Inclusion of Trans and Gender Diverse Students and Staff in Sport and Recreation Guidelines - Draft


Application


All members of the University community

Purpose


To ensure trans and gender diverse students and staff have equal opportunities to participate in University sport and recreation, without discrimination and based on their self-defined gender identity 

To support the understanding and implementation of Inclusion of Trans and Gender Diverse Students and Staff in Sport and Recreation Policy

Guidelines


Unlawful discrimination

  • Unlawful discrimination against a trans or gender diverse person because of their gender identity is prohibited under the ground of sex in section 21 of the Human Rights Act 1993, and in section 19 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and section 105 of the Employment Relations Act 2000
  • Discrimination can be direct discrimination or indirect discrimination, and unlawful even if there is no intention to discriminate.
  • The University will not unlawfully discriminate against trans and gender diverse players, coaches, referees, and staff when exercising any of its powers. This includes, for example, when the University:
    • develops and enforces policies
    • provides sporting or recreation facilities and services or
    • recruits, sets terms and conditions of employment or terminates someone’s employment
  • More detailed information on the legal and scientific issues related to unlawful discrimination and the inclusion of trans and gender diverse students and staff in sport and recreation can be found on the Equity Office website

Participation in sport

  • It is unlawful to exclude any person, including trans or gender diverse people, from participating in:
    • non-competitive sport or recreation activities
    • any competitive sport where strength, stamina, or physique does not give players a competitive advantage
  • However, legislation permits restrictions on participation, in some limited circumstances in competitive sport where strength stamina, or physique does give a competitive advantage 
  • If a University sporting organisation or club was to exclude trans or gender diverse people from playing sport in their self-defined gender identity, or to impose restrictive eligibility criteria, it bears the onus of proof to show evidence that the exclusion or restriction on trans and gender diverse people’s participation is necessary and proportionate in order to achieve the objective of fair competition
  • Based on scientific evidence, and how that has informed evolving human rights law and international best practice in this area, the University considers:
    • that University sport and recreation services can be fair and safe for everyone, without the need to impose restrictions on the participation of trans and gender diverse students and staff members
    • it is neither necessary nor proportionate to restrict trans and gender diverse players from competing in sex-specific events
    • trans and gender diverse students and staff members should have equal opportunities to participate in University sport and recreation, without discrimination and based on their self-defined gender identity and expression

Employment

  • Legislation includes exceptions to employment discrimination that are related to authenticity and privacy. This includes where, for reasons of authenticity, being of a particular sex is a genuine occupational qualification for a position
  • There are very few jobs where a strong case could be made that it is appropriate for the position to be, for example, for women only or men only.  The initial onus would be on the University, as the employer, to prove both that sex is a genuine occupational qualification for a specific sporting and recreation position. If that evidence threshold was met, there would also be an additional onus to show why a trans or gender diverse applicant was not eligible to apply for the position
  • The University is committed to meeting its equity obligations under its Equity policy and relevant statutory obligations. The University is not aware of any current sporting or recreation positions where sex is a genuine occupational qualification and considers this exception is very unlikely to apply to its employment role under this policy

Name and gender markers

  • Trans and gender diverse students and staff members have the right to use the name, pronoun, and gender marker that matches their gender identity and expression. This may include gender-neutral pronouns such as ‘they’ or ‘them’
  • University staff members, referees, coaches, and sports administrators should, where possible, ensure that names, pronouns, titles, and gender markers are accurate in documentation and systems, such as team lists and rosters and employment documents. If mistakes are made, including in conversations, it is preferable to apologise promptly and then move on. This avoids drawing further attention to the incorrect name, pronoun, title or gender marker

Sports uniforms

  • Where gender-specific sports uniforms exist, everyone (including players, referees, coaches, and administrators) should have the choice to wear the uniform that they feel most comfortable in
  • Gender-neutral uniform options should also be available. Many trans and gender diverse students will use clothes, binders and other aids to enable their body to more closely match their gender identity. These aids are hard to conceal if a trans or gender diverse sportsperson is required to wear a close-fitting sports uniform or swimming costume. Loose fitting unisex options can be a better alternative. For swimming, this might include rash suits, rash shirts and longer swimming shorts

Toilets, showers and changing rooms

  • Privacy and safety are important for anyone using toilets, showers or changing rooms
  • Private toilet and shower cubicles, including unisex options, provide the greatest level of privacy and safety for trans and gender diverse people
  • If a trans or gender diverse person wishes to use a unisex facility, there is a map of such facilities on City and Epsom campuses

Accommodation when travelling for sport

  • Shared accommodation can raise significant privacy and safety concerns for trans and gender diverse people, given the high level of discrimination and harassment they face 
  • If sports teams have shared accommodation, trans and gender diverse students and staff members should have the option of proposing who they would be comfortable sharing a room with, and whether they require a single room. In instances where the University has a policy of providing single room accommodation for students or staff members with specific needs, this should also be an option for trans and gender diverse players or staff members

