Pro surfer says she ‘won’t be competing’ if World Surf League uphold transgender ruling

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Pro surfer Bethany Hamilton has received criticism after posting a social media video to air her beliefs that transgender athletes should compete in a different surfing division.

In a second video posted in response to those critics, Hamilton doubled down on her “different world views” and insisted she would not compete in World Surf League events if they stick to a new rule which allows transgender athletes to maintain specific levels of hormones to compete in the women’s division.

“Is a hormone level an honest and accurate depiction that someone indeed is a male or female? Is it as simple as this?” Hamilton said in her initial Instagram video. “I personally won’t be competing in or supporting the World Surf League if this rule remains.

“I personally think that the best solution would be to create a different division so that all can have a fair opportunity to showcase their passion and talent.”

The WSL announced it would follow the International Surfing Association policy on transgender athletes, which requires trans-females to “maintain a testosterone level of less than five nmol/L for at least 12 months”, per CNN, which then allows them to compete in the women’s division.


Responding to critics who suggested her views were transphobic, Hamilton said: “I really don’t think at this point there is a solution that will please everyone. There are different world views and that is part of life.

“I may not have the perfect answer. But I do feel the way I do and will continue to stand firm in what I shared here.”

The World Surf League released a statement on Monday to say they would continue “working to balance equity and fairness, and we will continue to evaluate the policy in the months and years ahead as more research, information and feedback are available.”

Hamilton, now aged 32, survived a tiger shark attack as a teenager in 2003 which saw her lose an arm while surfing.

She returned to surfing soon after and has since won professional events in Australia and the US.

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