WTSDA Transgender Policy

In March 2014, the WTSDA Board of Directors adopted the policy below.  Should you have any questions, please contact the LAC at wtsda.cousnel@gmail.com.

World Tang Soo Do Association

Transgender Policy

As adopted March 14, 2014

A.             Policies

I.             General

The WTSDA does not and shall not discriminate on the basis or race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), physical or mental disability, martial status, sexual orientation, or military or veterans status, in any of its activities or operations.

Accordingly, the WTSDA will welcome any transgender member who has the desire and ability to study and train in the martial arts.  However, due to the fact that most members are required at some point during their training to participate in sanctioned events which would lead to gender-segregated events, any transgender member who desires to join the WTSDA (or a current member who desires to modify they gender the WTSDA associated with such member), an evaluation will be undertaken to ensure that participation by a transgender member in sanctioned events does not pose a risk to safety or fair competition to any member.  For example, in the event a transgender member desires to participate in a (i) sanctioned tournament as a competitor (in any division other than creativity); or (ii) clinic (or similar event) where it is required that members share overnight facilities (e.g., bedrooms, showers, etc.), a committee will review the status of the member prior to the first such participation (and subsequent participation only in the event the medical status of such member materially changes).

  1. Membership in the WTSDA shall be conferred upon any transgender person who fills out the appropriate application, pays the customary fee, and meets the same minimum requirements as any other person.
  2. Once a member desires to participate in a sanctioned event:
    1. Generally, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, sexual reassignment of a member prior to the member’s puberty, will result in a determination by the committee that all records relating to such member reflect the desired gender of the individual. Further, such member shall participate in sanctioned events as a member of the desired gender.  That is, a male to female reassignment occurring before puberty will be regarded as girls and women (female) and female to male reassignment, will be regarded as boys and men (male).

NOTE: In the above cases, the WTSDA may not always be aware of such reassignment, as the parents of such individual (and/or the individual themselves) may not disclose this information.  In the event the information is made available to the WTSDA, it is to be kept confidential and only made known to those who have a need to know such information such as medical staff and the committee established to review transgender member participation in sanctioned events.

  1. In the case of a transgender member who has taken steps to outwardly demonstrate a new gender after puberty, the following will be considered:
  • Whether surgical anatomical changes have been completed, including external genitalia changes and gonadectomy; and/or
  • Whether hormonal therapy appropriate for the assigned sex has been administered in a verifiable manner and for a sufficient length of time to minimize gender-related advantages in competitions (shorter length may be considered if an individual desires to compete only in hyung and weapons; longer time frame may be required if the individual desires to compete in sparring).Generally, hormonal therapy for two (2) years will be accepted as the minimum appropriate time required to minimize gender-related advantages.

In the event of a transgender member, specifically male to female (MTF), who meets the foregoing criteria to compete but they have not undergone surgical procedure(s) to remove male genitals, in sparring competitions, the gear required by a male student (specifically, a protective cup), may be required.  A MTF over the age of 18 may themselves consent to participate without such equipment.  A MTF under the age of 18 must have parental consent to participate without such equipment.  Conversations regarding such requirements are to be had with the arbitrator, regional director, medical physician on site, and if present legal counsel.  ALL SUCH CONVERSATIONS ARE TO BE AND REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL.  Equipment should be in place before reporting to the ring so as to avoid any need for a discussion with the judges in the ring between divisions.

II.            Facilities

In any gender-segregated facility, such as a restroom, locker room or changing facility, members shall have access to facilities that correspond to their gender identity.  Separate facilities may be maintained for male and female members, provided access is permitted based on a member’s gender identity.  Members will not be required to use sex-segregated facilities that are inconsistent with their gender identity.  To the extent a venue has the facilities to adopt other, neutral alternatives (such as a family restroom or locker room), such facilities will be made available to any member who is uncomfortable with using a shared facility.  To the extent facilities are not available, the event coordinator should be contacted immediately to make other safe and non-stigmatizing alternative arrangements.

III.           Confidentiality

All communications, writings, telephone calls, records received or created related to the status of any member as transgender, or otherwise related to the policies and procedures set forth herein (with regards to any member or potential member) shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed to any other member of the WTSDA, except as such other member has the strict need to know.  For example, in the event of a transgender member’s injury, medial staff may be required to have such information to properly treat such member.  It is the member’s sole choice to disclose, or keep confidential, their status as a transgender member.

The members of the committee and WTSDA staff shall keep all such information confidential and shall not discuss matters related to any transgender members where there is the reasonable likelihood of being overheard.  Any member of the committee or WTSDA staff who discloses information in contravention with this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to suspension, dismissal or revocation of WTSDA membership.

B. Procedures

The WTSDA shall establish a Gender Review Committee to review any cases which arise in this area.  Suggested members: Grandmaster (or designee), Legal Affairs Chair, one (1) regional director (to serve in a permanent capacity on such committee for as long as that person is a regional director), Regulations Committee Chair, WTSDA Chief of Staff, and a medical professional volunteer (which may or may not be a member of the Board of Directors and which may be appointed by the committee from time to time as needed).

  1. A request for the assignment or reassignment of gender, as recognized by the WTSDA, shall be made in a confidential manner by submitting a request to the Chief of Staff. The Chief of Staff will inform the committee of the request and the committee will discuss and request information from the member, to aid in the assessment of the circumstances.
  2. The committee shall review, on a case by case basis, the information relevant to any transgender member desiring to compete or participate in sanctioned events. The committee shall review information, including but not limited to:
    1. Medical records demonstrating the completion of gender reassignment surgical procedures;
    2. Medical records relating to hormone therapy the member has been receiving;
    3. Governmental records documenting the recognition of the gender of the member in question;
    4. All other information reasonably requested by the committee to aid in satisfying itself that the transgender member should be treated as such member desires without conferring an unfair advantage to any member of the WTSDA.
  3. The committee will make a determination as to the gender classification which is appropriate, and in the best interest of all members. Such decision is non-appealable.
  4. The committee shall maintain the confidentiality of all information disclosed to the committee.
  5. The committee shall defer any questions or discussions related to any transgender member to a single appointed member of the committee who shall confer with the Legal Affairs Chair regarding confidentiality prior to addressing any questions or participating in any discussions with anyone other than members of the committee, the member in question or such member’s authorized physicians and/or representatives (e.g., their parent or guardian, spouse, attorney, etc.).