate in elite and international women's rugby, Reuters reported. In new guidelines, World Rugby said the naturally acquired physical benefits that trans women receive ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Transgender advocate, journalist Monica Roberts dies 2020-10-08
--From a National LGBTQ Task Force press release - "This week, the LGBTQ+ community lost one of our fiercest voices in Monica Roberts, an activist who not only lifted up the stories of trans people and inspired generations of countless transgender and non-binary people but ...


Gay News

City passes ordinance recognizing nonbinary Chicagoans 2020-10-08
- Chicago City Council passed a new ordinance Oct. 7 ensuring that non-binary Chicagoans will not be marginalized in City rules and forms. The new rules take effect within 60 days. The measure, introduced this past spring ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Privacy Policy     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.