LPGA Changes Female at Birth Policy; Will Allow Transgender Golfers


lana lawless

Following a discrimination lawsuit, the LPGA has decided to change its policy that requires all LPGA golfers to be female at birth. The policy change will allow transgender golfers to participate in the LPGA.

The discrimination lawsuit against the LPGA was filed by Lana Lawless, a transgender woman who had sexual reassignment surgery in 2005. After winning the World Long Drive Championship in 2008, Lawless sought a position in the LGPA, but was denied because she was not a female at birth.

Lawless said:

“I should not have had to bring a lawsuit to be treated fairly under the law. I am a female, the law recognizes me as female, my birth certificate now says that I am female, I am anatomically female, and I have lower testosterone levels than most women. I am not ‘femaleish.’ Transgender people are entitled to be treated equally, and the prejudices against them and myself are unfounded. People say that I will have an advantage because I was once male. That is simply false. I have been beaten by other women before and most likely I will be beaten again. I just want to compete with the other girls. These rules need to change so that other trans people coming up behind me can be treated equally and fairly.”

Lawless and her attorney, Christopher Dolan, are pleased with the LPGA’s decision to remove the discriminatory policy, but say that the change is not enough. Dolan said:

“Changing the unlawful rule was a part of the lawsuit and we are pleased that this has been accomplished. However, it does not change the fact that the LPGA discriminated against Ms. Lawless by knowingly denying her the right to participate based on her transgendered status. The fact that they later altered their unlawful practice does not provide a get out of jail free card for their prior unlawful conduct.”

Last month, Kyle Allum became the first openly transgender athlete in NCAA history.

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