What is Trans Can Sport?
Trans Can Sport is a project in Brighton & Hove created to help get Trans people into exercise and healthy living. We facilitate our session by collaborating with local fitness professionals and organisations. All of our sessions are free or low cost at point of access.
The rationale behind Trans Can Sport is that trans people often feel unable to access regular sporting and leisure facilities. There are many reasons for this, but most notably because sport is heavily gendered. Changing facilities are a minefield for trans people to navigate to the extent that will stop people exercising full stop. Even the activities themselves barr people from participating, with gender segregation being endemic.
Like everyone else, trans people want to engage in activities where they can be social. There is a need to provide a space where people can socialise outside of the bar scene. Physical exercise is proven to be greatly beneficial to a person’s well-being. The majority of our participants recognise this as it was the most frequently given reason for why they got involved.
Providing a safer space has to acknowledge this. We ensure that the trainer who leads the session has a thoughtful understanding of how gender can affect their discipline. Aside from the standard practise of ensuring we use the correct names and pronouns for our members, we also consider how gender creeps in elsewhere. For example, if yoga poses are best avoided during menstruation, how to communicate that in a non-gendered way. But also the bigger issues of how we relate to our bodies and how trans people can feel disassociated from them. How we can help someone love their body that has caused them so much anguish? Trans Can Sport can’t fix these issues, but we can create a space for trans people to explore safely and work it out for themselves. As one of our participants states, “I like being treated as a normal person for once”.
Trans Can Sport is open to anyone who feels their transgender identity prevents them from accessing sport. We also welcome friends, family and allies to join us. For more information firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Facebook.com/transcansport