Wednesday, December 11, 2013

British Transwoman Barred From Playing Women's Soccer By FA

Aeris Houlihan, a 32-year-old football fanatic, explains on YouTube videos her fight to play on a women's soccer team. Jazz spent two years fighting the US Soccer Federation for a policy that would allow her and other trans kids to play soccer in this country. 

Now come word from across The Pond of a British transwoman who is not being allowed to play on a women's team there despite having documentation confirming her gender identity, hormone levels in feminine range and her teammates and opposing players having no objections to her being in the league.

32 year old Aeris Houlihan is facing a two year wait to play competitive soccer because the FA policy is pegged to the FIFA rules and the IOC Stockholm Consensus, which mandates surgical intervention and two years of being on HRT before being allowed to play in the gender you present.   She's not due to have SRS until March.

'It's not like I want to play for Barcelona, I just want to play for my local club.' - See more at:
Aeris Houlihan speaking about her dispute with her local team on YouTube.The story starts in June, when Houlihan applied to the FA (The English Football Association) so she could play for her local team in Leeds, the Middleton Park Ladies FC.   She was asked to provide a doctor's letter verifying her feminine hormone levels which she complied with.

After providing that letter, she heard nothing from FA until October, and it was at that time she was informed that she couldn't play for her local team and would be unable to appeal the decision. 

'It's not like I want to play for Barcelona.   All I want to do is play for my local club," Houlihan said in an interview with the Daily Mail. "The FA didn't even bother to look at my hormones levels or my blood test results, which are the same as any other woman's.  They are blind and need to look at the results in front of them."

Houlihan's club is supporting her in her fight to play her favorite sport.

Team spirit: Ms Houlihan (back row, third from right) has the full support of her teammates at Middleton Park Ladies FC"We support the fact she would like to play on a Ladies team as she is now legally a woman, she has a British passport, and she should be allowed to compete as a woman just as she is allowed to live as a woman in her everyday life," the Middleton Park FC said in a statement.

The resistance that Houlihan is running into is in stark contrast to what the FA website states.

"An individual's sexual orientation or gender identity should never be a barrier to participating in, and enjoying, our national sport."

Looks like that is exactly what is happening in this case.  Her gender identity has become a barrier to her being able to participate in their national sport.

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