Transcript: Giving Gender Identity a Sporting Chance | Aug 06, 2019

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a black blazer over a red blouse.

A caption on screen reads "Giving gender identity a sporting chance. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says WHAT WOULD YOU DO
IF YOU'RE AN ATHLETE
AND WERE FORCED TO
PROVE YOUR GENDER?
IT HAPPENED
TO CYCLIST KRISTEN WORLEY,
AND THAT PROMPTED HER
TO TAKE
THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC
COMMITTEE AND CYCLING CANADA
TO THE ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS
TRIBUNAL WHERE SHE WON.
HER BOOK WOMAN ENOUGH, HOW A BOY BECAME A WOMAN AND CHANGED THE WORLD OF SPORT
TELLS THAT STORY.

A picture of the book appears briefly on screen. The cover is black, with a picture of a person curled up into a ball, with a bicycle helmet on, holding a bicycle wheel.

Nam continues IT WAS CO-AUTHORED
WITH JOHANNA SCHNELLER... AND IT BRINGS KRISTEN WORLEY
BACK TO OUR STUDIO.

Kirsten is in her late thirties, with long wavy brown hair in a ponytail. She's wearing glasses, a black shirt, and a yellow and red scarf.

Nam continues HI KRISTEN.

Kristen says IT'S A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU, NAM.

NAM SAYS YEAH, IT'S NICE TO SEE YOU.

Kristen says I'M GLAD TO BE HERE AT TVO.

NAM SAYS IT'S NICE TO SEE YOU.
IN THIS TIME... YOU KNOW,
WE'RE LIVING IN A TIME
WHEN PEOPLE ARE ASKING HOW
WE EACH IDENTIFY,
AND IT'S BECOMING
VERY COMMONPLACE.
YOU WRITE THAT YOU PREFER TO SAY
THAT YOU ARE AN XY WOMAN.
WHY IS THE LGBTQ LABEL WRONG FOR YOU?

The caption changes to "Why XY?"

Kristen says THE ISSUE... SOMETHING THAT I'VE
DONE FOR... I'VE BEEN INVOLVED
IN THIS FOR OVER 20 YEARS... AND SOMETHING THAT I'VE
LEARNED, AND IT'S COMMON FOR ME
AND IMPORTANT TO ME,
WAS TO EMBRACE ALL DIVERSITY.
I LOOK AT... I LOOK FROM CULTURAL,
TO SOCIAL
TO SEXUALITY, GENDER... TO NOW MOVING FROM... WE'VE GONE
FROM DISABILITY
TO ABILITY-BASED, IN TERMS
OF THE SPORTING ARENA,
THROUGH SPORT,
THROUGH TECHNOLOGY,
TO MORE ABILITY-BASED
TYPE OF THINKING.
SO, FOR ME, I ALWAYS KIND OF
LOOK AT MY JOURNEY
THROUGH THE GENDER SPHERE
AS... THROUGH THAT VISION.
THAT IS UNIQUE TO MY EXPERIENCE.
AND FOR ME, IT WAS REALLY
IMPORTANT TO CREATE A PLACE
OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIALLY,
FOR PEOPLE WANTING TO LEARN
ABOUT MY DIVERSITY,
AND SHARE THAT STORY.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME,
HEARING OTHER PEOPLE'S STORIES
ON THEIR DIVERSITY.
BECAUSE A LOT OF THE TIMES
WE GET CAUGHT UP
IN THESE KIND OF BOXES
AND HOW WE TRY TO DEFINE PEOPLE.
EVEN BY HAIR COLOUR
OR THE COLOUR OF OUR EYES.
AND YOU GO IN BOX A
OR YOU GO IN BOX B.
AND THAT IS USED VERY COMMONLY
IN THE SPORTING ARENA
AND HOW WE IDENTIFY INDIVIDUALS.
AND SO,
IT'S ACTUALLY... IN MANY CASES,
CAN BE VERY HARMFUL, SO...

NAM SAYS IN WHAT WAYS?

The caption changes to "Kristen Worley. Co-Author, 'Woman enough.'"

Kristen says WELL, I'LL COME BACK TO IT.
IN A VERY SIMPLE WAY... AND THIS
IS WHAT WE DID WHEN I WAS IN MY
COURT CASE HERE IN TORONTO,
WITH THE INTERNATIONAL
OLYMPIC COMMITTEE;
THE WORLD ANTI-DOPING
AGENCY; WORLD CYCLING,
WHICH IS UNION CYCLISTE
INTERNATIONALE
IN CANADIAN CYCLING,
IS... IT WAS... IT ORIGINALLY HAD
TRANSLATED INTO THE VERBIAGE
AROUND TRANSGENDERED
AND "TRANSITIONED ATHLETES," IN
THAT... KIND OF THE IDENTITY BOX,
BUT IT WAS CLEAR OVER THE
TIMES... DURING THE TIME
OF MY PARTICIPATION IN SPORT
THAT THE POLICIES THAT WERE
BEING PUT IN PLACE BY THE IOC,
THERE WAS NO SCIENCE OR RESEARCH
TO THE POLICIES.

Nam says WE'RE GOING TO TALK MORE
ABOUT THE CASE...

KRISTEN SAYS YEAH...

Nam says BUT I WANTED TO TALK
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE BOOK.

KRISTEN SAYS YEAH.

NAM SAYS YOU WRITE THAT IT'S HARD
FOR YOU TO TALK ABOUT THE BOY
AND YOUNG MAN YOU WERE PRIOR
TO TRANSITIONING, CHRIS JACKSON.
IS IT BECOMING EASIER
IN THE WAKE
OF WRITING
WOMAN ENOUGH?

The caption changes to "Looking back at Chris."