Respect, safety, privacy and equity

For everyone:

  • use respectful and inclusive language and terminology when discussing trans people’s participation as players, coaches, or referees or when interacting with them, and encourage others to do so
  • become familiar with the University’s policy governing the participation of trans and gender diverse people in sports and recreation, and related non-discrimination and bullying and harassment policies
  • speak up about any taunting or harassment from spectators or opponents during competition, including when it is based on a person’s gender identity or expression
  • respect the right to privacy of all players regarding personal information (including whether someone is trans or gender diverse) when discussing gender identity and expression

For coaches or staff:

  • create an inclusive and supportive environment
  • educate players on your team about inclusive language and the organisation’s policies regarding the participation of trans and gender diverse people in sports and recreation
  • be prepared to talk with parents /players about trans and gender diverse people’s participation in sports and recreation
  • anticipate and address trans and gender diverse players’ access issues proactively and in accordance with the University’s policy around use and availability of changing rooms, toilets and showers; and uniform and dress code options
  • talk to your organisation and/or the opposing coach if you are aware of discriminatory or harassing behaviour from opposing teams, spectators or teammates based on the perceived or actual gender identity or expression of a player, coach, or referee

Complaints resolution

  • The University strongly encourages any individual who believes that the rights and responsibilities in these guidelines have been breached, to take appropriate action 
  • A complaint can be made:
  • Individuals who witness another person being discriminated against, bullied or harassed, sexually harassed, vilified or victimised should also take appropriate action to address it
  • Staff members or players may seek assistance from Recreation Centre staff or the Equity Office

Definitions


Discrimination can occur directly or indirectly, and can be unlawful when relating to particular legislative requirements

Discrimination against trans and gender diverse people because of their gender identity falls under the prohibited ground of sex in the Human Rights Act (HRA). Discrimination is unlawful when it occurs in an area of public life set out in the HRA and there is no relevant exception. These areas of public life include the provision of goods and services (including sport and recreation services) and employment (including the employment of coaches and referees). In addition, the University cannot unlawfully discriminate against trans and gender diverse people because of their gender identity when exercising any of its public powers or functions, including when developing or implementing its policies 

Gender identity means a person’s internal, sense of being male, female, something other, in between or agender. A person’s gender identity may or may not correspond with their sex assigned at birth

Sex assigned at birth means the sex recorded on a person’s birth certificate and/or other official identification documents at birth

Gender diverse refers to people who do not identify as exclusively female or male, whose gender identity and/or gender expression is outside the female/male binary. Some alternative terms used are ‘genderqueer’ or ‘gender non-conforming’

Transgender (or “trans”), non-binary or gender diverse, are umbrella terms for someone whose gender identity does not exclusively align with their sex assigned at birth. Or, whose gender does not fit within the male/female gender binary

There are many different terms that trans people use to describe themselves, including transgender, transsexual, trans man, trans woman, gender diverse or genderqueer. The term ‘trans woman’ refers to a trans person assigned a male sex at birth who identifies as a woman. Similarly, the term ‘trans man’ refers to a trans person assigned a female sex at birth who identifies as a man

Indigenous terms to Aotearoa / New Zealand include whakawahine for trans women and tangata ira tane for trans men. Many Māori trans people identify with the umbrella indigenous term takatāpui that encompasses all Māori of diverse gender identities, sex characteristics, or sexualities

Pacific cultural terms used by trans feminine people, including in New Zealand, include fa’afafine (Samoa and Tokelau), fakaleiti / leiti (Tonga), fakafifine (Niue), akava’ine (Cook Islands), vakasalewalewa (Fiji), palopa (Papua New Guinea) and mahu (Tahiti and Hawaii). One Pacific cultural term for trans masculine people is fa’afatama (Samoa).  Fa’atamaloa is also sometimes used as an alternative term

Trans and gender diverse are used in these guidelines and accompanying policy as broad umbrella terms that include people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth. It recognises that not all gender diverse people identify as trans

Transitioning (or gender transitioning) refers to steps taken by trans people to live as their gender. These steps may be social and/or medical. For example, a trans person may change their name and use pronouns that match their gender and/or dress in clothing that matches their gender. Sometimes transitioning involves undergoing medical treatment to change one’s body to match one’s gender through hormone therapy and surgeries. Transitioning is not the same as surgery. Not all transgender people chose to undergo medical treatment

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

University community includes all staff members (whether permanent, temporary or part time), honorary staff, students (whether full time or part time), contractors, subcontractors, consultants, alumni, associates, business partners or official visitors or guests of members of the University or UniServices

Document management and control


Owner: Trudie McNaughton, Pro-Vice Chancellor Equity

Content manager: Terry O’Neill Director Student Equity

Date approved:

Review date: