Female Boxer Withdraws from Fight Against Transgender Boxer

Dr. Katia Bissonnette, a female psychologist from Saguenay, Canada, recently made headlines when she decided to withdraw from a boxing championship in Quebec. The reason behind her withdrawal was the discovery that her opponent, Mya Walmsley, was a transgender individual. Dr. Bissonnette alleges that she was not informed beforehand about her opponent’s transgender identity.

Female Boxer Backs Away From Fighting Transgender Boxer In Championship Qualifier

The championship in question was the 2023 Provincial Golden Glove Championship, held from October 27 to 29 in Victoriaville, Quebec. This three-day tournament aimed to give novice boxers the chance to qualify for the Canadian Championship in December. It was organized by a collaboration between the Quebec Boxing Federation and the KO-96 boxing club.

Just an hour before the fight was scheduled to begin, Dr. Bissonnette found out about her opponent through her coach. She states, “I came down from my hotel room to head towards the room where all the boxers were warming up. My coach suddenly took me aside and told me he had received information by text message, which he had then validated, that my opponent was not a woman by birth. We did not have any other additional information.”

Dr. Bissonnette further explained that Boxing Canada’s rule to the Quebec Boxing Federation was not to disclose her opponent’s transgender status to prevent discrimination. However, after confirming the information, it became clear that the rule only applied when a sex change had occurred before puberty. She argued that studies, such as one from the University of Utah, have shown the potential physical and psychological risks for female boxers fighting against transgender athletes who had undergone puberty as males. According to her, women shouldn’t have to bear these risks.

In response to Dr. Bissonnette’s actions, Mya Walmsley criticized her for turning to the media instead of seeking more information from her coach or the Quebec Olympic Boxing Federation. Walmsley expressed concerns about potential exclusion and personal attacks based on hearsay. She feared that these accusations could be used to delegitimize athletes in the women’s category and justify invasive regulations.

This incident is part of a growing trend where female athletes refuse to compete against transgender athletes due to perceived unfair athletic advantages or safety concerns. The debate regarding fairness arose prominently with the clash between Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer, and Riley Gaines, a female swimmer who argued against competing against Thomas. Different sports have approached this issue differently, aiming to avoid unjust exclusion or discrimination.

Female Boxer Backs Away From Fighting Transgender Boxer In Championship Qualifier