Kristen says GREAT QUESTION.
YEAH, I'VE ACTUALLY BEEN PUTTING
A LOT OF THOUGHT TO THIS,
BECAUSE IN THE LAST 20 YEARS,
I'VE KIND OF SHOVED THAT AWAY
AND... TO BEING ABLE... FOR
ME TO BECOME KRISTEN.
AND FOR ME, IN MY MIND,
IT WAS... I WAS PUSHING THAT AWAY,
ONE, BECAUSE OF THE HURT,
BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF HISTORY
OF HURT AS A YOUNG PERSON,
AS A CHILD,
COMING IN THROUGH MY ADULTHOOD,
THAT IS ALIGNED TO THAT PERSON.
AND IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR ME
TO REDEFINE MYSELF AS KRISTEN
AND KIND OF REWIRE MYSELF,
AND KIND OF COME THROUGH
THAT TRANSITION.
A LOT OF PEOPLE TEND TO... BECAUSE
OF OUR SOCIAL MEDIA
AND VARIOUS MEDIAS THAT WE
HAVE THAT TALK ABOUT
THESE ISSUES THINK THAT SOMEHOW
YOU CAN BE BOB ONE DAY
AND BARBARA THE NEXT.
FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME,
IT WAS IMPORTANT
TO HAVE TO RELEARN THINGS,
REALIGN MYSELF
TO THE SOCIAL IDEALS
OF WHAT IT MEANT
TO BE KRISTEN
AND WHAT IT MEANT
TO ME PERSONALLY.
AND I CAN HONESTLY TELL YOU,
THROUGH THE COURT CASE,
THAT WHOLE PROCESS... THAT WHOLE
IDENTITY PROCESS... BECAUSE IT
FORCED ME TO HAVE TO RELIVE
ALL THE STRUGGLES
THROUGH MY SPORTING... THROUGH
MY SPORTING CAREER... BUT ALSO HAVING TO REALIGN
MYSELF TO THE STRUGGLES
I HAD AS A CHILD.
WHICH ACTUALLY CREATED THAT
STRUCTURE FOR ME TO COME THROUGH
ONE END THROUGHOUT TO THE OTHER,
AS A STRONGER PERSON.

The caption changes to "Kristen Worley, @kristenworley."

Kristen continues SO IT'S INTERESTING, BECAUSE I
WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT THIS
THE OTHER DAY,
AND TO... A YEAR AGO,
I WAS... I WAS PRESENTING
IN GENEVA
AT THE HEADS OF GLOBAL
SPORT... HAD... IT HAD HEADS
AT THE IOC AND WORLD FOOTBALL
WITH FIFA, AND SO ON,
AND THE COMMONWEALTH
AND SO ON, AND UNITED NATIONS.
I WAS STANDING UP ON A PODIUM
AS THE WOUNDED ATHLETE, PER SE.
A YEAR LATER,
JUST THIS PAST CHRISTMAS,
I WAS... BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
I WAS STANDING IN FRONT OF
THE SAME GROUP IN PARIS,
AT UNESCO,
STANDING UP AS KRISTEN,
STANDING UP AS KRISTEN
AS THE DESIGNER.
NO LONGER AS THE ATHLETE.

NAM SAYS DID YOU FEEL STRONGER?
DID YOU FEEL DIFFERENT OR...

Kristen says I FELT... I FELT EMPOWERED.
I FELT LIKE I WAS ON THE OTHER
SIDE OF THE FENCE.
AND COLLEGIALLY,
IT WAS INTERESTING,
HEADS OF INTERNATIONAL SPORT
HAD SAID TO ME, THEY GO,
"YOU'RE IN A REALLY GREAT PLACE,
AREN'T YOU?"
AND I SAID, "YEAH
I'M ON THE OTHER SIDE NOW."

NAM SAYS AND SOMETHING
THAT... AS CHRIS JACKSON
THAT HELPED CHRIS JACKSON
TO GET INTO A BETTER HEADSPACE
WAS SPORT.
WHAT ROLE DID SPORT PLAY IN
CHRIS JACKSON'S LIFE?

Kristen says WELL, AS A YOUNG PERSON,
IT WAS VERY COMMON
TO A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE
DEALING WITH DIVERSITY ISSUES.
AND UNFORTUNATELY COMMON
IN OUR SOCIETY,
THERE'S THE ISSUES THAT YOU HEAR
COMMONLY ABOUT BULLYING.
AND PARTICULARLY... YOU KNOW,
TIME HAS FLOWN BY
IN MY LIFETIME.
I'M MIDDLE-AGED NOW,
SO IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY THING
TO THINK ABOUT,
AND, YOU KNOW,
GOT A BIT OF PATINA ON ME.
BACK IN THE TIME WHEN I WAS
GROWING UP,
WE DIDN'T HAVE THE LANGUAGES
AROUND AND THE SUPPORT NETWORKS,
WHEN WE TALKED
ABOUT DIVERSITY
OR TALKED ABOUT SEXUALITY,
GENDER.
AND SO THERE WASN'T A LOT OF
FAMILY DISCUSSION ABOUT IT,
AND THERE ALSO WASN'T
A LOT OF PROFESSIONAL DISCUSSION
ABOUT IT,
EVEN IN SCHOOLING.
SO FOR ME, I WAS BULLIED A LOT.
AND I WAS VERY MUCH
OF A CREATIVE KID.
AND I DIDN'T KNOW WHY
I WAS BEING BULLIED.
YOU KNOW, IT'S... I DIDN'T KNOW
HOW I WAS PROJECTING
TO MY PEER GROUP,
YOU KNOW,
FROM GRADES FOUR, FIVE, SIX,
AND SEVEN.
AND WHERE SPORT STARTED TO COME
INTO MY LIFE
WAS IN AROUND MIDDLE SCHOOL,
WHERE I LEARNED HOW TO RUN,
AND I LEARNED
THAT I COULD RUN FAST.
AND SPORT ACTUALLY BECAME MORE
OF A PROTECTOR FOR ME
AT THAT POINT IN TIME
IN MY LIFE,
WHERE I ACTUALLY
COULD CREATE A LAYER
BETWEEN ME AND MY FRIENDS,
WHICH MY FRIENDS COULD IDENTIFY
AS ME BEING
SOMEBODY THAT... OF VALUE
THAT THEY COULD HAVE A
FRIENDSHIP WITH...

