poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The rise and fall of gender testing
by Patricia Nell Warren

In the late '90s, as the Olympic Games finally dropped its long-hated requirement for women's gender testing, the Gay Games stumbled into hot water with its own gender policies. First, the 1998 Amsterdam Games required competitors who had changed their birth gender to the opposite gender to provide medical proof of "completed gender transition." Organizers also decreed that mixed-sex couples (including transgendered persons who couldn't prove "transition" on paper) would not be allowed in the ballroom-dancing event. Then, the 2002 Sydney Games tried a different tack, by dividing competitions into two divisions: "male" or "female." Everybody, including transgendered and intersex athletes, had to choose a category to compete in, based on passport or birth certificate gender.


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