Trans person in sports

Trans Persons can participate in Sporting Events basis their Gender Identification: Kerala HC

The Writ Petition was instituted in the Kerala High Court pleading the High Court to direct the respondents to permit the petitioner to participate in the District Judo Competition Senior Women Category.


The petitioner is a trans person, who identifies as a woman. She underwent Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) (also called affirmation surgery) and claims that the transition is complete. The petitioner is an active sports person, who had participated in various sports items like athletics, judo, wrestling, etc. Even after undergoing SRS, the petitioner has actively participated in various sports events at the University level in the trans category. The petitioner is desirous of participating in the District Level Judo competition being held by respondents. The petitioner attempted to submit her application for participation through online mode, but was informed that trans persons will not be allowed to participate in the competition.


Justice VG Arun relied on the decision in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India [AIR 2014 SC 1863], wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court has recognized transgender ‘as a Gender identity’. Court said that the petitioner should be permitted to participate in the competition in the category of women.

The Court observed that “a transgender person is having equal right to participate in competitions. Here, in the absence of any category for participating transgender persons, the petitioner is seeking to participate in her identity as a woman.”

The Court hence directed the Kerala Judo Association and Kozhikode District Judo Association to accept the petitioner’s application and do the needful.

– Written by Hamda Arfeen

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