[CHUCKLES]

Nam says BECAUSE YOU WERE ATHLETIC?

Kristen says BECAUSE... SO MUCH... I DON'T... FOR
ME, I NEVER SAW IT
AS BEING ATHLETIC.
TO ME, IT WAS A LAYER OF
PROTECTION THAT ENABLED ME
TO KIND OF PROTECT MYSELF FROM
PEOPLE KIND OF FINDING OUT
ABOUT MYSELF AND MY DIVERSITY,
UNTIL I TRIED TO FIGURE IT OUT
AND UNDERSTOOD IT.
BUT ALSO, IT CREATED A LAYER
WHERE I COULD INTERACT
WITH PEOPLE.
SO SPORT ACTUALLY
BECAME... PARTICULARLY
ENDURANCE SPORT,
BECAME A TOOL FOR ME
TO KIND OF TIRE MYSELF OUT,
AND KIND OF ISOLATE MYSELF
AS A WAY OF MANAGING
THE STRUGGLES I WAS HAVING
INDIVIDUALLY AND PRIVATELY.

Nam says AND AS CHRIS... CHRIS WAS A VERY
SUCCESSFUL,
COMPETITIVE WATER-SKIER,
AND TOOK PART
IN THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.
WHY DID HE MAKE
THE MOVE TO CYCLING?

Kristen says IT WAS INTERESTING.
IN FACT,
I WENT INTO WATER-SKIING
BECAUSE MY FAMILY
WAS VERY MUCH... MY FATHER
WAS A VERY DRIVEN MAN.
RESPECTFULLY.
A STRONG BUSINESS MAN.
HE WAS A WORLD CHAMPION
IN SAILING.
WE WERE A BIG SAILING FAMILY,
AND SNOW-SKIING FAMILY.
AND I THINK WITH THE COMBINATION
OF MY... AND WE... OF MY DIVERSITY
COMBINED WITH MY SPORT
INITIATIVES, WATER-SKIING BECAME
AN ANGLE WHICH ENABLED ME
TO BE ABLE AWAY FROM MY FAMILY
AND DEAL... AND GO
KIND OF SIDEWAYS.
BECAUSE FOR ME, I WAS ABLE TO GO
DOWN TO CENTRAL FLORIDA
FOR A PERIOD OF TIME
DURING THE YEAR,
AND TRAIN DOWN
IN CENTRAL FLORIDA,
AND ALLOWED ME TO
BE... EXPERIMENT A LITTLE BIT MORE
WITH KRISTEN.
RATHER THAN HAVING TO LIVE
MORE... IN A MORE
CONSERVATIVE ENVIRONMENT
AND DEAL WITH THE STRESS... OF LIVING WITHIN
MY FAMILY MODEL.
BECAUSE I COULDN'T EXPRESS
THAT ASPECT OF MY BEING.

Nam says BUT WATER-SKIING WASN'T
AN OLYMPIC SPORT.

Kristen says RIGHT, SO FOR... SO AFTER I HAD
GONE THROUGH MY EXPERIENCE
IN WATER-SKIING,
I WENT... I DID COMPETE
AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS... AND FOR ME, THE EXPERIENCE
WITH WATER-SKIING WAS WONDERFUL.
I MET SOME WONDERFUL PEOPLE
AROUND THE WORLD,
WHICH I STILL HAVE
FRIENDSHIPS TODAY.
THE... BUT FOR ME,
WATER-SKIING WAS NOT... IS
AN OLYMPIC-AFFILIATED SPORT.
AND INTERESTING ENOUGH,
CANADA IS PROBABLY ONE OF
THE BEST WATER-SKIING COUNTRIES
IN THE WORLD.
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW
AN ALBERTAN
BY THE NAME OF JARET LLEWELLYN.
HE'S PROBABLY
THE MOST WINNINGEST ATHLETE.
AND HE ACTUALLY WAS ON
THE CANADIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE,
THE ATHLETE'S COMMISSION
AT ONE POINT.
HE'S PROBABLY THE MOST
WINNINGEST ATHLETE
IN CANADIAN HISTORY.
OUT... EVEN OUTSIDE
OF WAYNE GRETZKY.

[BOTH CHUCKLE]

Kristen says BUT PEOPLE JUST DON'T KNOW THAT.
AND THEY DON'T... NEVER THINK OF
US AS A WATER-SKIING NATION.

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Kristen says BUT WE HAVE ONE OF THE BEST
PROGRAMS IN THE WORLD,
IN TERMS OF WATER-SKIING,
COMING OUT OF... OUT
OF THE GREAT WHITE NORTH.
SO ANYWAY,
SPORT BECAME... PARTICULARLY
WATER-SKIING... BECAME
THAT ACTIVITY FOR ME
WHERE I COULD LEAVE MY FAMILY
FOR A PERIOD OF FEW MONTHS... BE ABLE TO TRAIN AWAY
FROM MY FAMILY,
AND TYPICALLY IN
ANOTHER COUNTRY...

Nam says AND EXCEL.
LIKE, YOU REALLY EXCELLED.

KRISTEN SAYS I DID EXCEL AT IT,
ABSOLUTELY.

Nam says YEAH.

