A number of female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) practitioners have been forced to fight transgender competitors in competitions, causing them to quit tournaments in response.
The presence of transgenders in the women’s competition first came to prominence after a video emerged from a North American Grappling Association (NAGA) tournament, in which Taelor Moore was pitted against James McPike, a transgender biological male who held a 65-pound weight advantage over Moore. NAGA was later forced to issue a statement in which the organization announced that “NAGA does not require biological women to compete against transgender women. Instead, we give the choice to the biological women and if they decline, they compete in a division only with other biological women.”
However, NAGA seems to have continued pitting transgenders against biological women without giving them advance notice. Two female BJJ practitioners, Jayden Alexander and Ansleigh Wilk, were put up against biologically-male transgender opponents at a NAGA tournament in July, and neither was given the opportunity to back out of their matches.
At a NAGA tournament on October 21, Danielle Lenane was forced to grapple with two transgender contestants without any advanced notice. This occurred even after NAGA issued its statement in September.
The consequences of this refusal to enforce its own declaration have been swift. In the October 21 tournament, there were allegedly more males than females participating in some of the weight divisions. This prompted a number of women who discovered the significant quantity of transgender participants to drop out of the competition. Wilk voiced the desperation felt by these women, noting, “the majority of the women feel scared to even speak out about this matter. They don’t want to be labeled a bigot or transphobic.”
As it turns out, allowing men to compete in women’s sports results in them ceasing to be women’s sports.