Jan 102021

Women were barred from the original Olympic games, yet Rome had women gladiators.

Down the centuries, the question of who can partake in sport has always been controversial and not least for the LGBTQ+ community. In the 20th century, thanks to advances in medical science, the focus has switched over to definitions of womanhood.

The 1930s saw numerous controversies over women athletes, including Mark Weston from Plymouth who had competed in the Olympics as a woman but, after an unspecified procedure at Charing Cross Hospital, began to live as a man.

These early controversies primarily featured people with intersex traits, and this pattern has continued. More recently there have also been controversies over the participation of trans people in sport.

Our panel discussion will look at the LGBTQ+ history of gender segregation in sport, and what that means for intersex and trans athletes today.

The panel will be:

  • medical historian, Dr. Sonja Erikainen from the University of Edinburgh;
  • historian Professor Noah Riseman from the Catholic University of Melbourne;
  • football player Samantha Walker;
  • rugby player Verity Smith.

This event is morning to accommodate Professor Riseman joining us from Australia.

Wednesday 24th February 2021       11am to 12pm

How to take part

This online talk will be held over Zoom. The event is free but you need to register in advance.

Please book your place through the Bristol Museums website https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/lgbtq-history-month-the-history-of-gender-in-sport/.

Details of how to join the session will be in your registration email.

Face of smiling man aged about 30

Mark Weston is one of the five Icons for this year’s LGBT+ History Month.

Thanks to Bristol’s M Shed museum for facilitating this event and to M Shed’s Equality and Diversity programme sponsor: UWE Bristol.

Text "LGBT+ 2021 history month" inside the outline of a light bulbBristol museum and art gallery logoRed rectangle with text "University of the West of England"OutStories logo. Letters 'O' 'S', and 'B' in a speech bubble