Kristen says BUT IT BECAME A TOOL... IT WASN'T
SO MUCH OF A TOOL AS PEOPLE
LIKE THINK OF, "YOU WANTED TO
BE A CHAMPION IN THE SPORT."
FOR ME, IT WAS MORE OF A TOOL
TO ESCAPE.

[CHUCKLES]

NAM SAYS BUT IN THE PROCESS,
YOU WERE VERY GOOD AT IT.

Kristen says EXACTLY.

Nam says AND THEN YOU STARTED TO CYCLE.
AND JUST TO FAST-FORWARD BECAUSE
WE HAVE SO MUCH TO GET INTO,
YOU HAVE SUCH
A FASCINATING STORY.
IN 1988, IN ST. CATHARINES,
YOU WERE IN A ROAD-CYCLING RACE
AND SOMETHING HAPPENED
THAT WAS MONUMENTAL TO YOU.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT RACE?

The caption changes to "Get on your bike and ride."

Kristen says I WAS POISED IN THE UPPER... IT
WAS HIGHER UP IN MY... THIS WAS
BEFORE MY TRANSITION, AND IT WAS
A MOMENT IN TIME WHERE I WAS
BEING... I WAS MOVING VERY HIGH UP
IN THE RANKS
IN THE CANADIAN CYCLING SYSTEM.
THIS IS A MOMENT AS I'VE MOVED
OUT OF WATER-SKIING
INTO CYCLING, AND I WAS ABLE
TO... BECAUSE MY FOCUS
WAS TO... I WANTED TO GET TO
THE OLYMPIC GAMES.
I WANTED TO COMPETE WHERE
WATER-SKIING COULDN'T TAKE ME.
SO, WHAT I WAS ABLE TO DO... I
MOVED VERY QUICKLY UP
THROUGH THE RANKS
OF THE SPORT,
BECAUSE I'D ALREADY HAD
THAT BASE TRAINING,
THAT BASE COACHING AT
AN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
THAT WAS KIND OF FOUNDED FROM
MY EXPERIENCE IN WATER-SKIING,
WHICH I WAS ABLE TO TRANSLATE
INTO MY CYCLING CAREER,
VERY QUICKLY.
AND WHAT HAD HAPPENED AS... I WAS
IN A TERRIBLE ROAD ACCIDENT,
WHERE AT THE VERY FRONT
OF THE PELOTON,
WHERE COMMONLY IT DOESN'T
HAPPEN, A RIDER WENT DOWN,
RIGHT AT THE VERY
FRONT OF THE PACK.
HE CROSSED THE PACK
AND TOOK OVER 20 RIDERS DOWN.
AND I WAS SITTING ALONG THE
OUTSIDE, AND TWO OF MY TEAMMATES
WERE ON MY BACK WHEEL AS WE WERE
COMING IN THROUGH THE SPRINT.
SO, WE'RE PROBABLY GOING ABOUT
55, 60 KILOMETRES AN HOUR,
OR QUICKER, AND IT JUST... IT
CREATED A DOMINO EFFECT,
WHICH A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE
PROBABLY SEEN THAT HAPPEN
IN BIKE RACING BEFORE.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

NAM SAYS THIS MADE
INTERNATIONAL NEWS.

Kristen says AND I BROKE MY PELVIS
IN THE PROCESS, YEAH.

Nam says YOU EVENTUALLY TRANSITION
TO KRISTEN,
AND THEN YOU START
CYCLING AGAIN.
HOW OPEN WERE THE CANADIAN
AND INTERNATIONAL CYCLING BODIES
TO HAVING YOU COMPETE
AS A FEMALE ATHLETE INITIALLY?

Kristen says WELL, FOR ME,
AFTER I HAD MY ACCIDENT... I WAS GOING... I DELAYED MYSELF
GOING BACK TO SCHOOL.
I DELAYED MY SCHOOLING
BECAUSE... AND THE GOAL
IS TO GO TO... COMPETE
AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVELS
IN CYCLING FOR CANADA.
AND HOPEFULLY THE OLYMPIC GAMES.
SO FOR ME, IT WAS ALMOST LIKE A
MOMENT THAT... I LOOK AT IT NOW,
NAM, THAT IT WAS ALMOST LIKE
SOMEBODY WAS SAYING TO ME,
"YOU HAVE TO STOP... REALLY
STOP AT THIS MOMENT,
AND KIND OF... AND RETHINK
YOURSELF, RETOOL YOURSELF."
AND THAT WAS THE MOMENT
THAT I STARTED... WHEN I WAS GOING
THROUGH THE SCHOOLING PROCESS,
AND MY RELATIONSHIP
WITH MY PARTNER ALISON,
THAT I STARTED TO REALLY RETHINK
IN WHERE I WANTED... I
BEGAN MY TRANSITION.
AND SO THAT... IT WAS LIKE THAT
MOMENT IN TIME
THAT SOMEBODY... IF YOU BELIEVE
IN SOME KIND
OF SPIRITUAL MOMENT OR CALLING...

Nam says IT WAS NOW OR NEVER, RIGHT?

