(By: Scott McLean)
While there isn’t currently an open transgender athlete competing at Ryerson University, Rams director of athletics Ivan Joseph said on Monday that the university is trying to create as accessible a space as possible for transgender athletes.
Joseph’s comments were made during the Trans Inclusion in Sport panel discussion held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, which featured topics ranging from the use of pronouns to drug testing for testosterone.
“The reason we are doing [events like this] is so that those athletes know that these are safe and welcoming places,” said Joseph, who also provided the opening remarks for the panel. “We do have open lesbian, bisexual, and gay athletes that serve on our teams so I don’t know the exact reason why we don’t [have an openly transgender athlete], but I want them to know that if they are out there that we welcome them and that we want to be a supportive and inclusive environment for them.”
Harrison Browne gave the keynote address at the event, and spoke to his experience as the first openly transgender athlete in North American professional hockey. Browne currently plays for the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League and was a member of the team that won the 2017 league championship.
“The reception that I received after coming out has been unbelievably positive. I’ve received so much support from my coaches, teammates, and the league, and the fans have been incredible,” said Browne. “It shows how progressive people are in women’s hockey, how much that they want somebody to be themselves, and that they want to celebrate that fact.”
Ryerson’s Positive Space organized the panel as part of Trans Awareness Month, and has other events running until the end of November.
(Header photo screenshot from video)