Kristen says IT WAS NOW OR NEVER
THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.
AND SO THAT'S WHEN ALL THAT
STARTED TO EVOLVE.
AND THEN IT WAS... SO IT WASN'T
UNTIL THE YEAR 2000, 2001...
KRISTEN... WHEN A YOUNG CANADIAN
BY THE NAME OF MICHELLE DUMARESQ
FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA, WHO WAS
A DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKER,
CAME INTO THE DOWNHILL MOUNTING
BIKING SCENE IN CANADA
AND STARTED WINNING.
AND WHAT HAD HAPPENED
IS THAT IT WAS LEARNED
THAT SHE HAD
A BACKGROUND,
AND THAT SHE'D BEEN
A TRANSITIONED ATHLETE.
SO THERE WAS NO POLICY
OR UNDERSTANDING OF THIS,
IN ANY SPORTS OR ACTIVITY
AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME,
ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
AND A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE BY THE
NAME OF... WHO WAS... WHO CAME TO ME
BY THE NAME
OF DR. ROSS OUTERBRIDGE,
HE WAS... AT ONE POINT WAS HEAD
OF THE MEDICAL COMMISSION
FOR THE INTERNATIONAL WATER
SKI FEDERATION,
AND FOR WATER SKI CANADA.
AND ROSS HAD LEARNED
OF MY BACKGROUND.
HE'S AN ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEON
OUT IN KAMLOOPS.
AND HE CALLED ME
PRIVATELY SAYING,
"HAVE YOU LEARNED
ABOUT THIS ATHLETE?
DO YOU THINK YOU CAN HELP US?"
I SAID, "SURE."
AND I SAID, "AS LONG AS YOU
KEEP IT PRIVATE,"
BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT ANYBODY
TO KNOW OF MY TRANSITION.
AND SO I STARTED GETTING
MULTIPLE CALLS FROM OTTAWA,
BEHIND THE SCENES,
BECAUSE AT THAT POINT,
THEY HAD REMOVED
MICHELLE'S LICENCE,
HER INTERNATIONAL
LICENCE FROM COMPETING
BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT,
"WHAT DO WE DO WITH
THIS ATHLETE?"
SO I'D SPENT YEARS WORKING WITH
EXPERTS... INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS
ABOUT MY OWN TRANSITION,
UNDERSTANDING ABOUT DIVERSITY
AT A VERY PHYSIOLOGICAL LEVEL.
SO, I WAS ABLE TO PROVIDE A LOT
OF THAT INFORMATION
TO WHICH MICHELLE CAME
BACK... ENABLED TO EDUCATE
THE SYSTEM TO WHICH SHE CAME
BACK INTO THE SPORT
AND CONTINUED COMPETING.

NAM SAYS WOW.

Kristen says SO IT WASN'T THAT MOMENT
IN TIME UNTIL I THOUGHT
THAT I WOULD COME BACK TO SPORT.
BECAUSE I NEVER THOUGHT I'D COME
BACK TO SPORT.
THAT WASN'T MY INTEREST.
I THOUGHT MY YEARS IN COMPETING
WAS OVER.
UNTIL THAT MOMENT.

Nam says WELL, EVENTUALLY, AFTER YOU SET
YOUR SIGHTS ONCE AGAIN
ON RIDING
AT THE OLYMPICS,
YOU'RE PUT THROUGH A PROCESS
OF GENDER VERIFICATION,
WHICH YOU WRITE
ABOUT THIS WAY IN THE BOOK...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Authentication process." The quote reads "In 2003 the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.), together with the World Anti-Doping Agency (W.A.D.A.), had put out a two-page policy statement, the 'Stockholm Consensus on Sex Reassignment in Sport,' to govern, the process by which transitioned athletes are 'authenticated' – verified as the gender they say they are- and permitted to compete. It was now April 2005. I was the first athlete to be tested under this new policy, anywhere in the world.
Of the four men in the room, two were sport administrators, one was a lawyer, and the fourth was an emergency-room doctor -not a gender or endocrine specialist.
The assumed authority of sport had empowered them to do whatever they wanted to me. It was like handing a layman a scalpel and saying, 'Here, no you're a heart surgeon. Don't worry about the law, we answer to no one."
Quoted from Kristen Worley and Johanna Schneller, "Woman enough." 2019.

Nam says THAT SOUNDS EXTREMELY INVASIVE.
WHAT WAS THAT PROCESS LIKE
FOR YOU TO GO THROUGH?

Kristen says HUH.
IT'S GOTTA... THERE'S A MULTIPLE
OF THINGS HERE.
FIRST OF ALL, THIS POLICY
WAS DESIGNED IN CONJUNCTION
WITH MICHELLE'S PARTICIPATION
IN SPORT.
SO THE IOC... THE HISTORY OF THIS
IS THAT THE IOC, AT THAT TIME,
FELT THEY HAD TO PUT... HAD TO
LEAD THIS IN SPORT,
THROUGH THE MECHANISMS
OF THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT
TO HELP SPORT UNDERSTAND
WHAT TO DO... WHAT TO DO
WITH THESE ATHLETES.
THERE'S NOTHING TO DO
WITH THESE ATHLETES,
BUT WE CAN TALK
ABOUT THAT IN A LITTLE BIT.
BUT THE ISSUE IS IS THAT THERE
WAS THESE ASSUMPTIONS MADE IN
THAT THE IOC HAD THRUST... TAKEN
IT UPON THEMSELVES TO GENERATE
A POLICY, WHICH WE KNEW AT A
LATER DATE THERE WAS NO SCIENCE
OR RESEARCH
TO THE POLICIES WHATSOEVER.
SO, UNDERSTANDING THAT,
THAT YOU'VE GOT THESE POLICIES
THAT ARE COMING OUT OF
SWITZERLAND BY A PRIVATE ENTITY,
TO 206 NATIONS
AROUND THE WORLD... THAT ARE THEN IMPOSING
THESE STANDARDS
AGAINST THE CIVIL
LIBERTIES AND RIGHTS
OF A SPECIFIC
COUNTRY... I'M USING CANADA
AS AN EXAMPLE... AND WHERE IF WE
DID THIS IN A LEGAL... WE HAVE
AN ILLEGAL
OR MEDICAL ENVIRONMENT,
IT WOULD... YOU WOULD
NEVER SEE IT.
WE HAVE LAW SOCIETIES,
WE HAVE THE MEDICAL SOCIETY,
ONTARIO SURGEONS AND GENERALS,
TO DO OVERSIGHT OF PRACTITIONERS
IN THESE SPACES.

Nam says BUT IN SPORTS, IT WAS HAPPENING?

Kristen says IN SPORT, THERE SEEMS TO BE
NO OVERSIGHT OR NO MECHANISMS
TO ENSURE THE SAFETIES
OF THE ATHLETES, YOU KNOW?
AND SO... AND THIS IS VERY... THIS
IS VERY COMMON PRACTICE.
AND THIS IS WHAT... SADLY,
WHICH I USE OFTEN,
AND WHAT HAPPENS
IS THAT THESE POLICIES
ARE PUT IN PLACE
WHERE PEOPLE OF NON-AUTHORITY,
AND I HATE
USING... NON-EXPERTISE...
OR REASON TO UNDERSTAND
WHY THEY'RE EVEN DOING
IT IN THE FIRST PLACE,
BECAUSE THERE IS NO SCIENCE
AND RESEARCH TO THE POLICIES,
SO THEY DON'T EVEN DEFINITIVELY
KNOW WHY THEY'RE DOING IT.
SO THE ISSUE IS THAT THEY'VE
IMPOSED AND EMPOWERED THEMSELVES
TO THINK THAT THEY CAN DO IT.
ONE, THAT THEY HAVE A... FEEL THEY
HAVE A RIGHT TO DO IT.
AND THEN THIRDLY, THINKING THAT
THE ATHLETE DESERVES IT.
SO IN A LOT... YOU'LL SEE IN A LOT
OF THE WRITING,
WHICH I TALK ABOUT A LOT
IN MY BOOK, FROM THE IOC,
FROM THE WORLD ANTI-DOPING
AGENCY;
FROM THE WORLD CYCLING,
UNION CYCLISTE INTERNATIONALE;
AND FROM OTTAWA, EVERY TIME FROM
SPORT CANADA, EVEN RIGHT DOWN
TO CYCLING CANADA... WHICH WE WERE
ABLE TO SHOW
IN THE COURT PROCESSES, ALL THE
LANGUAGE WAS IT'S EITHER,
"KRISTEN, IT'S EITHER YOUR WAY,
OUR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY."

NAM SAYS AND THEN
IF YOU'RE AN ATHLETE,
YOU WANT
TO DO YOUR SPORT.

KRISTEN SAYS RIGHT.

Nam says SO, YOU DON'T REALLY FEEL LIKE
YOU HAVE A CHOICE.

Kristen says YOU DON'T HAVE A CHOICE.

NAM SAYS RIGHT.

Kristen says THAT'S THE POINT.
BECAUSE OF WHERE THE POLICY
WAS COMING FROM,
AND KIND OF BY SOCIAL DESIGN... THEY FELT THAT THEY WERE DOING
SOMETHING RIGHT...

Nam says BUT WHAT YOU SAY THAT THEY
THOUGHT THEY WERE DOING RIGHT
WAS THIS PERCEIVED ADVANTAGE.
YOU WRITE THAT, "THE MEN OF THIS
PANEL ASSUME THAT SOMEONE BORN
IN A MALE BODY WOULD BE ABLE
TO OUTPERFORM
AN XX FEMALE ATHLETE."

KRISTEN SAYS RIGHT.

NAM SAYS BUT YOU SAY THAT'S WRONG.
WHY IS THIS ASSUMPTION WRONG?

The caption changes to "Don't assume."

Kristen says WELL, THERE'S A WHOLE SCIENCE
PIECE TO THIS.
AND I THINK... IF I COULD COME
BACK TO THE INTERACTIONS
WITH THESE... IN TERMS OF THE
PROCESS, I MEAN,
THEY GOT AS FAR AS
TALKING... ASKING ME,
"WELL, WILL YOU HAVE ANY OTHER
SURGERIES TO YOUR BODY."
AND I'M KIND OF... I WAS LOOKING
AT THEM GOING, "PARDON ME?"
[CHUCKLES]
"HOW IS THAT TO DEAL WITH MY
IDENTITY AS AN INDIVIDUAL
AS AN ATHLETE?
LET ALONE YOU ACKNOWLEDGING
ANY EXPERTISE IN SCIENCE."
IN TERMS OF ANYTHING I WOULD
SURGICALLY INTERVENTION,
I SAID,
"YEAH, I'M GONNA GET MY..."
I ACTUALLY RESPONDED
[CHUCKLES]
TO THEM,
BECAUSE I WAS SO DISTRESSED.
I SAID TO THEM ACTUALLY,
"I'M GONNA ACTUALLY GET SOME
CHANGES TO MY EARLOBES,
IN ORDER TO MAKE ME A LITTLE BIT
MORE AERODYNAMIC."
YOU KNOW?

Nam says AND YOU DO POINT OUT IN THE BOOK
THAT THERE ARE OTHER ATHLETES
USING THAT ARGUMENT
OF PERCEIVED ADVANTAGE.
EXAMPLE, IN BASKETBALL, IF
SOMEBODY'S A SEVEN-FOOTER...

KRISTEN SAYS RIGHT...

Nam says THAT WOULD BE
A PERCEIVED ADVANTAGE
BECAUSE THEY ARE TALLER
THAN EVERYBODY ELSE.

Kristen says RIGHT, AND SO BEING... AND RIGHT.
SO THE IDEA OF PERCEIVED
ADVANTAGE IN SPORT,
WE CAN'T TALK ABOUT
THESE ADVANTAGES
AND PERCEIVED ADVANTAGES
IN SPORT
BECAUSE WE DON'T UNDERSTAND THE
BASICS OF THE HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY.
WE DON'T, SECONDARILY,
UNDERSTAND THE BASIS
OF THE SCIENCES OF ATHLETES'
HEALTH AND WELLNESS,
INDIVIDUAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS.
IT CAN'T BE SEEN
AS AN UMBRELLA
BECAUSE SCIENCE
DOESN'T SUPPORT THAT.
IT HAS TO BE DONE
ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL.
AND THIRDLY, WE ARE EMBRACING
SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS OF THE IDEAS
OF MEN OVER WOMEN.

Nam says WELL, LET'S TALK ABOUT
WHAT YOU DID NEXT...

KRISTEN SAYS YEAH, ABSOLUTELY...

Nam says BECAUSE IN 2015,
YOU TOOK YOUR COMPLAINTS,
WITH THE GOVERNING BODIES FOR
CYCLING, AND THE OLYMPICS,
TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL
OF ONTARIO.
WHY THERE?

The caption changes to "Sport on trial."

Kristen says SO OVER THE 20-YEAR PERIOD,
I WORKED WITH... I CAME TO KNOW
MANY ATHLETES FROM AROUND
DIFFERENT NATIONS
AROUND THE WORLD.
AND MY HEALTH DECLINED SO
ENORMOUSLY THAT I REALIZED
THAT THE SPORTING SYSTEM... YOU
TEND TO, AT AN ELITE SPORT,
HAVE BETWEEN AN EIGHT-
TO TEN-YEAR WINDOW
TO WHERE YOU CAN BE
AN ELITE ATHLETE,
WHERE... THAT THERE'S... THAT'S
KIND OF THE HEIGHT AND CURVE,
AND THEN YOU RETIRE.
SO, THE SPORTING SYSTEM KIND
OF DEPENDS ON THAT IDEA,
WHERE MOST ATHLETES WOULDN'T
HAVE DONE WHAT I'VE DONE,
LET ALONE HAD THE STAMINA
TO KEEP IT... TO DO IT
OVER A THREE-YEAR PERIOD.
BECAUSE TO WALK AWAY FROM YOUR
SPORT, WHAT HAPPENS IS YOU WILL
THEN LOSE OPPORTUNITY TO
COMPETE... TRAIN, COMPETE... GET ON NATIONAL TEAMS
OR GO ON TO WORLD EVENTS.

Nam says SO YOU HAD THE DIFFICULT
DECISION TO CHOOSE
BETWEEN YOUR HEALTH
OR THE SPORT, RIGHT?

KRISTEN SAYS RIGHT.
I WASN'T... THE SYSTEM ITSELF WAS
CONTINUING TO OPPRESS ME
AND HOPE THAT... WHICH WE
WERE ABLE TO SHOW IN THE COURTS,
THEY WERE HOPING THAT I WOULD
EVENTUALLY GET TIRED
OF DOING THIS.
SO WHAT I DECIDED AT THAT POINT
IN TIME,
AND I LEARNED
THROUGH... THE ACHILLES HEEL
WAS THE... FOR ME WAS BY NOT
SIGNING MY ATHLETE LICENCE,
BECAUSE NO MATTER WHAT SPORT
YOU SIGN YOUR LICENCE... LIKE
IF IT'S ATHLETICS, CYCLING,
WATER-SKIING, OR SNOW-SKIING,
OR WHATEVER, WE ALL SIGN OFF
OUR RIGHTS AS ATHLETES
TO THE... TO THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT,
WHICH YOU THEN SIGN OFF
YOUR RIGHTS AS AN ATHLETE
TO THE COURT OF ARBITRATION
IN SWITZERLAND,
WHICH IS ONLY RUN BY THE IOC,
AND THEN OFF
TO THE ANTI-DOPING PROGRAM
WITH THE WORLD
ANTI-DOPING AGENCY.
SO I LEARNED THAT UNDER
THE CANADIAN CHARTER,
BY SIGNING THAT OFF,
WHAT HAPPENS IS
I THEN CANNOT TAKE
ANY CIVIL LITIGATION AGAINST,
OR AN ACTION
AGAINST SPORT.

NAM SAYS BUT IT CAN BE
A HUMAN RIGHTS...

Kristen says NO, NO.
ACTUALLY, NO.
BECAUSE I HAD TO PROVE
WHY... IT WASN'T AN ISSUE, LIKE,
"I DESERVE TO COMPETE." WHICH A LOT OF
PEOPLE ASSUME THAT,
AUTOMATICALLY THINKING THAT
BECAUSE I'M AN ATHLETE
WHO WENT THROUGH TRANSITION.
I HAD TO PROVE THE SCIENCES
BECAUSE WE KNEW THE IOC,
WORLD CYCLING, AND EVERYBODY
ELSE ENGAGED IN THE CIRCLE,
DIDN'T HAVE IT.
SO WE ACTUALLY HAD TO ENGAGE
AT A LEVEL TO BRING THEM UP
TO AN EDUCATION LEVEL,
TO UNDERSTAND WHY
IT WAS A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE.
WE HAD... SO BY EXPLAINING
THAT ASPECT OF IT,
THEY THEN UNDERSTOOD
WHY THEY'RE HERE
AND HOW THEN IT WOULD BECOME
A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE.
IT'S NOT THAT... IT WASN'T A HUMAN
RIGHTS ISSUE ABOUT THE FACT
THAT I DESERVE TO COMPETE.
NO, IT'S THE FACT THAT THE IOC
NEVER DID THE SCIENCE
AND THE RESEARCH.
BUT THAT WAS IMPACTING MY HEALTH
AND MY ABILITY TO COMPETE
IN A HEALTHY WAY AS A TYPICAL
HIGH-PERFORMANCE ATHLETE
IN MY GIVEN SPORT.

NAM SAYS WE ONLY HAVE
A COUPLE MINUTES...

KRISTEN SAYS YEAH...

Nam says AND I WANT TO GET
ONE MORE QUESTION IN.
EVENTUALLY, YOUR HEARINGS BEFORE
THE HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL
LED TO A JOINT STATEMENT
FROM YOU
AND THE ONTARIO CYCLING
ASSOCIATION AND CYCLING CANADA,
WHICH STATED...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Validation." The quote reads "On June 30, 2015, Kristen Worley, an XY female athlete, commenced an application in the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, which brought attention to challenges faced by XY female athletes participating in sport. Miss Worley has been a leader in her efforts to raise awareness and education in human rights in Canadian and international sport."
2015 O.C.A., C.C., and Kristen Worley joint statement as quoted in "Woman enough." 2019.

Nam says ASIDE FROM THIS VALIDATING
STATEMENT, WHAT CONCRETE ACTIONS
HAVE BEEN PUT IN PLACE
AS A RESULT OF YOUR CASE?

KRISTEN SAYS GREAT QUESTION.
IT'S GOTTEN TO A POINT WHERE WE
NEED TO EMPOWER THE SYSTEM
AND EDUCATE PEOPLE.
AND NOW THE GROUP THAT WE HAD
INVOLVED... LIKE,
WE HAD FIVE SETS OF LAWYERS
THAT WERE INVOLVED
WITH THIS WHOLE PROCESS... AND THAT THEY NOW KNOW BETTER.
AND SO MY GOAL WAS TO EMPOWER
THE SPORT OF CYCLING,
BECAUSE UCI ALSO PUT OUT A
RESPONSE AS WELL,
INTERNATIONALE, THE WORLD
CYCLING DID AS WELL,
IN SUPPORT OF THIS.
IN WHICH I MET
WITH DAVID LAPPARTIENT,
WHO'S THE NEW CEO... PRESIDENT
OF WORLD CYCLING
IN GENEVA LAST YEAR,
WHICH THEY ARE COMMITTED
TO HUMAN RIGHTS
AND IMPROVING THE POLICIES
OF WHICH... WITH
GREATER INCLUSION.
NOT JUST IN THE SPORT
OF CYCLING
BUT WITHIN THE OLYMPIC
MOVEMENT ITSELF.
SO THAT'S WHERE THIS HAS KIND
OF... HAS GONE TO... AND KIND OF LEGITIMIZING
THE PROCESS.
AND I THINK... I THINK THE BIGGEST
PART OF THIS IS WHAT I... WHICH IS
REALLY IMPORTANT, WHAT WE'RE
SEEING... EVEN ONE YEAR
FROM WHEN I WAS IN GENEVA... FROM
WHEN I WAS IN UNESCO,
ONE YEAR LATER,
I'VE NOW PRINCIPALLY BEEN ABLE
TO PUT THE FOUNDATION
OF HUMAN RIGHTS
FRONT AND CENTRE
FOR ALL ATHLETES, WORLDWIDE,
IN THE GLOBAL SPORTING SYSTEM.
THAT IS THE COMMONALITY
AND THE INFRASTRUCTURE
THAT'S GOING ON, THAT'S BEING
DEVELOPED IN THE GLOBAL SYSTEM.

Nam says WHAT WORK STILL NEEDS
TO BE DONE?

Kristen says THE... THERE'S A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT
OF WORK BEING DONE.
AND I CAN TELL YOU NOW,
THROUGH MY EFFORTS,
AND THROUGH
THE COMMONWEALTH EFFORTS,
THROUGH
THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES,
THE CGF I'M WORKING WITH
EXCLUSIVELY RIGHT NOW.
COMING OUT OF THE BRISBANE
COMMONWEALTH GAMES SUCCESSFULLY,
THIS PAST YEAR
IN AUSTRALIA,
THEY FOUNDED THE FIRST PRINCIPLE
HUMAN RIGHTS PIECE ADMISSION
AND DIRECTION OF THE GLOBAL
SPORT SYSTEM.
AND WHAT'S HAPPENED HAS BECOME
PART OF THE CGF'S,
THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES
FEDERATION'S BUSINESS MODEL... TO MOVE INTO A LEADERSHIP
POSITION, WHICH WE HOPE THAT
WORLD CYCLING WILL ALSO COME
INTO THAT POSITION AS WELL,
TO BE ABLE TO MOVE THIS
AND LEVERAGE THIS LANGUAGE
TO A BETTER PLACE
OF GREATER INCLUSION.
AND WHEN
WE TALK ABOUT INCLUSION,
WE TALK ABOUT DIVERSITY;
WE TALK ABOUT CULTURE DIVERSITY;
WE TALK ABOUT SEXUALITY; GENDER;
AND INDIVIDUAL ABILITY;
AND MOVING EVERYBODY
INTO A MORE INCLUSIVE
AND REALLY FOCUSING
ON OUR HUMANITY.
RATHER THAN 12,
14 DAYS IN SPORT,
WE WANT TO CREATE
ENVIRONMENTS THAT ARE... THROUGH
THESE MOVEMENTS
THAT ARE BUILDING
AND IMPROVING PEOPLE'S
LIVES AROUND THE WORLD.

The caption changes to "Producer: Gregg Thurlbeck, @GreggThurlbeck

Nam says KRISTEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR BEING HERE
AND FOR WRITING THIS BOOK.
USING YOUR VOICE AS A CANADIAN
I KNOW IS HELPING
SO MANY OTHER ATHLETES
AROUND THE WORLD
WHO MIGHT NOT BE ABLE
TO DO THAT.
SO, THANK YOU FOR WRITING IT,
AND FOR BEING HERE.

Kristen says OH, IT'S A GREAT HONOUR
TO BE HERE.
AND THANK YOU
FOR THE OPPORTUNITY.

Watch: Giving Gender Identity a Sporting Chance